Turning Off Christmas

Christmas now droops like a lingering band aid. We usually lack the resolve to shed it quickly. When my wife and I were young, we left the tree up into February on several occasions because it looked better than the ratty furniture we owned. And we thought it made us look interesting and hip. When children surrounded us, it seemed irresponsible to ignore the fire hazard. We still left the outside lights up. We made it to June one year when we lived in Wichita. Since the lights survived halfway to the next Christmas, I thought I was safe in my delight that I would not have to put up lights the next winter in the freezing cold. But some non hip co-workers spoiled that dream by horrifying my wife with their mockery. Down came the lights. When I was a teenager, the outside lights once made it to Spring, aided by Wisconsin snow cover and my incredibly distracted parents. My surprise plan of turning the lights on for Easter evoked the same horror from my mother as my wife displayed in the Wichita episode. As we waddle through old age, Christmas lingering is becoming more a sign of fatigue than hipness.

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