There is a fast held, unintentional tradition at our home: I will forget garbage day before Christmas. I'm not sure why this tradition persists. After the first few years you'd think I would make a more concerted effort to NOT forget. Yet, every year you can find me hitting my forehead with my palm as I see the line of now empty garbage cans lining my street.
The worst part of this tradition is that I am too cheap/lazy/determined to see it through to take the excess garbage to the dump myself. I choose the much less fun option of extra stuffing my garbage can every week until all the garbage is gone. During most of the year this can be accomplished by the next week (as long as I don't decide to clean out my fridge/basement/closets that week, I'm sure I'm too smart to accidentally do that more than a few dozen times).
But Christmas provides enough trash for a week all by itself. In fact I have more garbage the entire month of December. Add to that the missed week (or two) leading up to Christmas and there is a lot of build up. One year, I forgot two weeks before and one week after Christmas. Yes, I do hold to this tradition that strongly. I spent three months compressing sacks and filling my can overflowed. If you don't believe me, ask my neighbor who had to notice the sacks of extra garbage piled on my back porch. I really am that cheap/lazy/determined to see it through. (I do make sure the garbage waiting to go has the paper, packaging remnants, empty food boxes, and other nonrotting type things in it.)
This year I was determined to break with tradition. Until two Mondays before Christmas. As I drove through my neighborhood on the way home from running errands, I couldn't help but notice the blue garbage cans sitting along the curb. In front of all driveways but one. Palm, meet forehead. How did I not notice the cans on my way OUT of the neighborhood? I must have a strongly developed BLIND spot for tradition.
I went out to the garage for some forgotten reason early the Monday before Christmas. While frowning slightly at the unsightly pile waiting its turn from last week I realized the day. ACK! I almost forgot again. It had snowed all weekend so I ran into the house grabbed my boots and coat and ran the garbage can over the icepacked driveway entrance and out onto the street.
Then the week after Christmas, Monday morning again, my mother-in-law was kind enough to remind me of the big day. Of course, I don't know what led her to believe I'd forgotten. Hmmm. Anyway, she saved the day and my forehead from another slap.
So now I sit exactly where I am every January, with a pile of garbage sacks waiting their turn to enter the garbage bin. With all the extra company and accompanying trash, I should be trash free by at least February. As long as I don't forget garbage day again. I mean, who would be silly enough to forget garbage day on a regular basis?
Once a month isn't regular, is it? In fact, while writing this post I realized this isn't so much a Christmas tradition as a monthly tradition in my house. Christmas just makes forgetting garbage day A LOT more annoying. I hold that it is Peter's job to take out the garbage, even though I am the one who has always done it. "Always" not being the most accurate term in this case. But if I can pretend it is his job, then I can pretend it is his fault, right?