A lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth happened earlier today as we dismantled the decorations and packed up the Christmas trees…two out of three of them, at least. The pink one gets to stay. It became our shrine to all things girly during a season of more dramatic colors after my young daughters begged me to buy it for them when they saw it on the shelf among all the garlands at Target. I admit, I was just as thrilled to bring it home as they were. It’s a dinky, little, sparkly statement piece that begs for attention, so we doted on it like a princess. Being a mere two feet tall, she traveled well, migrating between two bedrooms, mine and the girls’. Wherever we were hanging out, we brought her along and found a way to help her fit in.
Today, we dressed her up in heart-shaped ornaments and tucked her into the corner of our dining room, insisting that she should stay awhile as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner now, and the occasion wouldn’t be complete without a festive Christmas tree in disguise. Letting go of Christmas is never an easy accomplishment, especially in this household, but we managed today to make the best of it by convincing ourselves that our little, pink princess still belonged.
The whole situation reminds me of the editing process. You know the one precious scene that you doted on for weeks…the one that you adorned with fancy words and kept close to your heart as you tried to fit it in somewhere because it was just too cute to delete…yeah, that one. But, no matter how much you want it around, everyone else wants you to get rid of it because it just doesn’t belong in the story anymore. Only you just can’t quite give it up yet, so you cram it in the corner of a polished chapter and change it up a bit, hoping no one will mind.
I am in the process of adjusting my manuscript to suit the word count requirements of a few publishing houses and collaborating on which sparkly, little princesses get packed up and put away. It’s a painful process with plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth, just like earlier today. Letting go of something we adore is never easy, but just like the other two Christmas trees, the edited material may find its way back into another season of writing someday. For now, though, I will keep editing as needed by the light of our little, sparkly, pink tree, at least a little while longer before I finally put her in a box in the garage once and for all. (Then, of course, I’ll unpack the gumdrop tree, as soon as Easter rolls around.)