I have been cited for a serious social infraction. This time it is not a moving violation ticketed by a local police officer or a state trooper. (Thank goodness! I have enough of those!)
This time I was sitting at a community meal in the basement of the church when I was informed of my offense. Two local members of the “wreath police” informed me that I still had a Christmas wreath hanging on our front door.
Apparently it is a serious faux pas in this community to have Christmas decorations visible beyond the first day of spring. It should have been removed by Valentines Day, I was told. Ash Wednesday would have been acceptable. But the vernal equinox is absolutely the latest permissible date for yuletide hangings.
People keep track of such things around here. They noted there are still eighteen offenders in our small community. I am one of them. My offence is particularly offensive because my home is in the center of the village for all to see. Furthermore as the local church pastor I am expected to set an example.
I pleaded for mercy. I told them that I had not been able to reach my front door since I purchased the house in January. There are still feet of snow and ice blocking my front door, prohibiting access.
I explained that it is not even my wreath. The previous owners left it on the door. I didn’t even want it! They should have taken it with them. If anybody should be blamed, it should be them. I told them that I had the former owners’ new address in Vermont if they needed it.
Nope. It is my responsibility now. Local social mores clearly state that the present owner is the responsible party for all decorative infractions.
Well it is April now, and we just got a few more inches of snow. I don’t think I will be digging out the front steps anytime soon. There is a good chance that the wreath may still be hanging there on Easter Sunday. I am wondering if the severity of the offense increases when the violation extends beyond the next Christian holy day.
But I have an idea. I am thinking of calling it an Easter Wreath. I’ll stick a few Easter lilies in it and start a new tradition. I am sure that Easter decorations are acceptable at least until Memorial Day. By then the snow ought to be melted enough to take it down. If not, I will just call it my Fourth of July Wreath. Anyone have any little American flags?