It's late on the day after Christmas, and I'm suffering (quite annoyingly, I might add) with another cold. Or something. Achey body, snotty nose, fatigue, etc. Given the random thoughts that have been tumbling in my brain today, I suppose I could be hallucinating, too. Or perhaps it was just the three cups of tea with rum that I've had tonight. Excellent cold medicine, I might add!
I've had a really good Christmas this year, one that will be hard to top, since Jim's gift to me was an engagement ring! But - while I always enjoy the gifts and decorations and family time - I am also happy that we can soon settle down to the business of regularity.
There is something about the way the holidays seem to interrupt the regular flow of life - added trips to go shopping; more time spent online at Amazon and less at my favorite blogs or my genealogy site; extra pots and pans and baking sheets to unearth, use, and then put away for another year; remembering to buy more eggs, more butter, more chocolate, more everything! And then it's over.
Now, there are gifts to be put away, and - perhaps - old possessions to be discarded to make room. There are address books to update for next year's Christmas cards, and - sadly - names to be removed from the old card list. And, of course, resolutions to write actual letters to some on my card list who don't have email (and some who do!). I really am going to do that this year. Really, I am!
My mother always said, "Each year has its own tree," and so we took our Christmas tree down on New Year's Eve. Of course, this was in Tampa, so she may have been more worried about fire than tradition, but we just didn't have our tree up into the new year. My Christian tradition says that Christmas doen't end until January 6th (thus the 12 days of Christmas), but if I were going to be rigid about that, we wouldn't even put our tree up until Christmas Eve - and that's not a happening thing! So probably sometime later in the week - perhaps Saturday, the 2nd (that seems like a nice compromise, don't you think?), I will de-decorate and put things away for another year. I always promise myself that I will weed out old and broken ornaments rather than packing them away for repair next year. Maybe this year I'll even do it. Or not.
You know by now that Christmas cookie baking is low on my list of favorite things to do. Yet this year I found myself really thinking about what I was doing, and how much my kids look forward to getting cookies from Mom. I think they're less important to Ben, since he's here in town and we see each other often, but I know for Jason and Martin they provide a tasty and anticipated memory of Christmases past. And so, my cookie-making was less of a chore this year, and more a gift to my sons and their families and others with whom they share them. There are others, of course, who get cookies from me - my sister, Jim's son and some of our extended family - but only for my sons does the memory thread reach to childhood, and for them I will continue to nurture that memory, that time that means so much to them - and to me. And I will be thankful that they care, and try harder to remember the "why" instead of the "how."
Is there anything more exciting than the face of a child who anticipates the magic of Christmas? Despite the cold, the work now to be done, the after-Christmas let down most of us feel, I still anticipate, I still feel stirring within myself the magical anticipation, the belief in a Santa who brings those special, long-desired, but barely hoped-for gifts. I feel within myself that little girl who believed, and, in believing, helped to create that magic, even unto new generations.
I hope your Christmas was as magical as mine, and that the magic will carry you through these post-Christmas days.