Christmas is over! The music, the movies, the lights, the eggnog, the cookies, the shopping, the wrapping - all finished. Of course that also means the planning, scheduling and traveling are over - hip, hip, hooray! But, as usual, it leaves me feeling a bit let down. I love Christmas - and a special "humbug" to those of you who try to limit my celebration to two weeks in December. December is a wonderland of twinkling lights, Santa, jingle bells, candy canes, Nativity scenes, and wishes for Peace on Earth. I'm a Christmas Baptist - I can't just sprinkle on a little Christmas cheer, I have to be fully immersed. (Actually, I'm a rest-of-the-year Baptist, too, but you get my point.) So, there I am, dredging myself in every drop of Christmas cheer I can find, and then - BOOM - it's over. Before me stretches eleven months of cold, barren non-Christmas wilderness.
Now, I know I can stretch the holiday out through New Year's Day - quiet carols on the office computer, the last couple of Christmas movies on the DVR, the bottom inch of the Yankee Red Apple Wreath candle - and then the Grand Finale, New Year's Day brunch and "The Rose Parade". (Attending the Rose Parade is on my Bucket List.) But then it's January 2nd - 333 days to December 1 - and no more reprieves.
Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful Christmas. We got to spend time with both sides of our family, plus a fantastic Christmas Eve at home with just us and the kids...
Side Note: Adult children who can shop on their own is one of the rewards for not killing your teenagers. I am sentimental about gifts. I would much rather receive a $10 thoughtful gift, than a gift that is elaborate but impersonal or - horrors - that I had to instruct them to buy. Although having the four of us together, laughing and playing games for the evening was truly all the gift I needed, it was a special treat to receive presents from my kids that, even though purchased on a college student budget, had obviously required some consideration.
...It was everything I could have asked for, but I'm still di-spirited. (Get it? "Dispirited" - dejected, disheartened, gloomy; and "di-spirited" - having one's Christmas spirit removed. Ok, it was funnier in my head.) So I will soldier on through the desolate, Christmas-less months, sustained only by Darius Rucker singing Winter Wonderland on my MP3, the handful of Santas who remain on display in our house year-round, and late-night DVR viewings of It's a Wonderful Life, complete with commercials because, yes, I'm even a sucker for Christmas-themed ads.
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, whatever size and form your celebration took. And we pray that the beauty of God's Greatest Gift, his Son, touched you. Wishing you all a Happy New Year!