Thursday, January 05, 2017

Healing a Broken Nation

We are a nation divided. Your actions, over the next couple of weeks, may help to bring us together or serve to drive us even farther apart. And this is no time for straddling fences; those who haven’t already chosen a side must do so.

Is your Christmas tree still up or have you already taken it down?

(To those who say, “Sully, I didn’t even put up a tree!”, you are denying the very premise of my column and are therefore beneath contempt. Go read Charles Krauthammer and trouble us no more with your frivolous thoughts about such trivialities as economics and possible world wars.)

 Charles Krauthammer, who probably thinks I'm silly (if, indeed, he thinks of me at all.)
 Of course, with a name that conjures visions of a tool for pounding cabbage,
 he has his nerve thinking I'm silly.

As you read this - unless you’re woefully behind on your reading - our tree is still up. Some find this bizarre since they take down their trees as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the 25th. My wife and I, on the other hand, find those who deny themselves the enjoyment of the latter end of Christmas akin to the sorts of people who have soup, salad and an entrĂ©e, but then skip dessert.

As you know - if you’ve seen me blather about it on these pages just about every November - I hate it when Christmas encroaches on Thanksgiving. Those who put up their Christmas trees before Turkey Day – or, God help us, before Veterans Day – are enemies of the state (that state being my continued enjoyment of the world as it was in 1965 or so.) And I suppose it’s only right that I answer those who opine (Get it? Opine? It’s a tree pun! Sometimes I kill myself…) that leaving up our Christmas tree for so long after Christmas is just as hideous (but not quite as hideous as this sentence.)

OK. Being as judgmental as I am, I’ll do what other judges do and cite precedent. The day of Christmas has long been held to NOT be the only day of Christmas. In the case of Partridge vs. Pear Tree, it was firmly established that there are, in fact, 12 days of Christmas. So there.

All seriousness aside, Christmas runs from December 25 to January 5. Then there is January 6, which is also known as “Little Christmas” and, after tomorrow, we'll be beyond even that. So now my case is falling apart faster than David Price did in the American League playoffs. I don’t care, though, because I’ve reached 425 words and only have 75 to go before I can knock off for the day.

So, in conclusion, let me state that Christmas trees are beautiful things and should not be tossed aside like garbage or the 114th Congress, if I’m not repeating myself. Furthermore, I find it extremely disheartening that so many people started reading about Charles Krauthammer six paragraphs ago and are no longer paying any attention to me jabbering on about nothing. Therefore, whether your tree is up, down, or non-existent, I suggest you have a jelly donut and try to forget I wasted these last few minutes of your life. I know I will.

Soon, with more better stuff.

P. S. For some time now, I've been trying to figure out whether I've "made it" or not, insofar as writing goes. Being published in a number of different places is good, and I appreciate that success, but I believe when I someday see a link to a Wikipedia article about me, in somebody else's lunatic ravings - a la Charles Krauthammer above - that's when I'll know.


Craig said...

Just as much as I've been a big fan of Advent, I've also been a big fan of The Twelve Days, which puts me a bit out of sync with the culture-at-large (which, knowing me as you do, you also know that said out-of-sync-ness bothers me not a whit) (it also means that I'd better hop to and take our tree down before it's too late). . .

Altho, I'm told (e.g., here that it's, uh, more complicated than that. . .

joeh said...

As you say, decorations should not come down until Little Christmas!

Hilary said...

There are 573 people here who think you've made it long before you branched out publication-wise, and who are also very happy for your success.

My tree came down just today. I still need to de-wax and put away the menorah though.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

I refuse to answer any queries regarding my tree without the presence of my attorney.
That said we, MNBF and I shall be celebrating Little Christmas together tomorrow.

Jackie said...

Hilary said it perfectly.
You've arrived, and we 573 people already know that.
Charles Krauthammer is brilliant. He joins 574 others of us who are, also.
Enjoy your festivities.

OldAFSarge said...

Hhmm, my Little Christmas (aka Epiphany) post is about Christmas trees.

Krauthammer, heh, tool for pounding cabbage, double heh.

Your stuff is always worth reading, even when, no especially when, it wanders about the landscape like a lost wolverine.

I take no responsibility for the content of this comment. Even though I wrote it.

Ami said...

No tree at our house this year.
On occasions in the past I've taken it all down and had it put away about 2 minutes after Christmas.

I've also left it up until February 1st.

Artificial trees stay up and don't cause the worry of a dead one.

messymimi said...

Christmas decor isn't finished until the 24th, and stays up through Little Christmas. Then we get to start eating those delightful NOLA area king cakes to celebrate until Mardi Gras. There's always a reason for a party!

It' said...

Funny how your family traditions ~ you know, the ones that don't have any true traditional history ~ stick with you after you have your own family & house. My Mom nearly always put up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it was gone ~ if not the day after Christmas ~ within the week. So this is what I normally did. We never thought of waiting until a few days before the holiday to put up the tree, and then leave it up until Jan 6th. And although those traditions are actually steeped in tradition, I don't think I'll be changing things up by doing it this December, it is interesting. We took our tree down, along with all the decor on Jan 1. With relief.

Shoshanah Lee Marohn said...

I feel a bit left out. We always have a tree. We have a Norfolk Pine that almost reaches our ceiling, up all of the time. We briefly put ornaments on it over Christmas, then take them down January second, because I don't think she likes them. She likes her limbs free. No lights wrapped around them. We still have a light up four foot tall teddy bear in a suit in the kitchen, though. Does that count for anything?

Suldog said...

Shoshanah - Anyone with a four-foot tall light-up teddy bear in a suit in their kitchen is OK by me.

Absolut Ruiness said...

I'm so glad about the fact that you are able to kill yourself only sometimes.

Daryl said...

late to this party but loving you none the less