Well, So That Is That
Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree.
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes--
Some have got broken--and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed up, for the rest of the week--
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted--quite unsuccessfully--
To love all our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again,
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
--W. H. Auden.
For the past couple of days we have been dismantling the effects of Christmas and putting them away; a rather time-consuming task around here, but necessary to be done quickly, I think. They've been up since shortly after Thanksgiving, and nothing seems more melancholy than trees and decorations lingering after their purpose is done. Although I only bought a couple of stocking holders and a small pair of decorative deer, I now seem to require another storage tub, as everything refuses to pack back neatly as it was. Some people leave stuff up till after New Year; in parts of England all decorations, especially in churches, had to be taken down by February 2 (Candlemas) and all mistletoe, holly, and evergreens burned (it was considered bad luck if any of that stuff remained in private homes after that date, especially mistletoe).