Time to take down the decorations

Taking down the Christmas tree seems to get more involved each year, so my wife and I end up leaving it up longer and longer. There are so many different delicate ornaments that require special packaging before they can be put away, so it’s never as much fun taking it down as it was putting it up.

We take our time putting up the tree, so we make sure we enjoy ourselves. We put on a movie and rediscover all the funky ornaments we’ve collected over the years as we unwrap them. Then we decide on the optimal place for each ornament — the best ones need maximum visibility but can’t be too low or one of our dogs could knock it off. We reminisce about when or where we bought some of the ornaments and marvel at how long we’ve been together. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

When it comes to taking down the tree, we both want to get it done as quickly as possible. Plus there’s always a good reason to leave it up a little longer — one of our friends didn’t get a chance to see it, we’re tired from walking the dogs or there’s a really good show on television tonight.

Still, we both know it’s time. There were several formerly live trees on the curb last week for trash pickup, and we’ve already taken down all the outside Christmas decorations. However, that’s because the lights along the roof are much easier to unhook and the yard decorations just need to be pulled up.

Plus, I’m sensitive to leaving them up too long because I’ve done more than my share of ridiculing people and cities who leave their decorations up too long. I worked at a newspaper in a small town that left up its Christmas decorations in the city park until late February. I would drive by this every day and be amazed they were still up. I started telling people I was going to write a column for the newspaper, pointing out for posterity that the city still hadn’t taken down its decorations if they were up on March 1.

They beat my deadline by a few days, which is probably good because city staff members probably wouldn’t have wanted to talk to me after I made fun of them in the newspaper.

Maybe I just need to threaten to make fun of myself if our tree is up much longer. I just need a better deadline than March 1.

Happy birthday Tuesday to Les Wines and Cody Ramon Lyons, both of Denison; Luann Yoast, Casey McKinney Sr., Joan Goss, Sarah Prevatt, Thelma Belcher and Donna Phea, all of Sherman; Ronald Wilson of Allen; Dalonna Braxton of Dallas; Rochell Woods of Missouri; Gladys Nelson Nichols of Howe; Columbus Nelson Jr. of Oakland, Calif.

Happy anniversary Tuesday to Benny and Louise Elk of Denison, 64 years; Robert and Jhordis Lewis of Sherman.