It’s the start of a new year with new beginnings (or in my case, taking up some beginnings after they had been dropped – for example, the Getting Ready for Santa series which I swear I’ll finish up some day.) Like many, I took the time off between Christmas and New Year’s. We spent time together as a family, we visited my mom, and we ate entire too much.
But that’s what holidays are for right?
Now, it’s time to get back to work. I have articles that are due, projects to organize and two class syllabi to prepare in the next few days (teaching two sections of Tech Writing this term.) The public school kids are back in school and the college kids are old enough that they can find entertainment during the day when Marc and I are back at work in our home offices.
Yup, the holidays are over, except… while garland, stocking by the fireplace, and window decorations have been taken down, like always, I can’t find the time (or courage) to take down the Christmas tree. It’s still up, lighting our way in the early darkened mornings and evenings.
At the beginning of the season (Thanksgiving weekend – we use an ancient artificial tree), the tree means gifts, laughter, and fun times are coming, but once we round the bend of New Year, its meaning shifts slightly to that of reflection and calm. There is nothing (and I mean nothing) better than reading a book at night near a lit Christmas tree. Of course it helps that we load our tree with memories, jokes, and reminders of events from the past year. You’ll be able to find political buttons, a 2015 “War on Christmas” Starbucks ornament, and in the way back, even a candy cane lawn ornament that for some reason keeps making its appearance.
One of my sons is sleeping in a room downstairs for his college break – “don’t forget to turn off all the lights and the Christmas tree when you go to bed.” The tree being a separate entity unto its self. The tree that keeps watch over him while the rest of us go upstairs to bed.
When another of my kids was a toddler, he loved the Christmas tree so much if we didn’t take it down during his nap one day, I think that very same tree would still be standing in our living room.
We do so love our tree in this house.
So our Christmas tree remains up. The weekend has past – it’s guaranteed to stay until at least next weekend. But we’ll see. I have a feeling that our guiding, protecting, and calming tree may not be taken down until our son who sleeps on the first floor has to leave this home to return to college.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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