Only a few hours ago, my house was full of happy chatter and laughter. Now it’s as quiet as a tomb. My out-of-state children and grandchildren have gone home. Christmas is officially over. Even the holiday music on the radio and TV has been silenced.
The Christmas tree stands in the corner looking much less impressive than it did a week ago. Last night, at least two sets of lights opted to close their eyes on the Christmas of 2011. I usually enjoy the tree until after New Year’s Day, but, with large sections of darkness dominating, it has lost its charm, so I’m ready, for the first time in years, to take it down and put it away before January 2nd.
But first – a little rest. How exhausting it is to enjoy oneself! It is especially so when the celebration is always at my house and I’m the one who does most of the work. My husband helps, of course. I’d never make it if he didn’t. I cook, he washes dishes; I bake cookies, he makes wonderful cashew brittle; he puts wrapping paper on the presents, I add ribbons and bows. We decorate, order gifts online and go shopping together when it’s necessary. It’s a shared effort and we work well jointly. Not a surprise. We’ve been doing Christmas as a team for many years!
Unlike most people, we aren’t finished with this holiday at the end of Christmas Day. Our daughter and her family, who live in another state, arrive the day after Christmas, and her siblings and their families return for yet another celebration. Though it’s enjoyable, everyone agrees that it's getting a little more difficult every year to pull off the second festivity with the same joyfulness that we did the first. Not only are we, the parents, getting older, but so are our children. Therefore, we’ve considered making changes in the routine.
But, since the mind seems to erase bad memories and retain only the good ones, chances are we’ll be raring to go next year as always. It’s not easy to alter cherished traditions. Once again, we’ll gather at this happy time to eat, laugh and reminisce; we'll also take pictures and make beautiful memories to hand down to the younger generations.
And before many years pass, someone else will be forced to take over the hosting of this, and all, special family events.
The never-ending cycle continues...