Norman Knight: Calendars and Christmas trees

At the beginning of the week, Becky and I usually coordinate our separate upcoming plans.

“N—Dentist, Wed. 9:00.” Check.

“B—Optometrist, Tuesday, 5:30.” Check.

“N—Podiatrist, Thursday, 11:30.” Check.

“N&B—P/T sessions, Monday 9:00/10:00.” Check.

Then we cover other dates: “Girls Brunch in Franklin;” “Adelaide birthday;” “Choir practice Wednesday 5:00.” Check. Check. Check.

A couple of observations here.

One: I realize my little paper calendar ranks right up there with my driver’s license and health card as vital documents necessary to my daily life.

Two: It sure seems like there are more medical-related calendar entries than there used to be.

In addition, we both are list makers. Mine are rather haphazard. I scribble on a used envelope some grocery needs, a hardware replacement item and a trip to the recycling center.

The lists that Becky daily compiles, however, are much more fine-tuned and detailed. Her Monday list would contain both things she hopes to accomplish that particular day and things she knows she will accomplish.

Some of her list items involve me. For example, I notice she has drawn on today’s list a little evergreen tree. Turns out she thinks maybe it is time we take down our Christmas tree. Sigh. I suppose she’s right. It is February, after all.

We leave our little silver artificial tree with all its lights and decorations standing in the loft long after the holidays are over. This has been our tradition for many years.

Every dark January morning one of us walks out of the bedroom and switches on the lights on our way down the stairs. If it is a particularly dreary day the lights might stay on until we go to bed that night, but usually they go dark by late morning. The lights are always a cheerful comfort for us and they were especially welcome during those brutal gray days of these past few weeks.

Some people have suggested we replace the Christmas ornaments with hearts or do something with a red motif. I don’t think that is a bad idea even if it would mean actually going out and shopping for small Valentine objects that would work. To carry the idea another step, in March we could find some green shamrocks and little pots of gold and have the shiny silver tree all the way through St. Patrick’s Day. The strings of lights on the tree are white so both festive looks would work with the red or green ornaments.

So that would take us nearly to April. Hmm. Hanging little IRS tax forms just doesn’t seem that festive to me. However, if we consider that Easter Sunday is March 31 this year, some colored eggs and bunny rabbits would be a secular way we could trim the tree through April. I don’t think I am being irreligious here, at least no more irreligious than hanging Mickey Mouse Christmas decorations on trees in December.

Anyway, this could take us to May which would be Indiana easy with black and white checkered flags and perhaps some toy race cars hanging on hooks.

By June and July, daylight is ascendant and indoor lighted trees seem redundant. Still, both months have plenty of holidays and celebrations to choose from should we decide to continue. I suppose if one of us felt some need to see how long and far we could carry this concept, one could come up with decorations for the remaining months of the year. (As I am thinking right now, August might be a bit of a challenge.)

Eventually, we would circle back around to Christmas and we would no longer need to worry; the shiny lighted silver tree is already up. Then, after Christmas, we could put off deciding until maybe the end of January or the beginning of February.

Norman Knight, a retired Clark-Pleasant Middle School teacher, writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected].