I really don’t mind being different.
The build-up to Christmas starts so early. By mid-September, if not sooner, you see trees and other decorations displayed in department stores and a month later, carols are playing, people are shopping and some start decorating – even before Thanksgiving. It goes on and on as the anticipation builds for three months. Shopping, cooking, decorating and getting together with family and friends. Finally, Christmas Day arrives. There’s the opening of presents, a gigantic dinner, friends and relatives stopping by, children's laughter everywhere.
And then, Poof! It’s over! There’s nothing left but a pile of paper, ribbons, and boxes to be discarded. Everyone is worn out and suddenly, all the gaiety and good will are gone. Some people want to get the mess cleaned up as soon as possible and put Christmas behind them.
What a let-down!
I had an e-mail the day after Christmas from my daughter, who lives in North Carolina. “I just want to get my life back to normal,” she said. She had already taken down some of her decorations but was reluctantly leaving her tree up a few days longer just to please her children. She inherited my mother’s “efficiency” gene.
When I was growing up, it was not unusual for my mother to take our tree down and have every trace of Christmas erased by late Christmas night. When the last package was opened, dinner was consumed and the dishes done, Christmas was over as far as she was concerned. I loved visiting my friends whose parents left their trees up until New Year’s Day!
And so... I drag Christmas out as long as possible. I seem to have inherited my grandmother’s “love of Christmas gene.” I don’t know for sure, but heard a rumor that, one year, she left her tree up until the first of March! Her grown children finally threatened to take it down for her if she didn’t do it. She really loved everything to do with Christmas – just like a child.
I don’t believe I’ll ever go that far, but I’m never eager to take the tree down. And when we do, I do it with tears in my eyes. There’s always the fear that it could be the “last” Christmas for me or someone I love.
So, as we approach the third day after the “biggest day of the year,” I’m enjoying Christmas music on the radio and getting ready to watch a Christmas movie. I can hang in there as long as the stations offer holiday fare!
I’m not ready to let go yet.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!