I grew up Jewish. After my parents divorce, my dad started having a Christmas tree again, but mainly Christmas was not something I participated in other than gazing starry-eyed at the Christmas decorations in the department stores. When Patrick and I got together that all changed. He asked if we could put up a tree and I obliged. He had always supported my Jewish holidays and traditions when I’d asked him to, so I felt very happy to participate in his traditions as well.
We have a very secular Christmas in our house. Even the tree and holiday decorations are winter in theme, not red/green or Santa-heavy. I put up white lights, silver ornaments, and strew clear crystals and pinecones about. So, you know, it’s rather benign. And it’s really fun. I just like the festiveness of it all. And it’s a blast to decorate. I’ll put on music, maybe make hot chocolate, and soak in the magic of the holiday time.
A month ago all the glitter was on the horizon, the parties were upcoming, gifts were wrapped exquisitely under our winter tree, smells of baked goods filled the air. I heard music even when none was playing.
Now it’s over. Time to take it all down.
And if there’s one holiday chore I really don’t like it’s taking down the tree. Putting up the tree is a bit of a bear, but at least when it’s going up the holiday spirit and excitement are vibrating with the anticipation of what’s still to come. Taking it down is just, well, a pain in the butt and a bummer. Yesterday I managed to get all the ornaments down, but stopped short before taking the lights off the tree. Patrick saw that the tree was still lit, and like a petulant child has been begging me to leave it up longer. I’m like, “Hon, it’s a fire hazard.” It’s dead. So down it will come.
Away with the sparkle, away with the twinkle, away with the magic.
In the wake of the season our task becomes even harder than just the menial job of taking down the decorations. The real challenge will be maintaining that holiday spirit and joy even in the face of dried up trees, already opened presents, and unpacked suitcases from our long awaited visits to see loved ones far away. This is when we need all the good vibes we can muster as we try to hold tight to the feelings of patience and kindness we all seem to display toward one another when it’s the holiday season. Just because it’s January or February or March doesn’t mean you can’t hold the door for someone or smile at a passing neighbor.
You can bet I’m going to keep celebrating the sparkle all around me, even if the light is merely the twinkle in my eye. But first, ugh, I’ve gotta tackle this darn tree. Oy.