There’s a rumor going ‘round that in Maine, it’s illegal to have your Christmas decorations up after January 14th, and you could be fined for doing so. I checked it out on the internet, and I found it on more than one site (there are several) dedicated to “dumb laws.” But then I saw an article from the Portland Press Herald that came out a few years back and they said it’s not really true. Frankly, I was very disappointed.
If you keep up with my blog, you know I can get a real bee in my bonnet about this issue. January’s one long, cold month here in the north country, and we need all the help we can get to keep our morale up. That may be the reason some of you are reluctant to part with ol’ St. Nick. But it’s time to move on, people! The days are getting longer. Valentine’s Day’s less than two weeks away, then St. Patty’s, then a good six weeks of mud season, then spring. It’s hard for me to visualize crocuses poking their little green heads up out of the ground if there’s a giant, half-inflated snow globe in the way.
Groundhog’s Day is the cut off for anything that smacks remotely of last December, and for good reason. I know people think the groundhog is afraid of his shadow, and that’s why, if he sees it, he scurries back down his burrow for another six weeks of winter. But that’s just an old wives tale.
The truth of the matter is, the groundhog is a responsible little bugger, and he takes his job seriously. Too seriously, perhaps. He spends months getting psyched up, telling himself, “I need to be tough this year, not overreact. These people are desperate for winter to be over, and they’re depending on me to hold the line; to venture boldly out into the world, and not turn back.”
Then the big day arrives. He pokes his head up out of the ground, and what does he see? Santa, his sleigh and eight friggin’ reindeer. And of course, it scares the bejesus out of him and he hightails it back down his burrow. Then, once he gets over the shock, the poor little fella starts beating himself up about it, thinking he got the date wrong. Bing, bang, boom, that negative self talk lands him back in therapy for another year. I sincerely hope this didn’t happen to a groundhog near you.
I’m begging you, if your decorations are still up, please take ‘em down. And encourage your neighbors to do the same. Heck, you can organize a tree and wreath-burning bonfire. Make it a community event, with a potluck and hot cocoa.
Or how about this: if it’s March, say, and your neighbors still have their stuff up, sneak over in the middle of the night, and take it down! All of it: the brown wreaths, the icicle lights, Santa. Pack it up all nice and leave it by the garage door. I’ve never done such a thing of course, but let me tell you, I’ve fantasized about it.
So, let’s give Christmas the old heave-ho ‘til next year, what do you say? After all, it’s the law! Or should be.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side.
Upcoming Book Events and Performances
February 10: Book Reading: The Sweet Life, Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library Literary Luncheon, https://bbhlibrary.org/ 11:30am, Bothbay Harbor, ME
March 9: A Visit With Ida, The Hilltop Guild, First Congregational Church, 6:00pm, South Portland, ME
March 31 & April 1: Ida’s Havin’ a Yard Sale, The Footlights Theatre, http://www.thefootlightsinfalmouth.com/, 7:30pm, Falmouth, ME
Let Me Entertain You
I love entertaining groups, small and large, and have wicked fun programs for after lunch, after dinner, rewards banquets, keynote speeches and what not. Performances are available in 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute versions.
I left your show with an overall good feeling about myself, my life, and people and life in general.
- Judy Ringer
Owner, Power & Presence Training
Author, Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict
Ida puts Tony Robbins to shame. Really, what's not to like about life lessons learned from a person that calls a mangy old fart, well, "a mangy old fart.
- Seacoast Newspapers