Taking down the Christmas tree

The late Erma Bombeck once said,

There’s no one lonelier than the person taking down the
Christmas tree.

This, of course, is a universal truth. But over the years I’ve
also learned a second universal truth, which is that there’s no one
busier than the person taking down the Christmas tree.
The late Erma Bombeck once said, “There’s no one lonelier than the person taking down the Christmas tree.” This, of course, is a universal truth. But over the years I’ve also learned a second universal truth, which is that there’s no one busier than the person taking down the Christmas tree.

I mean, there’s nothing like the thought of facing 50 yards of gold-hued garland, a bazillion red felt bows, and dozens of glass ornaments to make a person want to suddenly, say, sort through the old cheese in the crisper drawer. Or rearrange the furniture. Or try on all of the shorts from last year’s summer wardrobe to see if they still fit.

In my defense, it’s not just me and my bad attitude. For instance, I called my usually ultra-organized friend Barb yesterday to see if how far she had gotten decoration-wise.

Me: Hi, how’s the tree coming.

Barb: Great. Hey, did you know that if I add up the numbers in my social security number, with the date of my birth and telephone number, it’s divisible by seven?

If that’s not enough, when I called to see how my friend Julie was doing with her Christmas decorations she announced that as of this morning she counted 23 freckles on her right cheek. And when I called my friend Linda she immediately confessed that she has mastered the art of playing musical spoons, made her entire shopping list for next Christmas, but, surprisingly enough, has not packed away a single ornament.

Why does this happen? Sure, there are all kinds of expert theories on procrastination. Some philosophers say it’s the root of deep emotional issues. Others blame it on laziness or on a character defect. Me, I chalk it up to the more plausible Farmer Procrastination Theory, the gist of it being, “Why do something now when you can put it off and a.) Go shopping for cute shoes, b) Eat some ice cream or c) Practice playing “Free Bird” on your new homemade comb harmonica.”

Yes, I know what’s going through most of your minds. Those of you with your decorations already put away are thinking, “Hey, what’s the big deal, Lady? You need more structure and discipline.” And then some of you are thinking, “Hey did she say, shoe shopping?”

And you’re both right. My friend Shirley suggested I make lists to keep me on task. But obviously she doesn’t understand that is exactly the sort of thing that causes people like me to end up where they are today.

I mean, what starts out as a simple to-do list somehow morphs into a People I Want to Invite to Dinner list. Followed by an Everything I Ate Yesterday list, which precedes the Books I Want to Read list and then finally a Questions to Ask Napoleon if I Meet Up with Him in the Afterlife list.

But getting back to my tree predicament. You’ll be glad to know that today I promised my husband I’d finally take the ornaments down. Which, of course, is merely a shorter way of saying, “I am going to clean the vertical blinds, change the furnace filter, meet my friend Katie for coffee, and wash the car.”

And then maybe, just maybe, I’ll have time left over to work on the tree.

But with my busy schedule, I doubt it.

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