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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Letting go of Christmas

For me, it has always been hard to let go of Christmas. My kids have been gone for many years now, so there is really no one to chide me about the Christmas decorations which have stayed up some years until February! Years ago, I bought a small artificial tree that I decorate for every season--I think it's a my way of not letting go. I love the lights and the many stuffed snowmen that seem to take on their own personalities and just don't went to go back into their boxes for another 11 months! Last night, as I drove home, I noticed many people in the neighborhood still have their lights on, and it reminded me of a joke someone made on TV last week about lazy people who never take down their Christmas lights. Even society says "Enough already," so I did turn off the outdoor lights and I took them down, but inside is another matter. I like to wait until the Feast of the Three Kings, which was Friday. So, Sunday, while I waited for the new episode of "The Good Wife," I began removing the tree decorations. This means going into the garage and getting all the boxes,(that's where the lazy comes in) and now the living room is strewn with boxes. I didn't finish Sunday, and I was busy yesterday, so now it's Tuesday, and I'm staring at the mess. I bought a new tree this year, a 7 1/2 footer that is so pretty it could stand alone without decorations. Once I get it back to the box, then the living room will look drab for a few weeks until my eyes get used to it without all the sparkle...the magic that is Christmas. I spent my whole Christmas reminiscing about all the wonderful Christmas times I have had, when there were children and noise, and so many things to do and so little time. Back then, I didn't appreciate it all the way I do now. Children and family notwithstanding, it's the spirit of the Christmas season-- that feeling of goodwill toward neighbors, friends, and even strangers that makes us all better people, if only for a month, that is hard to let go. It seems as if we all go back to our insular lives after the Holidays, at least until Valentine's day, but that's another mood. So, as I reluctantly put away all the outer manifestations of the Christmas season, I vow to carry that inner spirit of goodwill toward others with me throughout the New Year. And I still have my little tree, which will be festooned with red valentines soon, and with Easter egg garlands. I'm not alone in this: the Tres Amigos restaurant in town keeps their tree up all year, changing the decorations for every holiday, and at La Posta, in Old Mesilla, it is Christmas all year long! So there!

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