I never thought I’d be one of those people. You know, the ones who leave their outdoor Christmas decorations up all year round so that when you drive by you wonder with a shudder what it looks like on the inside: Are there elves on all the shelves? Is an avalanche of Saint Nicks standing in perpetual jollity around every corner? Do tinderbox trees bowed with dusty ornaments dominate each room?
But this year, I am chagrined to say, I have joined their ranks. My Christmas wreath still hangs on my front door, and festive candy canes, packages, and snowmen continue to cling to the sliding-glass back door. This deplorable state of affairs is not entirely my fault, but the result of several unforeseen circumstances colliding with a couple of Connecticut quirks.
First, Connecticut has an unofficially official wreath removal date of Valentine’s Day, when Cupid shoots arrows not of love but of intense cabin fever, which turns our thoughts toward spring with every tiny thaw. But this year the thaws never came. The chill of February turned into the frost of March, which became the pall of April. Heck, the trees never even sprouted leaves until the third week of May!
Second, no one in Connecticut uses their front door for anything but welcoming trick-or-treaters and—from late November to December 24—as a package drop. Even this last use is fading into oblivion as delivery people no longer have time for the long sprint from the driveway to the front door. Now, they carefully lean the package up against the garage door, where you are sure to…run over it when you back out of the garage. Seems a bit passive aggressive, no?
Since I’ve been preoccupied with other things lately, February then March then April came and went without my ever giving the front door a second thought. In fact, it was only a week or two ago that I walked through the foyer and saw a shadow darkening the frosted windows of our door. With a start of embarrassment, I realized this foreboding shape was not a salesman, a tract-carrying religious caller, a political canvasser, or even a cookie-selling girl scout, but my own bedraggled wreath.
Quickly, I swung the door opened and lifted my hand to unhook it. When I did, though, I brushed aside the still vibrant red bow and discovered:
So the wreath stays—even though it’s so brittle it might spontaneously burst into flame and its piney aroma is as concentrated as a room air freshener—until these little guys are out of the nest and on their own.
What about the clings on the back door?
If the door does not sport these Jello-like decorations, the starlings, preening and swooping through the air, knock themselves silly flying into what they perceive to be a safe haven or receptive friends—not unlike Kanye West imploding at the Grammy/Billboard Music/MTV Video Music/American Music Awards….This year, though, I missed buying the spring clings, so the holiday ones stay in place until the summer ones appear in the stores.
Maybe I have been neglectful this year, but to all those who judge, I say, “Bah Humbug!”