Friday, January 21, 2011

Putting Christmas Away...

Today, yes, today (don't judge), I put the final bits of Christmas away. Back up in the attic for another year.
As I was thinking about the potential symbolism to be found in this yearly ritual, I was saddened as I realized how much our thinking seems to change between December 26th and January 2nd.- During the Christmas season, we seem to think so much of others as we give and make them gifts, invite them over for holiday joviality, and we go out of our way to care for the poor among us. But then after we celebrate the New Year, we seem to turn inward. We realize in horror how much holiday weight we have gained, and we determine to change our entire lifestyle to focus on loosing it. We think of all the trips we want to take, all the goals we want to accomplish, and then hole up to read the hundreds of books that we resolve to read over the coming year. Do you see the focus shift?
So how can we fight this natural turn? Can we continue to keep the joy in our hearts (and on our faces) as we stand in long lines at the store? Can we sneak around our homes like we have a great secret in order to surprise our loved one with gifts and treats throughout the year for no reason other than because we love them? Can we volunteer at a local shelter as a reminder to be grateful for all the bounty we are blessed with? Can we invite friends over to mix and make merry (even without the eggnog?!)? Can we continue to make fires in our fireplaces, and make memories in our hearts!?
I don't see why not! This year, I don't want to pack the spirit of Christmas away with the decorations. If only we could take a little drop of the elixir of "good will toward all men" in our morning coffee everyday!

So girls, I want to hear from all of you. Do you have suggestions to share with me (well, with all of us!) on how to help keep the spirit of Christmas alive? What's something practical we can do today to foster it?