Christmas is over.; we took down the tree this evening. I wasn't sure it was going to make it, given its shaky beginnings, and another near fall Friday evening had us planning to be done with it Saturday. But circumstances did not permit, so we ended up going the official twelve days after all. And despite being a little crooked, it looked great up until the end.
Taking everything off was a little sad; when Zion came in after I had removed the lights he said, "hey! the tree is off! Turn it back on!". We really enjoy Christmas in this house, as you may have noticed. But even endings have their happy benefits: for example, the boys were delighted to get to eat the popcorn garland they made from stale popcorn not quite a month ago (they were kind enough to save some to put out for the birds). More usefully for the rest of us, the room the tree lived in—which is now, as of about a year ago, called the playroom—now seems wonderfully spacious.
Not everything of the tree is gone. We cleaned up many of the fallen needles, but maybe 2,000 or so are still around until our next pass with the vacuum (Harvey and Zion did most of the vacuuming this evening, which was nice). But there's enough lack of tree to get us thinking about the next big festival event. What'll that be, I wonder. A new baby?