As much as it is a holiday tradition to decorate and put up a tree for so many, so is the ritual of taking down the decorations from the tree. I am not as fond of this ritual as I am of the decorating one.
Today, while taking the decorations off of the tree I laughed as I thought about my younger brother. For a long time, my younger brother didn't believe in the decorating, then taking down the decorations from the tree, and finally storing them again for the next year.
So one year he decided to buy a fake tree, decorate it, and at the end of the holiday season he put it in his basement storage still completely decorated. He did this for quite a few years. Every year he brought up the decorated tree and maybe added an ornament or two and took it down for storage at the end of each season.
Until then, I had never thought about keeping a tree decorated. I had always enjoyed the ritual of going through the ornaments and remembering where they came from while decorating the tree and adding new ones to the collection. But when it comes to taking down the ornaments, cleaning up the tree, and storing them again...I think maybe my brother was onto something.