We felt a twinge of sadness as we pulled down our Christmas tree and heaved it onto the rubbish heap. Up and down the street our neighbors had done the same, and the parking strip was littered with them. This year, we enjoyed it for as long as we could - just over five weeks. It kept its needles and its scent and was, indeed, "a thing of beauty...full of sweet dreams and quiet breathing." But despite Mr. Keats poetic assertions that a thing of beauty is a joy forever, even the memory of our tree will pass into nothingness and be forgotten.
What I will remember and enjoy are the days we spent together shopping leisurely because the Christmas gifts were already wrapped, eating out, eating in, watching movies, piecing together the annual jigsaw puzzle, playing the new board games with family, candlelight...and even though these good things must also come to an end, the beauty of them will last a good long while.