It seems an ironic way to say it--"putting Christmas away"--and I'm feeling a little melancholy, but it's more than just wrapping up all the decor and ornaments and stashing them in the garage for eleven more months.
I always loved the symbolism of an evergreen tree. It's alive all year round, doesn't lose its leaves or go dormant for a season, and it represents the eternal life that Christ offers. Having grown up among trees, I'm especially fond of all things "greenly leaping" as ee cummings has described them.
Our new house doesn't really have space for a big green live Christmas tree. Instead, we use a wrought iron tree especially for ornament display--no lights, no tinsel or garlands, no star at the top. I used to have Christmas music as the theme of the tree, with angels and musical notes and little parchment sheet music. Now the theme is "Let Heaven and Nature Sing," so I still have angels and music, but I also use birds and butterflies, pinecones and stars. It's all organic, too, with wood, clay, seashells, glass and metal.
It's not big or ornate or flashy, but our bare essentials tree represents the most important event since the creation, the event we celebrate in the winter even though it happened in the spring. There's no need to banish reminders of Christ just because it's not December anymore. So why should I put everything away? I want to keep visible in my home year-round reminders of what the birth of Christ represents; although the ornaments may go back in the storage boxes, my heart is still full of what the celebration really means. We have Christmas so we can have Easter.