The conversation picked up again last night.
“I spent all day on the couch,” she said.
“ALL day?” came the incredulous reply.
“Yep,” she nodded, “watching Harry Potter.”
“Good for you,” I chimed in. “It’s been such a busy time of year.”
“Well,” she added, “every time I DID get up, I made sure to take some Christmas crap up to the laundry room.”
The second woman smiled, just a touch smugly, and said, “I’m done.”
“You’re DONE?” asked the first, “As in, you have ALL your decorations up for the year?”
“Mmm hmm.” Another smile.
And I sat there, not saying anything. I answered their direct query when it inevitably came, but I was in no hurry to share. Obviously, I was a failure when measured against this yardstick.
But here’s the thing…
Maybe you’ve taken all your Christmas decorations down. Maybe you need to reclaim the space. Maybe they were driving you nuts. Maybe you put everything up sometime in October or November and it’s just been long enough already. Maybe you have a New Year’s party planned and you want to move on.
Whatever the reason, that’s fine. It’s honestly no one else’s business when you take down your stuff. Or put it up, for that matter.
But you’ll get no pat on the back from me. I’m not handing out awards for efficient dissembly.
Around here, the Christmas decorations will remain up until the weekend after the Epiphany. We are IN the Christmas season, after all. That’s what this is. Those “twelve days of Christmas”? They’re not some countdown from the 13th to the 25th. Nope. They’re a celebration from the 25th to the 6th of January. And we observe that.
Can it be observed without the tree and the lights?
Well, sure. Those are all just trappings. But, while Advent is a time of preparation and hustle and bustle in many ways, the Christmas season allows us the opportunity to joyfully celebrate and rest.
For a moment, let’s liken it to welcoming any new baby. There’s a time of preparation. There’s much to get done. We “nest.” We organize. We get ready.
And then there is joy– the baby is here! What wonder! What excitement!
And then there is rest. Quiet moments. Seeking peace wherever possible. Family gathers. Sometimes meals are shared, sometimes they are unbelievably simple and piecemeal. We yearn for moments to simply rest and wonder at this precious new life.
While the Christ child is certainly no average baby, our celebration still mimics this pattern.
And so, yes, my decorations remain. I’m in no contest to get them down the fastest.
It matters not to me if others prefer to un-decorate in the days immediately following Noel.
But you’ll find me here in the treelight, resting in the Season.