Sunday, December 30, 2012

The holiday highs come to an end.

I spent a large portion of today taking ornaments off the tree, carefully wrapping them, and packing them away. Then the lights came down. My husband was unable to find a tree bag anywhere in stores so the tree is still up until we dig out from our shed all the random boxes that have been housing it in the off season. It wasn't until I was in the kitchen making dinner and turned to look into the living room, saw the unlit, lonely tree in the darkened room, that I realized the holiday lows are upon us.

our 2012 Christmas tree
Our family celebrates what I would call "secular Christmas." We put up a tree (which, I know, is actually an ancient Pagan tradition, and not secular at all), write letters to Santa, cut paper snowflakes, bake cookies, and exchange gifts and acts of goodwill with each other and our friends and family. It is one of my favorite times of year. The beautiful decorations, the feelings of love and generosity that tradition has brought, the togetherness that the various crafting and activities provides. Most of all, I love the tree. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there are few things more beautiful to me than a brightly lit tree decorated with lovingly handmade or thoughtfully given ornaments. We don't do a "theme tree" with color coordinating ribbons and baubles. Our tree is an eclectic collage of memories: each unique ornament has a story or a history. Even the simple colored stars and silver balls that we use as fillers are special to me, because they were purchased by my husband and placed on a little tree, ready and waiting in our first home for us to arrive together in North Carolina after our winter wedding in New York.

Seeing the undecorated tree this evening was the official sign to me that the Christmas season is over and it's back to normal life now. That's always a bit depressing. I do have some ideas in mind to keep the lovely feelings that I associate with Christmas going into the new year, though. And on the bright side, only 360 days until next Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. We too celebrate non-Christian Christmas! I was raised Jewish and am now atheist (for 20+ years) and my wife was raised Catholic and is now agnostic... but Christmas is too wonderful to NOT celebrate! And I love trees too! I didn't put up my first until I was 25 years old! I wrote about it here: