Erasing the Holiday

January second couldn’t come soon enough. The Christmas tree had been dropping needles since the time we carried it home. Just natural, the saleswoman said. Well, yes. Everything about the tree was natural, from the smell to the rain of needles to its initial thirst. (A fake tree wouldn’t be as messy, but would have cost the same).

By the time we heaved it to the curb, it was dropping needles like one of those rainsticks they used to have at novelty shops.

More fell as the ornaments were plucked off, or when the lights were unstrung. The piles on the rug was remarkable.

But ridding the house of the tree is just part of the end of the holiday, that especially fell with a thud when Jan. 2 was a holiday.

The lights, the candles, the holiday-themed knickknacks, the holiday plants and bowls not to mention the wrapping and bows. It was a holiday cleansing – every bit of the Yuletide eradicated as if it was never here; as if to prepare for the bleak rest of winter.

Decking the halls comes with carols and nog and anticipation. Undecking has no such songs; the feeling is more of inevitability and dread, the nog has all gone bad.

Once I had the notion of stretching the holiday season another week to include Elvis birthday. By now, I’d just prefer noting it on its own. It doesn’t come with the same kind of commercial overkill.

And stores are already filling with Valentine’s Day candy as we speak.

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