Monday, January 9, 2023

#MicroblogMondays: Taking down the tree

We (finally) took down the Christmas tree today. This was probably the latest we've left it up in years.  We normally put it up somewhere around Advent Sunday/the first weekend in December and then take it down shortly after the New Year. (And of course, we're usually away visiting my family for a week or two over Christmas, so we really only get to enjoy it for 3 or 4 weeks, tops.) We got back from visiting my parents last Monday, Jan. 2nd, but between grocery shopping to restock the refrigerator & cupboards, doing laundry, housecleaning and helping BIL & SIL with a couple of things, it didn't get done last week (and I didn't want to do it on the weekend).  We have other things to do later this week, so we knew the tree had to come down today or tomorrow.   

Since getting an artificial tree, my mother rarely takes hers down until after her birthday, Jan. 6th, which also happens to be Ukrainian Christmas Eve. She's not Ukrainian, but my dad is, and when my grandparents were alive, we often used to celebrate with them at their farm, a few miles from the Manitoba/Minnesota/North Dakota border (on the Canadian side).  My dad had five siblings and three half-siblings, and most years, all or most of them, plus many of their kids (and, eventually, some grandkids) would cram into the little farmhouse. It wasn't always an entirely traditional Ukrainian meal, but there were always perogies, holubtsi (cabbage rolls) and kielbasa (sausage)(none of which I appreciated until I became an adult -- my loss!!). One of my aunts made elaborate kolach (braided loaves of bread) and another made kutya (wheat kernels in a sweet sauce, served cold). Kids sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the TV, plates balanced precariously on knees. After eating, we would play hide and seeks in the basement or go out for snowmobile rides in the nearby fields while the women did the dishes and the men played cards upstairs. Those were the days... 

My mother used to tell us that, being part-Swedish (on her mother's side), we're "allowed" to keep the tree up until Jan. 13th (which would be after MY birthday). Apparently the Swedes traditionally celebrate St. Knut's Day, or "Little Christmas," which is when the tree comes down and any leftover goodies get eaten up. 

I have a friend who builds up to Christmas all year long... she'll start reminding us on Jan. 24th that it's only 11 months till Christmas Eve!  and continue with monthly, then weekly, then daily countdown reminders. The thing I find hilarious is that her tree and all the decorations always come down on Boxing Day, the day immediately after Christmas! -- after all that buildup!!  

Our tree on Ukrainian Christmas Eve. 
(Somehow, having it up then seemed
entirely appropriate this year.)
It was time for ours to come down -- and it's nice to have an unobstructed view out the window again -- but I'll admit, the room seems a little bare without it. I'll miss the warm glow of its lights and the extra light they provide. (Even during the day, it's been pretty grey & dreary here lately...!)

Till next year, old friend...!    

When do you usually take down your tree &/or other holiday decorations? 

(This is my first #MM post this year -- I missed several lately, so it's good to be back!) 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here


  1. Ours is still up, hehe. We celebrated Ukrainian Christmas this year too, thanks to Mr Turtle’s aunt. I should make some effort to learn a few things from her so we can continue it if one day she can’t. I don’t have cultural traditions to pass on from my side, really. Values and history, but not traditions and celebrations.

    Since we were travelling we also had presents under the tree passed Christmas Day. We distributed those finally that past weekend so I guess it really can come down now.

  2. It goes up the day after US Thanksgiving and taken down January 1.

  3. Ours comes down after Epiphany, which is the last big day of the Christmas season for us.

  4. Historically I take mine down between the 26th of December and the 31st. This year, as with all things it was different. I didn't put a tree up at my house, but helped my boyfriend's family put up a tree at his daughters invitation. For both he and I the tree and all of Christmas was just HARD. And, I'd been wondering for 10 days when it was coming down so we could forget Christmas existed for 11 months so on Sunday it came down. His daughter was upset it was coming down and he and I were so freaking relieved. I feel like I can breathe in the living room again!

  5. At the risk of offending someone, your friend is nuts to bring down the tree so soon! lol Maybe they like the anticipation of Christmas more than the reality?

    I took mine down slightly earlier than usual - on 4-5 Jan this year, I think. It's usually 6 Jan. I put it up in the first week of December this year, so it was up longer than usual. It always makes the room feel cooler and fresh when I take it down. Which is good in summer, of course.