I find it tricky, celebrating Christmas as a season, rather than a single day as we did for most of my life, and certainly all of my childhood. Only in recent years have I lost the intense urge to get the Christmas tree out of the house the day after Christmas. Obviously, it helps that we don’t put it up until Christmas Eve.
As the end of the year approaches, I want to look forward, putting the stockings away, tidying the house, leaving Christmas and it’s disruption, albeit a joyful one, behind. I can’t believe that I actually just described Christmas as a disruption. It’s not that I don’t love this time of year, and it’s not that I’m ungrateful. I’m certainly no Scrooge. I just have a hard time changing routines, changing decor, changing focus. I also recognize that we need these sacred times, these periods of weeks (not just days!) when we are forced to change focus, whether we are preparing or celebrating. It’s like Sunday on a larger scale. And just as we begin to settle into our old patterns, it will be Lent. There’s a reason.
Yesterday the sky was gray and it rained on and off all day long. I took a walk in the rain, just desperate to escape the trap of the dreary light indoors. Do you have forsythia? Is yours blooming? Mine has been blooming nearly nonstop for months. Typically there might be a few confused blossoms in the fall, but nothing quite like this. I take it as a gift. Flowers, sunny yellow ones at that, in winter.
I knit that green Claret Cowl for my sister. I’m terrible for sharing it here, because I haven’t mailed it to her yet. Of course she pre-approved the color and the pattern, so it’s not a surprise. I also received a request to knit a ribbed hat for my brother in law, which I wanted to mail at the same time, but my hands and wrists are sore from all the knitting over the past month, and I can’t handle all that purling yet. I may just have to mail my sister her cowl now, and the hat a little later.
Did you buy yourself any yarn for Christmas? I bought myself a conservative three skeins of Quince & Co. chickadee, wrapped them up and placed them under the tree on Christmas Eve. I pretended to be surprised when I opened the little bundle on Christmas Day, but everyone knew the truth.
Our tree is still up, the lights my kids have strung around the house are still shining, and there are no fewer than three nativities on display. It’s still Christmas, and really I’m glad. I’m due to make another set of Christmas cookies (though I shudder at the amount of sugar that has been consumed in our house this past week), and Silas wants to make gingerbread men to hang on the tree. Next weekend, we’ll celebrate Epiphany.
But, I did clean out my little gray hutch and my pantry over the weekend. I’m also thinking about the changes I want to make in the new year. Surely I can do both: celebrate Christmas and prepare to put 2014 and all it’s sorrow and the usual mess behind me. 2015, I am determined to welcome you with open hands.