“Winter dawn is the color of metal, The trees stiffen into place like burnt nerves.”

Yesterday reached over 60°. It was an absolutely gorgeous day filled with warmth and sunshine. Today is no slouch either. The temperature is already 45°. I didn’t see a winter coat all morning when I went to breakfast. The nights are in the 30’s but it is, after all, winter.

The last of Christmas is disappearing as I write. The outside lights are coming down and being stored away until next year. I will miss the star most of all. It was bright and beautiful and had a tail of 5 strands of lights. It stood tall above the back gate and lit up the night. I’m thinking I might just use it this summer in the backyard.

When I was a kid, Christmas and my birthday were the two most important days of the year, even more important than the last day of school, but Christmas had the advantage as it was a season and its festivities lasted for days. We had the decorating of the house and the tree and the cookies. We had to make our lists for Santa which took hours poring over the Sears catalog before the lists could be finalized. We had favorite television programs to watch and an advent calendar for the countdown, and we had the nightly race to see who would turn on the window lights.

I don’t remember when Christmas was dismantled. I think my mother did most of it while we were in school. I know one day we left for school and the tree was there, and when we got home, it was gone. The living room was back to normal with the TV in its rightful spot.

Back then I didn’t miss Christmas after it was gone. For a kid, the anticipation is the best part and that’s before the big day. For me now, it’s the decorations and the lights and the gingerbread houses we decorate. It’s getting together with friends.

I feel a bit of melancholy, a sense of loss when everything is gone. Winter now holds sway and the nights are dark and far less friendly.

Explore posts in the same categories: Musings

Tags: , , , ,

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 Comments on ““Winter dawn is the color of metal, The trees stiffen into place like burnt nerves.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat, Life is cyclical and temporary. If Christmas came every day of the year or lasted all 365 days it would lose its importance and its fun. “Oh, it’s June the 5th and it’s another Christmas morning, Ho Hum.” Or “It’s February the first and we need to replace the Christmas tree again. We only have to buy six more trees to make it until November”.

    My wife’s family celebrated half birthdays when she was a kid. I guess they received a half present to commemorate having survived six months. In our family your birthday was an important day. Why was it important? Because you got presents. The cake and candles were always secondary. Why is Christmas important to kids? It’s the presents of course. If we didn’t have Christmas we would have to invent something to close out the year and boost the economy. Years ago I worked in a retail jewelry store. If we had a bad Christmas season, there was nothing we could do for the next 12 months to make up for the loss. Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any other day could not generate the sales and profits that occur between Thanksgiving and New Years. All of our Christmas merchandise was shipped in October for the holiday season and we didn’t have to pay for any of the goods until January the following year. The manufacturers deferred their money to the distributers who deferred to the retailers so that the merchandise was available to purchase. The entire economy depends on Christmas. That’s why it’s an important holiday. Bad holiday season and the entire economy is in the toilet. That’s why the religious aspect of it or Chanukah is relegated to a minor role.

    NPR ran a story last month about how retailers in Italy are suffering because the Italian people were not buying presents for the holiday. It’s the result of Italy, Greece and Spain trying to have Christmas all year round, while their Northern European brothers worked the other eleven months. When the last person leaves Greece I hope they remember to turn out the lights.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I don’t want Christmas every day as I want it to be special, but I do wish I could keep the trappings just a bit longer, especially the lights.

      I think birthdays are the most special.They aren’t shared, and the birthday person is the only one in the spotlight. You get to choose your cake and your special dinner. Presents are just a small part of it-it’s the whole day which I have always loved.

      I think your working in retail has given you a different perspective on Christmas. We loved every part of it, presents, of course, but the whole season was the best of fun. We could hardly wait until my father brought the tree home, and we could decorate it. Many nights I’d lie on my stomach on the rug right by the tree and read by its lights. I’d get that wonderful aroma while I was there. The cookies were great fun to decorate. I loved the surprises on Christmas morning but it was all of Christmas, not just the presents that we loved.

  2. olof1 Says:

    It’s around 32 here and has been all day. There’s a gentle snowfall outside but I doubt it will give any bigger amount of that white garbage. I hope not since I’m back to reality tomorrow after two weeks of vacation 🙂

    I’ll keep the lights in the lilacs outside for at least till the end of February. Even though I hated to put them up I do like the light they give. It’s tradition to keep the christmas tree till 20 days after christmas. That day children “rob” the tree from all its candy (if there were no candy in it from the beginning there will be that day. It’s a nice tradition I think 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      Right now it’s still 42°. The sunset was beautiful with lots of red.

      Nothing is worse than the end of vacation. I always hated going back to work and waking up at 5 in the cold, darkness.

      I love the idea of leaving the lights so much longer. I’ll have to remember for next year. Your lights looked great!

      Is the candy tree outside?

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    I got screwed out of birthdays being born on the 27th December. Either one gift for both days or nothing but a cake after dinner. Never a school event like most kids. You guys owe me. Anyway, my Mom tried her best to have birthday parties but it was the wrong time of the year to add that to my friends parents’ schedule. I do remember helping my parents take the tree down once the needles were a foot deep on the floor. Maybe it was April, I forget. Dad would always chop it and use the remains in the fireplace which gave us more of a pine odor throughout the house which we loved. Our fireplace here in Florida has been used two times in 11 years.

    • Kat Says:

      I’m going out tonight, but I was just thinking about a fire. Now that the tree is gone I can use the fireplace. Nothing is better than the smell of a wood fire.

      The Yule log was supposed to be saved for one year to be used the next, but pine is so bad for the chimney we never did use it.

      That pine aroma is one of my favorite smells.

  4. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hey Kat!

    Zoey- – I feel your pain. I was born on December 26th. We are so screwed.

    I was online one night and found a thread somewhere about being born near a major holiday. With rare exception, those born around Xmas HATED it. Most said their parents tried their best, but many times the natal day was blown aside in the rush to Santa. I felt so much better after I read it – – because it validated my feelings.

    And Kat – – I never understood why we take down the lights of Christmas so early. Think about it – – it’s cold and gray, and the lights brighten things up so much! We should at least leave the lights up until March. Ya think?

    Waving from Jersey – –


    • Kat Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I always felt sorry for friends born around Christmas. One of my friend’s mothers celebrated her birthday at the half way mark so there could be a separate celebration.

      I think it is too late now, but next year I’m leaving them up at least until Valentine’s Day. Outside my house is so dark I hate it. Actually, the whole street is as dark. I want the lights and the color back!

  5. john Says:

    Our tree came down today…. mostly in order to get our living room back. We’re in a 32′ x 30′ 4 room shitbox with little enough room to move without having a 5′ diameter tree in the living room. Much as we love it, it has to go ’til next year.
    On Saturday we picked up our 11th tree so far this year and took it to one of the recycling centers in our parks. We’ll be going out again later in the week and scrounging around for more. In a few weeks we’ll be going back to pick up a few truckloads of nice pine mulch to put under the evergreens and in the fern bed so, by the smell of the needles, we’ll have Christmas ’til June!

    Kat,,, think about poor Baby Jesus. Having his birthday so close to Hanukkah, and all.

    • Kat Says:

      You’re right-I never gave poor Baby Jesus and his dilemma any thought.

      My tree will go to the dump then be used at the beaches to hold sand from the wind. I’m thinking pine ,ulch would be great in my backyard which is wild. It is the dog’s territory and the only upkeep for me is having it cleaned each spring and fall: the fallen branches go, a dead tree or two and the giant ferns are cut down. There used to be poison ivy back there, but it’s gone now. Pine mulch would be nice. Ypu’re right about the smell.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: