Normally, I prefer to leave the Christmas tree up until after New Year's. I tell people it is for the Feast of the Epiphany, but really it is just because I really like have the tree up.
But not enough to leave a fire hazard in the house.
When we got home from the states, the tree was seriously dry. There was water in the stand, but none of that seemed to have made it to the branches. Touch the tree, and a shower of needles fell. Touch a single branch and it was instantly bare.
So we took the tree down last night.
But everything else is looking up. We are all safe and sound under one roof. Cayenne is back to happily calling out to the cats, and Noostie is back to herding them around the house. Oscar is asserting his dominion over his new digs by resisting all attempts to keep him off of the table (and the buffet, and the bookshelves, and the radiators, and the counters...), and Pishik has discovered a nice nook in the shelves in my closet that makes for cozy sleeping (on my clothes...sigh...I should have color coordinated my pets better so that I could match clothing to fur color).
And my wife and I are back to dinner together at the table, evenings on the sofa chatting and watching tv (or surfing the web, but at least it is together) and reading in bed at night before going to sleep.
Life is good.