Thursday, January 4, 2018

Taking Down Christmas & Hanukkah

watercolor & color pencil of Holly

To me, the Holidays are a month of magic, in our year.  When Christmas goes up, the lights begin their season of twinkling.   The music turns to favorite carols.  It doesn’t matter if the snow is falling or it is 80 degrees, our lives change for this moment in time.  I love to take out all of the boxes and boxes of Memories, and place them around the house.  It helps the season sparkle for me.

There is excitement in writing and receiving Holiday cards.  We share our thoughts with faraway friends, some whom we have not been seen in many years, but we remain connected in friendship, this one time each year.  It is, as if the pixie dust drops upon each of us and our lives are just a little brighter for the exchange.

Gathering together is a highlight of this season.  We meet friends for dinner out or have friends over to our house.  In our family, We share gifts, made or bought with the hope of finding  just the right present for each other, but the time spent together is the most precious present.  We eat lox and bagels, or pickled herring…a special treat for the season.  We bring our neighbors a carafe of freshly squeezed orange juice from our honeybell tree.  They are delighted and it is a fun and simple act of sharing,.

There is a saying by Charles Dickens; “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year”. 

Part of taking down Christmas & Hanukkah this year, will be the reminder to keep this feeling through out the year.  As I take down the twinkle lights and put away the tree. I hope to box up the sparkle and put it in my heart.   Sharing and caring for friends and family through out the year is my greatest intention as I start a New Year.

Other friends, my age, do not decorate any more.  They do not want all of the work that it entails.  Christmas is a highly charged, emotional season.  It can sparkle, but it can also be a struggle.   For some, it is easier to put out just a few things, or bake dozens of cookies to share.  Each person does it differently.    yet, the excitement that I feel when putting up Christmas, sustains me emotionally, through out the shortest and darkest days of the year.

In putting away all of the decorations: the roping, the ribbon, the hand made gifts from friends; the ornaments that the kids made, so many years ago and our treasured Menorahs that have been handed down through the generations, I take my time.  I wrap them back up in old used paper and bubble wrap, and tuck them into the many boxes that will be stored in our attic for another eleven months.  If I am slow enough, I can adjust to the fresh, clean, yet barren spaces that are left behind. 

The emptied spaces need time to breath, to be quiet and contemplate the New Year to come. 

But  then, I think, Hey, maybe I will just put up a few Valentine’s decorations!!

It’s hopeless.  I just love to keep a bit of magic in the house, through out the year.  For me, It is a wonderful way to celebrate life.