Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Whither tree?

I've promised no Santa shaming on this site. If you want to keep your Christmas decorations up until Halloween, that's just fine with me.

But I can't help but wonder why.


While walking the big dog yesterday I passed a house with a large Christmas tree, fully decorated, still on display in a picture window. The house did not appear to be abandoned, as if the whole family had gone on vacation at Christmas and died of the plague; there were three cars in the driveway. So while I'm not shaming or blaming here, I just have to wonder... why?

I thought about this on the way back home. I asked the dog, but he was no help. Then I asked my wife, who did help. Here are some of the reasons we thought that a family might have its Christmas tree up at the end of February:

1) Everyone died of the plague after they came home from vacation, and when the cops finally open the door they'll be blown out of their shoes by the stink.

2) No one's dead, but someone is very sick, and either they don't want to make a lot of noise by taking down decorations or Little Jimmy is bolstered in his illness by the sight of the beloved tree.

3) Like the father of Lino Rulli, radio's The Catholic Guy, they just like having the tree up all year round and they don't care who knows it. (According to Rulli's book Saint: Why I Should Be Canonized Right Away, his father has had the tree up since 2004.)

4) They're a breakaway sect of Christianity that only worships the commercialism surrounding the holidays.

5) Someone lost a bet with a neighbor; loser had to keep up the Christmas tree in public view until spring.

6) There's an escalating dare on between them and a neighbor; in two months someone will put up Valentine's hearts; in August, Easter bunnies; and so on.

7) They are the laziest family in the neighborhood and they will take down the decorations when they're damn good and ready and not before. 

8) It's one of those houses where all the good furniture and knickknacks are in the living room, so no one ever goes in there. and they've totally forgotten the tree is still up.

9) They are new converts from another culture, conflating American holidays with Christian holidays, and are celebrating Jesus' Birthday until Washington's Birthday.

10) They are old converts from an ancient culture, and believe that Christmas is celebrated until Lent begins.

11) Their friends house-sat for them a week ago and as a prank put all the decorations back up; the family is plotting how to get even as they fume at the tree.

12) Jimmy, who is not sick or little but just a jerk, said that if they let him out of putting up the tree he would take it down; the rest of the family is getting angrier by the day while he just ignores it and plays Gears of War 4.

13) They're not two months late for Christmas, they're a month late for Chinese New Year, which they celebrate by leaving up all the decorations that were made in China.

That's a baker's dozen of reasons we thought of; if you have other suggestions, please leave them in comments. Again, I'm not trying to expose anyone to humiliation, but rather trying to understand what's going on. You see, I'm not judgmental, just nosy as hell.

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