Well, it’s over. That glorious two-week stretch surrounding Christmas and New Years has finally come to an end. The cookies and cocoa are being replaced by protein shakes and anything Whole 30 approved. Nights in snuggled up watching Christmas movies are replaced with 6 a.m. stair runs. And, most importantly, your Christmas tree is replaced by whatever used to occupy that empty space in your house the previous 11 months of the year.
As much as we might protest, now is the time to start hanging up those decorations. Take the wreath off your door, put all the Santas back in their box, and put away the tree (or throw it out if you’re one of those fancy types who actually buys a real tree every year). Some of you have already taken your tree down. Others still have theirs up, trying to milk every last drop of that Christmas spirit. In any case, when you take down your Christmas tree does say a lot about you and how festive you are.
January 1 or Before
Woah, woah, slow down there Mr. Grinch! You just couldn’t wait to get it out of your house and onto the curb, all while muttering about how keeping a dead tree inside the house is a stupid tradition, could you? Did you also kick grandma out into the snow the second Christmas dinner ended? Maybe use the Elf on a Shelf to wipe your ass too?
Everyone knows that the Christmas season unofficially lasts through New Years Day. Family and friends are still in town, schools are still on vacation, and most people are spending all their remaining year’s PTO for a nice end of the year break. This is the time to spend with loved ones, enjoying the fact that you don’t have to work that day. Not doing manual labor and making a point to your nephew that holidays and family are just an inconvenience.
Oh, you think you’re better than me?? Just because you got rid of the tree on the first acceptable day, while I’m slogging through the first, post-break day at work? You’re one of those freaks who was probably not eating cookies, drinking eggnog, or gaining any weight over the holidays huh?
You’re clearly very organized, and you probably had an immaculately decorated house. I guess you get props for being on top of your shit, but deep down all of us resent you. Not just for signaling that the holidays are actually over and we have to return to our lives, but also for reminding us how lazy we all are.
The First Week of January
Good for you. You’re doing this right. Not showing off by dumping the tree at the first possible moment, but not letting the decorations linger. In all likelihood, you probably got to this chore that first weekend of the new year like a full-grown adult. You also probably did your Christmas shopping a couple of weeks before the 25th and kept your drinking around the children to a respectable amount (about three per day). Dependable, reliable, resolved, but not condescending or annoyingly so, you won’t swear at your friend while you help them move and keep things light enough for you both to enjoy beers after. Keep doing you.
First Week of January through MLK Day
A little late to the party there, but you’re no slouch. Maybe you had some commitments that first weekend. Maybe some old buddies were still in town, you all went out that first Friday of the year, and you didn’t want to move the tree with that weekend-long hangover. Whatever the case may be, you didn’t get to the tree disposal right away.
Now, it’s mid-January and you’re starting to become a little self-conscious about having people over, lest they see your still-decorated tree still up. So, grudgingly, you use that long 3-day weekend, the last of the first half of the year until Memorial Day, to do the deed. Think of it as a final goodbye to not having to work 5 days a week in crappy weather for the next few months.
After MLK Day through Valentines Day
You’re a stoner and/or a man-child with a serious Peter Pan complex. You just cannot bear to bring down the decorations of your favorite holiday. Those Santa figurines and smells of eggnog keep you in your happy memories of when you were 11 and got a PlayStation because you got all Bs on your report card for once.
You look at the tree, with barely any brown needles still on its branches and think “nah not today.” After all, you really have the itch to play some Fortnite right now. Or rewatch Die Hard 3. Or take your second, post-dinner nap of the day. You’ll do anything to avoid this menial task, and just pray that eventually, the tree will disintegrate. After all, you tell yourself, composting is good for the environment.
February through March
Uhhh, what are you doing here pal? That tree should be down or it has died the most painful death of any tree ever and is now a massive eyesore. Even the guy who reuses a dirty bowl rather than run the dishwasher thinks you’re lazy. You probably haven’t paid your taxes since 2015, and the IRS won’t take “I got a lot of stuff on my plate bro” as an excuse. There are elderly widows with no friends or family who died, alone, in their apartment on Christmas, and have been found, buried, and had their tree taken down by their landlord by now. Get your house in order man.
March through June
Unless you got called away for some six month Arctic expedition on Christmas Day and forgot to take down the tree as you were frantically packing, there is no excuse for this. There’s bush league, there’s the Washington Generals being perpetually annihilated by the Globetrotters, and then there’s you.
June through October
It’s now officially closer to the next Christmas than it is the previous Christmas when you put up the tree. At this point, don’t bother taking it down. Just make up some excuse about wanting Christmas all year or it being your favorite decoration and never take it down. Ever. This is your life now. Live with it.
October through (the next) Thanksgiving
*Note: the author of this piece has suffered an aneurysm during the fit of anger he had about someone leaving their tree up for eleven months and taking it down just before everyone else started putting their trees up. In his last Will & Testament, he asked that you view this gif for his final thoughts on the matter*.