When I was piling up my Christmas decorations from the kitchen and little nooks and crannies around the house I just began piling it up on the kitchen table. I would go down the hall and pick up a few Santas, into the laundry room and gather up Santa's suit, into the bathroom and get Santa off the scales, each time coming back to the kitchen table. As I passed through once the words to the John Lennon's "And So This Is Christmas" ran through my head. All the different Christmas decorations waiting to be put away in their own crates looked SO much like "and so this is Christmas."
That was a week ago! Ha! Finally I got the decorations all put up. Yesterday!!!! So now the song, "On the Twelfth Day of Christmas" has to be sung. I can pretend that we did indeed mean to celebrate the Twelfth Night or the Feast of the Epiphany, but truth be told, I was just lazy.
I love Christmas. I love putting up the decorations. I love the red and green of Christmas. (gasp, gasp, gasp...this is so unlike the current trend!!!). This year I told myself that I would FOR SURE have everything crated up and put away before the new year. So I began to take it down. And then I would (heavy sigh) take a break and quit for a while. Then the new year was here, but we were still celebrating Christmas. (Really, because of the weather here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, our usual 'several' Christmases with various parts of the family, got extended over eight more days. Then I had an excuse as to why I did not meet my 'before the new year' deadline. So then my deadline became "before I start back to school" (I am a high school English teacher). By then I was down to my last weekend before school. I had papers to grade and a second semester to map out. The pile on the table grew taller as I kept picking things up from here and there, but nothing ever got put away. Then we had a death in the family and school was starting again and the non-routine routine of my life was beginning again, and still Christmas sat on my kitchen table and throughout my house. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y, as I left for school yesterday, I left a note for my sleeping college-age-son-home-on-his-break to get the Christmas crates out of storage and we would load them up together when I got home. He is very good to help me when I ask. The crates were waiting. We loaded things up. Santas have their own (THREE!!!) crates. Kitchen decor in another (two or three). Dining room decor in two more.
Christmas tree decorations in their own special buckets. Christmas trees in their bags. It is a Big Ordeal to get Christmas put away.....and "so this is Christmas"...put away for another year. Only after we have celebrated many times, reminisced on Christmases past, eaten lots of goodies, sat mesmerized by the lights, reflected on the true meaning of Christmas and made promises of keeping the Christmas spirit alive all year, did we finally get Christmas put away. It does feel good and clean and fresh to get it all put up, but there is another little part of me that knows there is nothing more beautiful than our home at Christmas. I know it is not just the decorations, but the love and giving spirit that is so easily shared that makes Christmas beautiful...And so, as we completed our own true version of the twelfth night I once again reflected on the magic of Christmas and vowed to keep Christmas "out" for twelve months in my own heart and spirit.