Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Record

Image borrowed from Bing


I think I’ve got one for the Guinness Book of Records.
The longest Christmas celebration in the City of Seattle.
We put up the decorations on November 14.
And took them down this weekend.
That’s three months of Christmas.
We know it was time to quit
when all the needles fell off the tree.
We tried hanging tulips and daffodils
and crocus flowers on the tree, but it didn’t help.
Christmas is over, pushed aside by Spring,
inevitable Spring.
Was all that Christmas worth the effort?
Well, yes.
And the best part was having the house decorated
through the down times of January.
It was hard to stay depressed what with angels
and santy clauses and music boxes and candles
and wreaths and gold and red and green all around.
And the Christmas parties we had in early February
were a little less rushed and a lot more sane
than the ones in December.
And opening the last presents the day
we took it all down was the best of all.
Because the presents were Valentine candy
wrapped in Christmas paper.
And what ‘d I learn from this?
That you can have Christmas on your own terms
and not be victimized by how and when
the culture defines it.
That Christmas in small pieces over a longer time
is better than all at once.
That given time to celebrate and decorate
and pay attention other holidays might have some merit.
So now we’re working on the Valentine’s record -
the Festival of Love.
I wonder how long we can keep it up.
I wonder how we’ll know it’s over?
When we have the first fight in the house?
When the candy in the box is all et up?
When love dies?
I don’t know, but I’ll keep you posted.
And speaking of love,
I leave you with this realistic piece of information.
Daughter Molly advises me
she has fallen in love with a boy at school.
He asked her to be on his soccer team
and looks at her all through nap time.
And he gave her five licorice whips
and two pieces of notebook paper. Free.
She is certain.
How does it feel to be in love, says I.
A little bit sick at your stomach, says she.
The acid test.

Robert Fulghum


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