Although I am Puerto Rican, I personally have yet to truly celebrate Three King’s day; which is the last of the 12 days of Christmas. For some, Three Kings Day, or Epiphany, is one of the most important holidays on the Puerto Rican calendar. As it is, many Puerto Ricans, tend to keep celebrating Christmas until the end of January. That is quite a festive feat. I don’t think I have it in me to be so festive for so long. At some point, the merryness must subside. Of course, if I could have Puero Rican eggnog that whole time, I am sure I can maintain some level of merriment.
Despite my slight curmudgeon nature, I do tend to keep my Christmas tree up until the end of January. Last year, I might have even kept it going till March.One of the reasons that I keep the tree up for so long is that I am lazy. There, I admitted it. It takes some effort to take it down and coordinate its disposal and/or storage. However, the other reason I keep it going for so long is that I love looking at it. I like seeing pine within the house. If I could have, I would have lived in a forest. Although, I am a city girl and like have the subway and 24 hour convenience stores nearby. Oh, my conundrum. If you thought that because it is a new year, I would not continue to veer into my digressions, you were wrong I may very well go completely rogue and digress on every sentence. But if I were to do so, would that be a digression? No, it most certainly would not be.
Back to the tree. I am not taking down my Christmas tree today. Nor will I take it down anytime this week. As a kid, we didn’t have much money. Thus, we never really had a full blown Christmas Tree when I was young. I would watch Christmas television specials with quite a longing. I always wanted a big, big tree. Luckily, in New York City we had a shared huge tree at Rockefeller plaza. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. It still is. One year, when I was young we got one of those small fake Christmas trees that can fit on a desk. I was so happy. Nowadays I have those small ones for my office. I am not too sure when I should take that one down. Most assuredly, it will not be this week. But what is the office ettiquette around Christmas trees? I have never considered that question till now.
Anyway, back to my tree at home. One of the best parts of the tree (besides the green pines) are the decorations. I like to go to the stores post-Christmas and get new, marked-down ornaments for the next year. I love wacky ornaments. I am not a traditionalist. I still have the traditional ornaments, for sure, as my son appreciates those. However, I like wacky ornaments that remind me of a year or of someone in particular. For some reason, well actually a sentimental reason, the flamingo and duck ornaments on my tree remind me of my mother. She loved flamingos, birds and the like.
After she died, I took some of her ashes down to Austin where she had always dreamt of going to. As I spread her ashes in a local park, the birds came yelling at me. They were adorable and scary. It made sense that they would come by. They provided my mom with an audience as her ashes went down the stream. I was touched by their presence. It may stream, kooky or a stretch but I keep those birds on my tree for her. And I keep the tree around for a while to honor her. I will probably keep it past the date of her death in early February. Sadly, I also lost my awesome dog a few Januarys back.
I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer. Its a happy day. A new year. The tree just helps me keep a slightly festive outlook for a little bit longer as the first month of the year now tends to remind me of the mom and awesome dog that I lost in this early part of a new year.
Joy to the kooky ornaments.