Friday, January 18, 2008

Taking Down Christmas - Late

I really like to have my Christmas decorations up for about a month. This year I was late getting them up (actually my daughter, Debra did the honors this year of decorating my house.) So for several reasons, I've been reluctant to take them down. For one thing, I had a lot of photographic projects due right at the beginning of January. They are especially important to me this year - one of my goals is to get this submission process down and get my submissions out there. So that had to take first priority. And then I had a portrait session - lots of fun.

By the middle of January though . . . it is time for Christmas to come down. But there was still a reluctance on my part . . . analyzing it brought several things to mind that might be worth passing on . . .

This year, the decorations had an added meaning . . . my daughter did them - she did a great job. And they were different - a different mix of ornaments and decorations on the tree - different arrangements of my Christmas items . . . Very creative, very pretty. But it also meant a lot to me that Debra put them up. December was busy for me . . . at my age my energy is sometimes limited - and December had a lot of productive work that took my energy. And yet, I wanted Christmas to be special for my family. It meant a lot to me that Debra took her time and helped me have my house where we all as a family enjoyed time in a festive but homey place.

Taking down Christmas also is a form of good-bye. I felt rushed and harried during the "season." We have unrealistic expectations for our Christmas experience. We want time, reflective time spent enjoying the tree - yes, I did have that this year. We want to sip hot chocolate or apple cider in front of the fire with candles glowing . . . And some years, I get enough of that experience that I'm "ready" to take down Christmas on time. Other years like this one, I did not get as much of that quiet, peaceful time . . . so I kept hoping I'd have one more night to sit in the living room to peacefully enjoy the tree, but it never quite happened.

In my mind, I can hope that I get my tree and decorations up at Thanksgiving next year, that I have done all my Christmas gift preparations throughout the year to avoid that last minute hurry-burry stress. But whether that happens or not . . . whether Christmas is peaceful and restful or busy, I can say truthfully that this year we had a blessed Christmas with a wonderful bounty of time spent together as a family. Keeping the decorations up does not really keep those wonderful memories alive . . . but I think in my mind, somewhere back there, I wanted to keep the specialness of this Christmas alive . . . And . . . I don't really have to have decorations up past their time for this Christmas to remain in my heart as special.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Don't fret. My tree is still up too. I enjoy letting the season linger.