Today being the twelfth day of Christmas as I count it, we took down the tree just before bed this evening. Well, it was just before bed for Leah; I've stayed up long enough to write this post here. Thrilling, isn't it! In any case, I always thought that the reason for not keeping the tree up past the end of Christmas proper was to ensure that, at least as you began moving it out of the house, more needles were on the tree than on the floor. This year, though, I heard an alternative justification: that if you leave your tree up too long—past the beginning of Epiphany, that is—witches will take up roost. We wouldn't want that! Now, I can't find any mention of this belief anywhere on the internet at all, so it may just be one family's superstition (or joke); still, I see no reason to take chances! So down the tree has come, though we will surely miss its cheery light.
And I have to say, in any tree discussion, that this year's model was the best one we've ever had. Not only was it a nearly perfect cone shape (except where we had to trim the top to fit it in the house), it stayed green and healthy the whole season. Too bad all our cameras are broken, so there are no pictures of this truly wonderful tree.