Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saying farewell to the Christmas season

The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis this morning held a traditional Julgransplundring celebration. Translation: the plundering of the Christmas tree. Folks sang and danced around the julgran (Christmas tree) and made party hats and traditional ornaments. After a final dance, children “plundered” the tree of its edible decorations.

We happened to be taking down our tree while that party was underway. No singing and dancing here, thank you, but by our own tradition we did have the Christmas music playing. Each year on the Saturday after January 6, Peter takes off the ornaments and I pack them away along with other decorations. He hauls the tree outside and stands it in a snowbank near the bird feeders to provide a little shelter until the snow melts and the tree falls over (it will be months yet). We sweep up a bushel of needles and push the furniture back into place. I like that we do it together.

I used to be sad about putting away the trappings of Christmas. This year I'm okay with it, and quite satisfied to see what the next weeks and months will bring. As a newly retired person. I feel a kind of freedom I haven't known in many, many years. And a couple of loving and lovable children will continue to show up every morning eager to begin a new day with Pa and me. So farewell, Christmas season, and hello again, real life. Let's see what you've got.

One last thought. I've mentioned before that every ornament we use has meaning, and each year usually brings something to symbolize a new phase or activity. The lovely handmade ornament here came as a giveaway from the talented Jeanie at The Marmelade Gypsy, so now I have a beautiful symbol of my membership in the blogging community. Thanks, Jeanie!

19 comments:

Deb Shucka said...

While the ending of the holidays is sad in a way, I love the fresh start of the new year that putting all the decorations away seems to offer. I think it's cool that you and hubby do it together.

DJan said...

Your being in the blogging community is huge for me, since I think you are a spiritual traveler in many of the ways that, for me, resonate very strongly with me. We don't put up a tree, but I get to enjoy all the goings on and comings down of my blogging friends, and it is good.

Pearl said...

That was very nice. My husband and I do the same thing but without the Christmas carols.

I had no idea of the plundering of the tree. :-) I love it.

Pearl

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

Love the idea of a "plundering of the tree" celebration. A small nearby town had its annual fruitcake toss today. Folks compete with homemade contraptions to see who can throw it the farthest. I've never gone, but the idea of it is funny.

This was the first year my husband and I took everything down ourselves -- just as it was the first time we put it all UP ourselves, with no kids pitching in. Yes, it's nice to do it together.

Love the new ornament!

Kat said...

I am in the process of taking tree, decorations, cards and wreaths down. I am slow! But we leave our tree up through the 7th of January every year.

Jeanie said...

It is fun to envision the children "plundering" the tree.
I like that you use the discarded tree as a shelter for the birds.
I also have an ornament from a blogging friend that means a lot to me as a symbol of the friendhips made through blogging.

Jeanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darlene said...

I've never heard of plundering the tree, either. Sounds like a fun way to end the season.
We don't have any end of season traditions. We just take down the tree when we have the time. I usually do it myself, because no one else is too particular about packing things up.

Jeanie said...

I'm so glad you won the ornament! Like some have said here, I, too, have ornaments from blogging friends and they are real treasures.

My tree is still up -- I'd hoped to get it down this weekend, but am planning on a trip next week and spent a good deal of time getting ready for that. I have the Santas down, though, and some of the small trees. A good friend is coming the night of the 17th, so perhaps I'll leave it till then and we can open the last of the seasonal gifts!

La Belette Rouge said...

This was the first year we ever got a fake tree and it was a gorgeous one. It was a white tree with tons of lights already in it. I loved it and today we took it down. Today was the first time I have ever felt post-tree grief. I really hated to see my tree come down. Our living room looks so blah and drab and devoid of sparkle. When I told my He-weasel about my tree grief he told me we could put it back up and put Valentine''s day ornaments in it. We didn't do it but I loved his willingness to think outside of the Christmas box.

Abraham Lincoln said...

This was a very nice post and I enjoyed reading it a lot more than some other posts. LOL I like to learn about the traditions others have and why and how they got started.

Quay Po Cooks said...

I just put away my tree 2 days ago and have the decoration for Chinese New Year up. Enjoyed reading your post. Hope you have a great year ahead of you.

Vic said...

Is it bad that taking down the tree is something I enjoy more than putting it up?

It makes the house so roomy again!

Grandmother said...

I like your new ornament, simple and lovely. I'm excited for you that you get to move on to your next phase as a retired person. May it be rich and meaningful!

Far Side of Fifty said...

What a beautiful ornament! I have never heard of the plundering of the tree..sound like fun..especially if it had goodies on it.
We do our together too..many hands makes for short work:)

grammy said...

We don't have much of any tradition about taking it down...maybe it would make it more enjoyable. I really do NOT like the job. I like your new addition to your ornaments.

Julie Magers Soulen said...

It is a little sad putting Christmas away. We are still in the process! I love the ornament from Marmelade Gypsy. Beautiful!

Cheers!
Julie
Julie Magers Soulen Photography

Clipped Wings said...

Loved reading this. I don't do Christmas trees anymore, but my decorations are still up. I love the festivity, and see no need to take them down anytime soon, lol. Long, looooong ago I did trees completely covered in edible decorations I baked and slaved over. We pretty well plundered the tree after Christmas, but the cats always beat us to it when it came to the gingerbread men. They would begin to appear legless and armless at an alarming rate of speed before Christmas day arrived.

Grandma Nina said...

I used to hate to take down the Christmas decorations and tree also, but I'm like you, now it feels good to get it all cleaned up and start new. That's so nice that you and hubby do it together. Mine has nothing to do with it.
Enjoy your Sunday.

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