My Opinion: The Red, The White, The Blue…The Green

I am writing this on April 3 — for your reading pleasure in the month of May — and a merry, merry one it is indeed, at least at our house. Even though this was written a month in advance (which, by the way, is actually late), there has been absolutely nothing to indicate that anything will have changed in any meaningful way during the ensuing weeks so I am just gonna go out on a very dry, brittle limb here and tell you:


Yes, you inferred with absolute astute correctness that it is/was a LIVE tree — back in NOVEMBER, when we brought it home to bring Christmas Cheer into our already-pretty-cheerful home. We didn’t put any of my 8 billion glass ornaments on the tree, on account of The Cutest Boy in the World (TCBITW) had, at that time, just expanded our fur family by one, when he fetched the ineffable Peaches, a Lab-Coonhound mix, puppy home from ARF of Mississippi, and we felt fairly comfortable in the assumption that what she didn’t eat off the tree, she would definitely wag off the tree. We did go so far as to put a fair number of lights on it, however.

The “Lights Issue” does bear a bit of discussion here. First of all, there is no “we” in the lighting of the Christmas tree; there is only him, the Cutest Boy in the World, who, every year, despite my vociferous protestations to the contrary, insists not only on what I believe to be an EXCESSIVE number of lights (the neighborhood experiences “brown out” whenever we flip it on) but he turns the process into a 40-hour work week, laboriously wrapping EACH LIMB of the tree with multiple strands of lights. The first few Christmases of our marriage, I secretly hoped he would electrocute himself so I could just stash the body and put some ornaments on the tree BEFORE EASTER.

For assorted — all very plausible — reasons, we just never qui-i-i-te got around to removing the tree in anything like a timely fashion and TCBITW just sorta fell into a groove with it. He still enjoys turning on the lights in the early morning darkness, and if it’s a rainy day, they may well burn all the way through the day, into dusk and darkness.

“Timely” came and went some months ago and then, well, Parade Season was upon us come the end of January, and there simply was NO time to fool with it. I sent an e-mail to all our expected houseguests for Zippity Doo Dah Weekend forewarning them about the depth of the pollen and/or dog hair they could expect to encounter in and about the house and informing them that they should not be surprised to see a fully-lit Christmas tree still ensconced in the back bay window.

Our friends Katie, Allen and Jeffrey stayed over for a few days post-Parade and since it was Passover, we had a lovely Seder ceremony and dinner for Jeffrey. The photos of the evening show us holding the Seder plate … with the aforementioned fully-lit Christmas tree in the background.

I’m thinking, at this point, let’s shoot for the Fourth of July, leaving only the red, white and blue lights burning. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Jill Conner Browne is a multiple #1 New York Times® Best Seller.

Her latest book FAT IS THE NEW 30: The Sweet Potato Queens’ Guide to Coping With (the crappy parts of) Life was recently published by Amazon. She is featured regularly in national and international magazines and television shows. You can learn more about “Her Royal Highness” at

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