The Desecration of the Greens and Other Such Nonsense


“It’s the ‘desecration of the greens!'” I complained to my coworker Connie the other day. Proud of my feat of wordplay, I disappeared into our office break room before emerging again with more post-Christmas fodder: “It’s the ‘abomination of advent.'” Thud. Not so clever. So much for wordplay!

I was describing the “undecorating” of our church building this week. Traditionally the act of putting up Christmas decorations is referred to as the “Hanging of the Greens.” There’s nothing of which I’m aware to describe the unhanging (de-hanging?) of those same greens. So why not call it how I see it? Desecration. Oh, I know it’s nothing lower in stature than a proverbial lowering of the flag until the next year but seeing Christmas decorations disappear always puts me in a funk. There’s so much beauty in the season that the rest of the year cannot match. Does March delight in garland and July in bows? Does September take pride in its tinsel and string? I think not!

I’ll miss Christmas. I feel like I hardly got to know it.

Now the world’s attention turns to Valentine’s Day, a day without meaning for me, and then St Patrick’s day. The greens come back for that one, I suppose, though in a strange frothy form. Then it’s Easter eggs and then beach balls; red, white and blue, and then back to school. Tombstones and scarecrows haunt the autumn and then, after a most unwelcome slumber, wrought iron fences are once again adorned in garland and bows. And the world is beautiful again.

There are many amazing and wonderful things about Christmas, and at the fore of my mind this time is the beauty. Can you tell?

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and hello plain, boring walls. Maybe I’ll find a picture somewhere to hang. Such a shame.

— John

4 thoughts on “The Desecration of the Greens and Other Such Nonsense

  1. John, I love your phrase about Christmas: “I feel like I hardly got to know it.” That perfectly encapsulates how I feel each Christmas season.

  2. Is that my mom’s mantle in the picture? It’s a beautiful shot of the mantle.

    Re: the unhanging. That’s why I decorate with all my snow people in January and February. They replace the Christmas decor and add sparkle and interest during the dull winter months. Come over and take pictures of my snow scenes. 🙂

    • Sure is. I really paid attention to her mantle set-up this year. It was a very traditional Acadian style, much like what I saw in Vermillionville a few years back.

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