Thursday, December 27, 2012

Letting Go Of Christmas


I may be the only person in the United States, if not the world, still listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies. I’m enjoying my decorations, too! We seem to be the only family in our neighborhood who turns on the Christmas tree lights at dusk every evening and leaves them on until midnight or later.

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!



13 comments:

charlie@hotmail.com said...

I understand completely Peggy.The holidays are to rushed. I love the decorations and the music to.

Ian said...

Really nice peg. Ian

sam said...

very good as alwys peg. sam

Anonymous said...

My grandmother loved Christmas, too, Peggy. She put her tree up before Thanksgiving and didn't take it down until after New Year's. It was fun as a child to go to her house. I'll bet it's fun to visit you too.

Jean said...

I would have loved your grandmother. It would be fun to defy convention and leave your tree up year around if it pleased you. But people would swear we were mad, wouldn't they? Good post Peggy.

Drema Ward said...

It's after all the hoop-lah that I enjoy the decorations so mine stays up until after New Years.

Pam Childers said...

I feel the same way. I don't seem to ever enjoy all the peace and quiet serenity that Christmas brings.

Peggy~ said...

I never have the time to really enjoy the decorations and relax while watching a good movie until everything settles down. We leave our decorations up until after New Years, too.

Phyllis Griffith said...

I do that also, Peggy....enjoying all the decorations now...just missing the people and the noise. Hard to find that perfect balance.

Peggy~ said...

It definitely is! After the decorations come down and the dark days of January commence, it'll be hard to stay cheerful.

writingdianet said...

Once I plug the Christmas trees in, I don't unplug them till January 15 or whenever we take them down. I LOVE our Christmas trees, love the smell of them.

And, I have a string of Christmas lights that stay up all year long in the kitchen. LOVE them, their happy glow.

We are kindred Christmas souls, Peg:)

Peggy~ said...

Diane, I love the idea of a string of lights in the kitchen all year long! Everything is suddenly so "blah" after the holidays, isn't it? I have to have lights and music to make it through until spring.

insideoutrightsideup said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU TOOOOOOO!!!!

It really is a let-down when just after the happiness and cheerfulness of Christmas everybody just returns to their normal selves. Where does the love go?