It’s time to undeck the halls
It seems trivial to write about anything silly after the recent news of the horrific tsunami. As we all know by now, the earthquake and resulting storms that pounded a major part of the world last week, have resulted in the loss of more than 150,000 lives at last count.I mean, how callous can we be to joke around and laugh when so many people have died, leaving those left behind in utter despair? Welcome to one of the ironies of life. I have a friend who’s a lifelong firefighter and EMT. He said the way those in his profession get through the horror, many times, is to joke around. It isn’t because they didn’t care – they do; that’s why they made helping others their life’s work. It’s just that to get through their jobs, they have to counter the tragedies they face every day with a kind of sick and twisted levity. Another friend I call Dr. Paul is an emergency room doctor in California. Every single day, he confronts stuff we can only imagine. He still manages to have a wonderful sense of humor and a great laugh, though there’s a constant sadness in his eyes that never quite goes away. I feel that kind of sadness when news of soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq comes our way, and of innocent people there dying as well. Yes, I know our soldiers volunteered to serve our country, but it doesn’t take away that someone’s son and friend – and, often times, someone’s father and husband – is gone. So when deciding what to write in this week’s column, I was torn. I had a funny premise – taking down all the Merry-Christmas-Happy-Holidays decorations – but it seemed too shallow to focus in on that when so many people are hurting. Then I thought about it again. In a way, writing about something goofy can be a sort of tribute in a way to that sadness. Maybe by pointing out some of the absurdities of post-holiday chores can make a few readers smile a little. So here we go. I don’t know what it is, but once the holidays are over, I cannot wait to get all those red-and-green decorations down and out of my life. Just this past Sunday, I took down all the Santa decals I put up on our windows a few weeks ago. Down came the lights we draped around the old skis above our fireplace, and along with them, the stockings hung with care. I didn’t even have to bother taking down the outside decorations. Santa Head flew clean off his wooden post during a wicked wind storm last week, landing unscathed in a large pile of horse doo. And our eight-foot Grinch made it through Christmas only to unceremoniously hit the dirt a couple days before New Year’s. Our Christmas bush (we could never really call it a tree; it was more like a short, fat green piece of vegetation I got from the Boy Scouts) didn’t take much time to un-decorate.And I cruised around the house, meticulously searching out any errant Santa hat or jingle bell that might be left.Having holiday decorations up past the holidays just bums me out. It always has. I remember I had a friend when I was growing up whose family didn’t adhere to this philosophy. I can remember going over to her house during the summer, and on her front door would be a brown, dried-up Christmas wreath. It drove me crazy! Mad! Looney tunes!I don’t know if there’s a name for this obsession: post-holiday-decoration-itis? But it’s real. And as much as I like the warm-and-fuzzy feeling the holidays brings on, once the date turns to Jan. 2, I’m over it. Happy 2005!Carrie Click is the editor of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle. Don’t be alarmed if you see her un-decorating your front yard. Don’t worry: she won’t steal any decorations – she’s just helping you move on. Carrie can be reached at 625-5088, firstname.lastname@example.org
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