Don't hurry past Christmas

Monday, December 28, 2015

We spend so much time getting ready for Christmas. There's the shopping, and wrapping, and mailing. The decorating, the baking, the cleaning. Cards to write and stockings to fill. Parties and concerts and plays to attend. Out-of-town family and friends to welcome. Church services. Feasting and present-opening.

Decorated bags filled with cookies for my book club friends.
And then, suddenly, it's over.

I think it's always so sad when I see Christmas trees out by the curb the day after Christmas. Or ads for exercise equipment and diets and home organization tools, bludgeoning us even before we've finished our Christmas dinner dessert.

I'm all for new beginnings and fresh starts. 

But let's press pause for a week, or more, and enjoy the fruits of our labor, and the gift of Christmas-time.

The old church calendar marked 12 days of Christmas. That really takes us to January 6. 

Now, some do need to go back to work. Chores need to be done. But we can try to prolong the season for at least a week or so.

Resist the temptation to take down the tree, or start that diet just yet.

Sit by the fire, read that new book. Take time to bask in the warmth of the season, to think over the past year, and be dreaming of the new one. For those of you do-ers, know that quiet time can be very fertile time. It's not a waste. You may be reading or knitting or napping, but the mind is still sorting and filing and working. Keep a pad of paper nearby, and jot down ideas and dreams, hopes and prayers, regrets and resolutions as they come to you.

You'll be surprised at how much more "productive" you'll be later, having had some time to rest and contemplate. 

We know that our phones and computers work better when we shut them down and then press restart.

How much more do we need to turn off, and "reboot?"

Just so you know, I'm preaching to myself here, too. I've been feeling a little like I'm not accomplishing enough, or doing enough "important" things, and that I've got to whip myself into shape, and DO STUFF. Right now. 

I'm feeling sad because our youngest son has headed back home today, and I already miss him. Getting busy would help me "move on."

But, you know, it's okay to feel sad. It's a reminder of what a wonderful time we had, and how much I love him. I don't need to cover that up with busyness.

And a new year to do new things in is still a week away.

*****

We are expecting a big winter storm this afternoon. A fire is all laid, and ready to light. We have food and books and tea. The Christmas lights are twinkling.


Ah, peace. I'm going to try and sink deep into it.

Wishing that for you all, as well.

25 comments :

  1. Relaxing and reflecting sound like a good idea to me. I think I'll wait this year in taking the decorations down. What's the rush?

    Have a quiet week and a wonderful 2016 ~ FlowerLady

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  2. What wonderful ideas and thoughtful suggestions. I'm still in my robe! We have a high wind and freezing rain storm going on here in Central Illinois. My loved ones left yesterday and are safely in their warm homes so I am doing as you suggested. Yankee candles burning, lights on, and emptied totes under a mega leak in the attic! :D I love those little brown bags all dressed up. Did you do that? Stay cozy!

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  3. Awe Debbie, I am right there with you, excellent post and a beautiful reminder for us all.
    I have always felt that the extra time after Christmas day is a special time for reflecting and relaxing. My husband asked if I would leave the trees up until January is over, he says January is a bla month and needs the beauty of the trees. :-)
    I never take them down to soon.
    We went to my sister's later in the day on Christmas and her neighbor had already taken their tree down, it was lying in their front yard,I thought, how sad.
    Your gift bags filled with cookies were beautiful.
    Enjoy your fire and the beauty of the snow falling out your window today.
    Blessings~~ Debbie

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  4. You are absolutely right! I love the final week of the year.

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  5. What a beautiful reminder that Christmas isn't over yet. I love the week between Christmas and New Year's for its calm, and for the time to visit with friends and family.
    Long ago, the season of Advent was one of waiting for Christmas, and included fasting and simple eating. I think we've reversed that and do our feasting and celebrating all before the 24th/25th instead of afterwards.
    On the schedule today is brunch with friends, and not much else! I did run the vacuum over the living room carpet today, picking up pine needles and other little bits.

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  6. Dearest Deborah,
    Yes, the 12 days of Christmas I've been raised to in the Old World.
    Here at our Episcopal Church we used to have an elderly couple that always invited friends over for a punch bowl with hors d'oeuvres after Christmas. Such a lovely tradition!
    Oh, that feeling of having your family leave I know too well...
    Sending you hugs and blessings!
    Pieter is connecting our new Miele dishwasher that just got delivered by truck this morning. Finally a problem solved after a long wait.
    Mariette

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  7. What a great post with an important reminder! I'm with you, the Christmas season goes until Epiphany on January 6! I did see several trees out on the curb on December 26. It is an unfortunate time-honored tradition here in Brooklyn but I tell ya, I'm taking time off and trying to NOT race back into the regular old routine until January 4. And the tree stays until then! Happy New Year's to you and your family. I wish I was in your book club, those gift bags are gorgeous. Your friends are lucky to have you. xx

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  8. Hi Deborah,
    You are right Christmas isn't over yet, I have always thought it would be fun to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, but never have. This year I am keeping my trees up at least through the New Year, maybe Three Kings Day too. We'll see.
    I like your crocheted angel, I have some just like it!
    Happy Monday to you and have a relaxing day!
    Gina

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  9. Hi Deborah, So nice to reconnect! I just spoke with my sis in IN and her son left driving back to MO tonight...she is a little sad too. I hope your storm won't be severe. It would be nice to sit by the fire and read a new book or sip tea. Enjoy this beautiful Season and blessings to you and yours for the new year. xo

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  10. This is absolutely beautifully written - wow - you sure have an incredible talent for the written word, Deborah. I am so with you on every single thing you posted here today. We keep Christmas up until Epiphany, as it is supposed to be in "days of old."

    I sure wish we lived closer - I know we'd enjoy just being in one another's company, perhaps saying nothing and feeling closer than ever, ya know what I mean?

    Peace be with you, now and in the approaching new year. Big hugs and love. ♥♥♥

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  11. Beautifully said, Deborah. Lovely words, lovely photos. Your cookie gift bags are as much a treat as any cookies would be. So pretty. Your crocheted angel -- I have one just like her.

    Wishing you peaceful, slower days...
    Brenda
    xox

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  12. Deborah, here's hoping the storm doesn't impact you too terribly bad, but that's certainly one way to sit back and just be cozy. I have spent today both sorting some old papers and putting a few things away (not the tree, keeping the twinkle a while longer), but in doing so, it was like revisiting with the memories attached to the things again (just like when they came out of their storage boxes in November). It's a bittersweet thing - comings and goings. Thanks for the gentle reminder to just enjoy the moments. Happy New Year.

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  13. Hello Deborah,
    You made such pretty bags for your book group. I always wait until the 6th to take down the decorations. I am taking it easy too and enjoying the quiet after Christmas. Wishing you a Happy New Year.
    Julie

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  14. Well said, Deborah. I was fortunate to have 2 full weeks off from work so I'm trying to savor the last week of my holiday. I usually keep my Christmas decor up until the Epiphany. Happy New Year!

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  15. I hope that the storm won't be too bad / the weather this week in so many parts of the country has just been frightful. Wishing you peace and safety :)

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  16. You preach all you want to yourself, my friend, because I like to soak all your words and wisdom for myself. Enjoy that trea, your decorations, and the relaxing time by the fire. I know you miss your son, but this year holds so much promise for you. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  17. Hope you enjoy this time and find it peaceful and renewing. I'm trying to do so as well...am wondering if plans for laser tag with 3 boys count?:)

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  18. I couldn't agree more, this is how we do Christmas. We do not start before Thanksgiving. We carry on usually into January, sometimes well past Epiphany. Dark days and long nights cry out for the lights of the season to still be shining.

    Laurie S.

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  19. I love this way of thing, Deborah. Although I am usually ready to get things back in order, it seems like if we just do all of this preparation for that one single day, we are missing the blessing of the season. My tree is still up and we are finishing up our Christmas get togethers tonight due to schedules that didn't coincide...ribs on the grill, baked potatoes in the oven and yes, we will even be opening gifts! Wonderful post :)

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  20. Oh...I see I missed that last line about the storm. Although I hope it isn't too bad, I wouldn't mind having just a little bit of it...80 degree temps at Christmas just didn't feel quite right this time of year! :) Stay safe & warm!

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  21. Such beautiful and heartfelt words, Deborah. Life seems to rush by these days and it is so nice to take time to relax and savor the memories. I love your pretty little gift bags, by the way! I do know that sad feeling of an empty house and it always takes me a few days to get over. Be good to yourself and stay cozy. Wishing many blessings for you and your loved ones in the coming New Year! xo Karen

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  22. I love this time of year for reflection. It's hard not to feel like we should be doing something "productive" but I completely agree with you about a good, healthy reboot!

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  23. YES !!! I have been tempted many times the last few days to take all the Christmas decorations down and pack them away, but then I thought the same thing you wrote, all the work to decorate , I AM going to enjoy this. Plus , I AM going to read my new magazine and spend time doing a few things I love to do but rarely take time for. Oh, and take naps. What better time for a nap than in the short days of a cold winter. A fire in the fireplace, hot tea, good reading and simple crafting. Thank-you for this small affirmation for me.

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  24. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I always celebrate through the 6th or eastern Christmas. xoxo Su

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  25. Not one bit difficult for me to follow through on this right now. teehee And I so agree on those commercials. It seems every year everyone is a tad more in a hurry to push it all through. I couldn't believe how quickly the stores jumped from one holiday to the next. Could barely find Thanksgiving or fall items in the middle of November. SO exhausted after a year of wedding planning, and the entire event taking place on Dec 27. EEEEEKKK! I need a little more Christmas today.
    Thank you for stopping by, Deborah, and for your kind words. Thrilled to get back to visiting with dear blogging friends again.
    Happy New Year ...and many blessings to you.
    xo

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