A holiday blog in three parts
from author and speaker Liz Curtis Higgs
Finally it became unhandy to have our Christmas tree in the center of the busiest room in the house, so we moved it out of the kitchen and into the hallway. Then the family room. Then the downstairs bedroom. Only lost a couple of ornaments that time.
When friends asked us if we still had a Christmas tree in our kitchen, we smiled sweetly and say, “Oh, no! It’s in the guestroom.”
By Christmas Eve, our traveling tree found a home for the holidays: the dining room. A bit worse for wear, but still a glorious sight. We hadn’t lost a single twinkling bulb in all that hauling around, and the angel stood proudly at the helm, looking up at a freshly painted ceiling just inches above her halo.
When Bill’s parents arrived for our traditional bowl of homemade soup and bread, we hurried them in to see our tree. “It’s lovely!” my mother-in-law exclaimed. “It was free,” our son, Matthew, said proudly.
When New Year’s Day came, traditionally the day for taking down a cut Christmas tree and sweeping up the dried needles, I came to a wonderful realization: this tree would never lose its needles. We could enjoy it right through Epiphany.
By mid-January, still cozy in one corner of the dining room, the tree continued to look fresh and green, though a tad off-season. I removed all the yuletide ornaments and left only the twinkling lights and a scattering of white snowflakes on the branches. “It’s a January tree,” I informed the family, and there the tree stayed.
When February came along, it seemed appropriate to replace the snowflakes with valentines, so the kids and I had a ball covering the tree with paper hearts. Not every family has a valentine tree, I thought warmly.
Frankly, the shamrocks in March got lost amid all the green, so on the first of April we moved quickly to Easter eggs of every hue, with pink cellophane grass dripping from the branches. It was my favorite month so far.
Friends were less impressed. When my in-laws came for Easter dinner, they took one look and said, “Well!”
When I explained, “It’s an Easter tree,” they said, “Yes, it is.”
By May it was getting harder to keep the branches dust-free. The little flags in June were flagging by month’s end., and even my cheery sunflowers couldn’t overcome the Christmas-in-July look. By August the tree was history: a two-piece memory shoved back into a corner of the garage.
November rolled around, and it was time for my annual holiday presentation for that very charitable organization. With a request for my speaking services came their generous offer: “Liz, may we give you another tree this year?”
“No, thanks,” I said. “I’ll take a wreath.”