lights outStars are falling, angels are being stuffed into boxes, and lights are going out. It’s the de-christmas-afying of Haverford Township.

We’re making better progress today than we predicted. What we thought would be a 3-day takedown will probably only amount to 2 broken days’ worth. We’ve gotten everything off the upstairs tree and everything that is coming off the downstairs tree is boxed up (yes, we have TWO trees. More on this ridiculousness in a bit).

Fresh needles on the tree

New needles are great for scratch-n-sniff.

Our upstairs tree is a balsam acquired on Dec. 8th at the Manoa Shopping Center Parking lot. It’s still going quite strong. It’s a shame to throw it out – it’s even spawning new needles! Replanting a cut christmas tree isn’t possible, but we may be able to get a cutting to work. Judging by the way our kids are talking about the environment and recycling, we’ll soon be one of those weird families whose uncut tree come with a root bag. I’ll have to construct a tree skirt out of old king size bed sheets. We’ll need a jackhammer to get through the frozen topsoil to plant it. Our house will be easy to spot, though. In 10 years, the lawn will look like an abandoned pine project in some remote corner of Merry Place.

My husband (who did eventually wear shoes) and I dressed as the Fragile Box and the Leg Lamp for a "Xmas Crawl" that ended up only including McGillicuddy's on Brookline.

My husband (who did eventually wear shoes) and I dressed as the Fragile Box and the Leg Lamp for a “Xmas Crawl” that ended up only including McGillicuddy’s on Brookline.

Somehow the Christmas decor is getting more pervasive as our kids are growing. This year, our 8th-grader and 2nd-grader discovered the artificial tree we used as a carefree, apartment-dwelling couple in Center City. This artificial tree is about 20 years old, so no lights, no pre-assembly. All 4 of us spent 2 days bending and shaping the wired branches and finagling them down into their slots. We wired the 8-foot metal-and-paper monster up with white mini lights and real-tree discard decorations. We’re going to take a hint from The Grinch and try to stuff the tree up (into the attic), assembled and pre-lit. This will probably not go well.

The real tree is destined for the curb. We’re lucky to live in Haverford Township, where Public Works collect and recycle xmas trees. The first pick-up will be this Wednesday, January 8th. No need to bag your tree. Just drag it out to the curb and the guys will get it. Drag it down there Tuesday night, because those clean-up elves are early risers. And don’t keep your tree for too long! Here are some words from our trusty Llanerch Fire Chief, Chris Millay:

Christmas tree fires are not as common as they once were. Not too many people are using live candles in their trees anymore and thanks to Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL), electrical lights are a lot safer today. However, there is always a chance of a fire, and when Christmas tree fires do occur, they are usually quite serious. Keeping a tree around too long after Christmas only increases your chances of fire. Get rid of the tree after Christmas or as soon as it starts to dry out. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Haverford Township offers a Christmas tree recycling program on Wednesdays for the next several weeks. Utilize it. Additionally, don’t leave your outdoor Christmas lights up too long after Christmas. Not only does it aggravate your neighbors, but when the lights and cords are exposed to the elements for an extended period of time, they begin to break down and fray, increasing your potential for electrical shock and fire hazard. Little Christmas (or to the non-Irish: The Feast of Epiphany), January 6th, is late enough in the New Year to have your decorations up. Then start concentrating on Valentine’s Day! -Christopher G. Millay, Chief Llanerch Fire Company, Haverford Township Bureau of Fire

There you have it, folks. Get ‘er down and have a great 2014!

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