Deck the living room — all year long!

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How long should you keep an artificial Christmas tree up?

That’s the annual debate in my house. I say, “Take it down as soon as the wrapping paper is wadded up and thrown in the trash. Christmas Day afternoon.” My husband insists, “We need to keep it up until at least Jan. 7,” or anytime thereafter as long as he doesn’t have to help. And Bri, well she really doesn’t care when, just as long as it is. She really doesn’t like to explain to her friends why we’re the only ones in the neighborhood with a tree up in the middle of June.

We usually compromise and disassemble it sometime around the middle of January.

This year, it’s the first week in February and the tree shows no signs of being taken down any time soon.

Under normal circumstances, pre- Bri going off to college, I would have made a fuss and a ruckus, making the whole home front a battle ground until the tree was safely tucked away and all of the Ho, Ho, Ho, neatly packed into boxes happily resting until next year.

But not this year. I have become so calm that having the tree up all this time hasn’t even registered a blip on my crazy scale. Nope. I don’t care. Not at all.

What, may you ask, has contributed to this calm, laid back, kick-off-my-shoes, I-don’t-care malaise? I can only guess at the reasons.

Maybe it’s because Bri is away at school and I’ve finally adjusted to not having her nag me to take it down. Or maybe it’s because I figured out how to use the Nook and it’s fully loaded with lots of books, so I don’t care if the house falls down around my ears, let alone if the tree is up or down.

Whatever the reason, I’m just damn happy for the calm.

Not for nuthin,™ but it’s been such a relaxing affair of having the tree up in the corner that I’m seriously considering keeping it up there and using it as a focal point, a conversation piece of sorts. An all-around tree if you will.

Just think about the possibilities, little hearts for Valentine’s Day, shamrocks and four-leaf clovers for St. Pat’s Day, flags for Memorial Day, and little firecrackers for July Fourth. What about pumpkins for Halloween? Heck, I can start a new trend — The Every Holiday Tree. It just might catch on.

Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues every Wednesday on E-mail her at

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