He won’t let me take it down. He so loves this tree. He thinks it is the most beautiful tree ever. He says he still is discovering new things I added to it that, in the hubbub of the Holiday, he missed. Frankly, I find this very adorable. I love that he is so romantic. I’ll change my mind when the needles start to fall off, though.

I am finally feeling slightly normal again. I love Christmas, but it is also stressful…being sure everyone’s okay, happy, presents, feeling like I never quite get it right. But now it’s the new year and I am breathing deeply again.AND, getting back to writing. I have 4 months. Yikes.

See you next time.

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  1. You had better take lots of photos and take the decorations all down by midnight, it’s 12th Night tonight 06/01/10. (Sorry UK – US 01/06/10) Worse than breaking a mirror or crossing knives. Just convince him photos will last longer and be fresher, with your acting talents I’m sure you’ll get away with it.

    Old traditions, old superstitions. I tend to ignore them all since all my immediate family are dead (don’t hold with euphomisms – like ‘passed on’). So how worse can things get!? I have many health issues, Christmas was so important to my sister I can’t face putting up the tree in case I get it wrong. Christmas Day was my brother’s birthday.

    Don’t risk bad luck – take it from me! Photos, give him a pet project to make an ‘End of the Noughties Christmas Tree Album’.

    Sorry didn’t organize a Gravatar – sounds far too complicated. I’m a Twitter follower so you could trawl through all of them or just ignore it.

    Happy New Year, get those decs down by midnight! 45mins too late here but you may get this in time over there.

    Best wishes

    Jenny Abbott

  2. My Aunt Rose left her tree up until February 2nd. She was more devoted to her Catholicism than anyone I know (and my other Aunt is a nun, so….), and Feb. 2nd is the Presentation of our lord, the traditional end of the religious Christmas season. Christmas trees are wonderful – they remind us of family and love and tradition, which, at the end of the day, are the most important things, right? Aunt Rose passed away on Thanksgiving – incredibly her heart gave out only when she was surrounded by her family, my many cousins and second cousins. I’m not religious at all, but give it a try a few times a year, mostly for my family.

  3. Thank you, Jane, for your every act of service. I don’t know how anyone stands the kind of unethical and unfair vitriol you have endured (at times) just for trying to speak honestly and act upon your beliefs. As I am invisible by choice, I do not run these risks.

    Of course your acting work is easy to enjoy, but I’ve also admired you personally since seeing Tout va Bien, when I was in college.

    The world’s a better place with you in it.

  4. Lucky you’re not a superstitious Scot like I am, Jane. I knew I wouldn’t be able to take the decorations and tree down on the 6th January (twelfth day after Christmas) and that no one else in my family would give a toss about the bad luck that could come into the house if they were still up, so they were all down by the 4th – the tree (artificial, unfortunately – we live in Sydney and real trees don’t last in the heat) is lying on the floor ready to be put in the box and some of the heavier boxes of decs are sitting on the front table waiting to be carried upstairs to the storeroom, but at least they’re down.

    Your tree sounds absolutely wonderful and I can understand why Richard wants to keep it up. He is a man in a million, believe me – my hubby just doesn’t get the decorations. I know what you mean about Christmas being a lovely time, but also stressful. This year was different for me, as I’ve had a health hiccup and hubby did everything, including organising and cooking Christmas dinner for five – the two of us, our two adult children and a close friend – and doing a wonderful job, too. I was well enough to enjoy it, so it turned out to be a lovely Christmas for me, just sitting back and enjoying the company and being attended to!

    Good luck with the writing. I’m really looking forward to reading your new book. Been a fan since 1984 when the Jane Fonda Workout book and cassette tapes helped me get fit and fabulous for my 30th birthday. Can still hear you saying “Feel the burn!” We were living in Windsor, England at the time and hubby supplemented the workouts by dragging me out running in Windsor Great Park – beautiful. A very Happy New Year to you Jane, and many more may you have.


    PS Hope you found a camera to take a picture of the tree. 🙂

  5. My mother taught us that to keep the tree up after the new year was bad luck. This year, though, my husband wanted to leave it up for the 12 days of Christmas and we’ve both so enjoyed our little, sparkly live tree. He’s romantic that way, too. Heaven.

  6. Jane, no picture of your beautiful tree?

  7. Trees are like that Jane, some people keeep Punkens until they trun brown and black and fly love them that way. I was writing the other day on a subject like that…
    Sometimes murmurs floats into the air like fate , at times even a dead leaf reasonably demands returning to a tree not unlike the cry of the sea-bird in the wind. by me

    Even the dead want to return a reasonable need, it would seem to us the living, to return to the past our roots or callings , and our writings cry for us with a sound of wind. Yes, Jane the tree is the place we return to or burn for heat in a cold winters night alone , the tree is life.

  8. I am the same way…I absolutely love Christmas, but find it also so stressful; everyone counts on me to make Christmas special while I end up exhausted.

  9. Any pic of the famous Christmas tree you maybe could post here, Jane? I’m sure that all of us, your followers through Facebook, Twitter and your wonderful blog, would like to take a look at the tree. Thanks in advance and Happy New Year!

  10. Dear Jane

    I used to feel the stress of christmas until I realised that I can only be responsible for my happiness, no-one elses.

    We all react to all kinds of situations in differing ways. You and your family could have a hundred things go wrong with christmas and still have a wonderful time. It all depends on everyone’s attitude, not just yours.

    Next christmas when you feel that stress rising, just remind yourself that you are only responsible for your own happiness.

    Richard obviously makes you happy. Treasure him and your relationship together.

    Kind regards……….Penelope

  11. Hi Jane,

    Hilarious!! And how romantic! Bet you’ll never forget THAT tree.

    Did you take photographs of it?

    Take care

  12. Breathing is the miracle of life, deep breathing again and again, breathe makes us feel alive. Happy new year and thanks for allowing me the honor of being among fans to Jane Fonda. Abrazos para ustedes desde Venezuela.

  13. I think it’s adorable, too, that your Richard is still discovering the tree. My (grown!) son and I did ours on Christmsa Eve and I am happy to still sit by it at night and soak it in. I am only now reading “My Life So Far” and have to thank you for keeping me company in the long nights of bronchitis these past two weeks. When I can’t sleep due to the coughing, I prop myself up with your book. Your writing is brave and deep, Jane.

  14. Totally understand Richard’s Christmas tree feelings! Am having same about mine, my first artificial ‘mini’ (in middle of a real wreath) on entry table filled with my smallest size decorations collected over the years. Found two round ones with places to insert tiny photos (I copied a closeup of my late husband’s face, then trimmed it to fit). I thought I’d miss my living tree but now in the ‘downsizing’ stage of life, have found the answer and even those very much against ‘artificial’ have been won over!!! I write this with a very heavy heart after reading about the women of the Congo but thank you at the same time for bringing the horror to our attention.xx

  15. Jane-
    I’m sure you always get it right. Leave yourself alone. Just from the pictures…it looks like you made a wonderful Holiday for everyone. God, when do we stop thinking we never do enough! Rest….Enjoy….Relax….with your new love.

    All the best,

  16. Happy New Year, Jane!

    We would love to see your tree!!!

    Health, happiness and prosperity

  17. I’d leave the tree up until Feb. if Judy would let me. We miss you here in Atlanta! Happy belated birthday.

    • Thanks, Andrew. Vanessa tells me it’s snowing and really cold so for now, glad I’m here.

  18. I think it’s just fine that Richard wants to keep the tree up longer! It’s so great that it’s brought him so much enjoyment! By decorating the tree so lovely you gave him his favorite present of the season! Christmas trees can have that affect on people! Your tree sounds so beautiful, Jane! I wish we could see it!?

    I heard a story about my mother-in-law when she was a child. Her mother told me one year when she was very young she didn’t let her parents take the tree down until the end of February! I can’t imagine how that tree must have looked by that time!!!

    Yes, I know what you mean about being able to “breathe” easily again after the holidays! There is a certain amount of stress during the holidays for all the reasons you described! I go through that every year! Good luck with your writing!

  19. So happy you had a lovely, though busy Christmas, Jane. I feel exactly the same way you do about the holidays being over and the sense of relief. When our children are married, especially if they have blended families, I always worry about getting it all right. But, the last few Christmases, I’ve managed to enjoy myself, too. For my entire life, I’ve had to work on my issues of trying to be as perfect as possible, and not ever coming close! I think I’ve made some (a little, anyway!) progress in relaxing those expectations for myself a bit in my 73 years. But, you know, overall, I’ve never been happier, more relaxed, more at peace with myself, more in love with my loved ones and life. So, dear Jane, I know we all are going to have a wonderful, wonderful New Year, one that defies all expectations! Much love, Patricia

    p.s. So glad that Richard loved the Christmas tree. I know how he feels!

    • Patricia, can you wrote me why you think, at this age, you say you’ve never been happier, etc. I’m writing a book about aging and would love to know. I feel the same way, by the way. I feel I was born to be in my 70s. xxx

  20. always reading you with pleasure,so to the next time .Frederique Dhenein.

  21. Hi Jane-
    Well….we lost the right to be full citizens of New Jersey yesterday. I can’t say I’m surprised….just very sad and angry. I can say, that as of yesterday I’m no longer a Democrat. I’ve given up on this party. It’s been too long that they have taken for granted the votes of gays, women, and racial minorities. From now on, I vote for no one who will not publicly say they are for gay equality in all aspects. It’s time the Democratic party takes us seriously!! I’d also like everyone to urge President Obama to end Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, at the very least…..beings he sees fit to send more troops. If we can die for so called freedom, we should be able to live with it as well!!! Thanks, Jane…sorry if I come off a little revved up.


    • Keep being revved up, Bill. Wish there were more like you. I didn’t realize how bad Don’t ask/Don’t tell was till my actor son, TRoy Garity, made a film for Showtime called “Soldier’s Girl.” (He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance…the film is well worth watching.

  22. Hi Jane,
    I am usually so sick of the whole xmas thing that I take it down the day after!
    i WORK IN RETAIL-MALL HOURS LAST WEEK BEFORE XMAS 8AM TO 11PM- so this year I didn’t even have a tree, just white lights on the mantle-
    I so enjoy your blog and constantly am impressed at how beautiful you are inside and out!
    Happy 2010!

  23. Jane, if you want to get the tree down, just say that it is bad luck to have it up still after the 6th. Otherwise, enjoy the moment, sounds sweet that he’s checking out all of your work. Not many men would be so thoughtful.

  24. jane,

    Wish we could see your tree! Do you have any photos?

    • I have lost my camera and can’t find anyone with a camera that can transfer photos to computer. Yu’ll have to imagine. sorry. Jane

      • you lost your camera, that is a sad state of affairs when you can loss something like that.

        sad hope someone will give you a nice one, soon.
        Sometime the written image can give up something in the translations , you can have a English or French Image? of a tree

  25. Am feeling same about our age bracket as you and Patricia! A great age to be with gratitude.
    I feel ‘awakened’ to life after all these years.

  26. So glad to hear about you and your feelings about Christmas trees, and real surprised your dad felt the same way. Would love to see pictures of the current tree, past trees, and especially your dad’s trees. Do you have any of the ornaments that your dad used to use? When you bring them out each year, it’s so much like greeting an old friend. I feel the same way you do and always have a loaded tree. One year, when I lived in Atlanta, the tree stayed up and decorated until after Valentine’s day. That was my record. It was a live tree, very dry when I took it down and stays as my record.

  27. Years ago, my sister loved her (plastic) Christmas tree so much, she kept it up through July. So more power to Richard!

    I love your blog posts. They’re fun, thought-provoking, human, educational.

    Happy 2010, Colleen

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