Holding on tight to Christmas lights

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Saddest day of the year in my house?

The day I take the Christmas tree down.

Which is why it remains, lights on, shining in the corner of my living room.

Judge me if you want, but I am just not ready to let go of the singularly comforting glow that comes from a decorated tree.

I love to sit in the darkened room, the only light coming from the flickering of whatever television show I’ve begun binging on and the twinkling white lights of the tree. This year, more than I can recall, I’ve luxuriated in the peaceful calm I feel with the tree and all the symbolism and happy memories that come with it.

January, while it brings a favorite day for me, my son’s birthday, is generally a tough month to get through. It’s cold. There’s no more college football. Commercials remind us tax season is around the corner and promote bed and bath sales instead of holiday gatherings and encore presentations of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

January is a month that tries my soul and endurance.

Thus, I cling to the comfort of wonderful holiday memories and glimmering trees. When I gain enough psychic strength, I’ll pack away the baubles and tuck the tree away.

Some years the tree is down by Jan. 1. Other years it remains until mid-January. It just depends on how much I feel the need for a little extra warmth and comfort. I managed to box up most of the other holiday finery — no more Santas on the shelves or deer on the bookshelf. But the tree ... well, I’m not ready to box up that Christmas warmth yet.

Which is why, if you’re driving about in rural Clay County in mid-June and spot an out-of-season glow in a window, you’ll know you’ve found my home.

Speaking of holiday things hanging around, it appears some of the sweets and goodies decided to make themselves at home around my hips and waistline. January around my house is the “no bread but plenty of fruit and veggies” month. Instead of truffles, I inhale smoothies filled with salad greens and flax seed. Rather than prime rib, it’s boneless, skinless chicken breast.

For a foodie like me, paying penance for my December recklessness is well worth it. I fear that “moderation” and “Christmas” just don’t compute in my wiring.

The price I pay is extra hours at the gym and this grayish purple protein drink that is pretending to be my lunch.

There are as many variations on scams as there are folks who would rather not do honest work, it seems.

The latest is a telephone call that informs folks they need to renew their “newspaper subscription.” It never says the name of the paper but asks listeners to dial “0” to get information on payment options.

Dear readers, we DO NOT have a telephone subscription renewal drive going on. Hang up on these scammers and don’t give them ANY payment information.

It appears the Grinch has stuck around for a bit this year.