The Christmas tree has been taken down, the stockings have been put away, Nat King Cole has been set aside to croon about Christmas another day, and the lights have been unstrung from the fence outside. Only the still healthy and green balsam wreath still hangs on my front door…a reminder that I now live in wet northern country rather than the deserts of New Mexico where it would have long dried out.
Each year I feel this tug on my heart at putting Christmas away. A sense of regret. A sadness. And yet, it must be done. And truly once it is done and my home is put back into it’s normal order, does the ache lift and the gratefulness return.
You see…as a kid we didn’t decorate a tree, or hang lights, or give one another gifts. It wasn’t something we celebrated and as a lover of all things special, I longed for it. For twinkle lights and bows. For Frosty the Snowman and Santa. For a yule log and the smell of a Christmas tree.
So now, each year I have build traditions into my home life that allow for that celebration of the special. Of the coming of the Christ child. Of the 12 days of Christmas. Of the blessing that is the visitation of the Wise Men. And in it there is space created for my friends and family to draw near, into the warmth and light of my home. For that…for all that Christmas means…I am so grateful.
I love how most lectionaries call this day the beginning or first week of “ordinary time.” Meaning we are not in advent and have not quite gotten to the lenten season…so here we are in the Ordinary.
For me the ordinary looks like candles lit, plants leaning towards the light on short dark days, wine in the evenings under a throw blanket, a fire in the fireplace (even if it is only gas), and an invitation to think about what the New Year will bring. So ordinary and still so precious.
So as you move into ordinary time, may you carry the blessing of the holidays into your days. May your mornings have enough time to savor a cup of coffee and wait for dawn. May your evenings be filled with time with friends or time with your favorite book. May time run at the exact right pace for you to take small steps on your path to the vision you’ve set for your 2017. In all things may you have joy in abundance. And may all be well…in your heart, in your mind, in your home, and in your spirit.
Love to you my friends.