The days after Christmas is such a letdown for me, after all the hype of shopping, mostly online for me; decorating, what little I did and already have taken down and put away; being with and visiting my boys, now at their own home; listening to Christmas music or watching the Christmas movies, knowing that they will abruptly end within days, if not already. Over and done! Christmas 2020 is all wrapped up, pictures taken and memories we hold dearly as we go into a new year.
I tend to go through this withdrawal mode and a sense of depression hits, as the month of January is boring to me. The weather is too cold, it gets dark way too early and nothing is happening. With this Covid19 mess, things are even more at a standstill. Yes, Valentine’s Day is to follow but that is just another day for me. At least it pushes us all into spring, better weather, longer daylight hours to enjoy outside and upcoming Easter, etc.
The country song by Merle Haggard, “If we make it through December, everything’s gonna to be all right I know,” fits except December replaced with January. One day turns into the next and soon adjustment of it all falls into place. Just like that, January will come and go, just like it does each year. Slowly I will and we all will adapt, and we will do it all over again next year for Christmas 2021. I will still struggle with the withdrawals of it all, yet again.
Do you keep your Christmas decorations and tree up until after the New Year? My parents did, but I could never do that. To have time off work, I put it all away. Maybe I do need to leave it all up through January. Nope. I don’t think I could handle it. Let’s just get the new year started and hope for the best, better than this past year.
Let’s keep moving forward, hope and pray that the 2021 New Year will bring back the hugs we have all missed, the social settings and get togethers with family and friends. I miss all of those moments and I would say that you do, too. Stay safe and healthy!
Psalm 3:3But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
A long time ago, in a far away land. Not really, just our back yard, there was once a couple with children that found it fun to decorate outside at Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, filled with lights, beauty, happiness and joy all around.
Of course, I would want to do all sorts of decorations and it was so pretty. I wanted my boys to enjoy the Christmas season. Inside, there was always a toss up with colored and white lights. My oldest and I disagreed on the lights for the living room Christmas tree. I wanted white, he wanted color. Crazy enough, now in his own home, he has white lights and now I have color. I haven’t asked, but I wonder if his wife wanted the white lights. The boy cannot win.
Presents are wrapped and some may have a small item in a big box. I have been known to put many wrapped boxes inside one another to make a big box, like those little dolls. It’s fun to buy socks and tie them together with ribbon and stuff in a paper roll. They pull and pull and pull and finally get to the end and look at me. Mom!?! They loved it, as I did. Fun! The magic of Christmas is what I wanted for them and also for me, from young to old, we need to enjoy.
The holiday season brings up memories and I remembered one the other day. I had always wanted those large white, wired angels with white lights and I finally found after searching for years, so I got two. Beautiful angels. We placed them in the front yard for a couple of years. I then had a bright idea. Since I had a big wooden Cross I used in the back yard, by our deck and lit up at Christmas, I wanted the angels to go back there also. Our yard is an acre with a slight grade that faces a two lane highway. The Cross stayed by my deck and I put both angels at the bottom of the yard, facing each other, about six feet apart (social distancing) and each had a horn, almost taller than me. With many strands of light, white lights, of course, we made a pathway open by the angels at the bottom of our yard that led up to the Cross. Another sign that said ‘One Way.’ Anyway, it was beautiful. We did this for a few years, too.
It was when working on this display one cold night, walking up the yard. I walked up the path from the angels to the Cross. It was pretty cool. Half way up our yard, I look over and my husband is on the outside of the path. Later, a few years, we had tried to work on our marriage, I think we both did. Looking over at him, it has just been like this forever, never on the same page, or same path as in this case.
It was when this path of the angels up to the Cross was mentioned to our marriage counselor at the time, of me on the inside and he is on the outside. He tells our counselor that I could have pulled him in the path. Okay, but he could have walked in the path to join me. The path was a resemblance of going to the Lord, to me. End result, neither one of us did anything to change our walk.
After that winter and counseling sessions, the two angels were never lit or used again, they stayed in the shed. The Cross was not lit although it still remained in our yard. I think now it is behind the shed, as he got tired of mowing around it. He put it away so it is probably broken down just like our marriage.
Several years ago, we had a yard sale. The angels were a part of the sale. I could have made money on these two, tall beautiful angels. Many offers were made to buy, even offers to buy out the lady who bought them, etc. I just wanted them out of my sight. To have them even out in the open, brought back memories of many years I would have rather forgotten and not lived through. The lady got a great deal. A loss for me in many ways but off they went to a new home.
The other day when driving through our neighborhood looking at Christmas decorations, I thought of the angels. This back yard scenario will always be a part of my memories or as I see others displayed, I will think of those angels we had once. The lady that bought them is within a fifteen-mile radius and she welcomed me to come see them. Thanks, but no thanks.
I do hope that the two angels bring a joy to their new home wherever they may be and to those that look at them.
The term angel literally means “messenger,” and it is in this prominent role that angels take part in the Christmas story. An angel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Christ (Luke 1:26-38). … Understandably, images of angels have become a familiar symbol of Christmas.
Christmas as a child was such a fun, exciting time. No worries seemed to overwhelm me although I had many at times, too. It just seemed that the excitement of the twinkling lights, Christmas music, cold temperatures, snow and the expectation that Santa would visit our home with gifts, which would be such a surprise.
As I think back over my young life and the excitement I had then, I cannot help but smile. It was the time of the year that was all about me, because I was the youngest and I still believed in Santa. My mind would wander as my dad would drive a car load of kids and adults down to the bakery that was many miles away and he would always take the longest route so we could see all the Christmas lights, so he said. Of course, as I grew up I learned it was to give my mom and those left behind time to set up the presents to make the excitement so much more for me and of my nieces and nephews, as our ages were quite close. I remember asking questions, how did Santa do that? All the questions that young kids ask that seem none ending. The stories that he came early as he had other homes to visit, I fell for all of their lies. Still, I laugh and smile because I was all into it. There was a joy within me.
The thought of the bakery was one of my favorite places to go, not just because the donuts were so good and they were, but to go in the back door and watch them make the donuts, after hours. To just get lost in the aroma and the thought of how it all worked behind the scenes before they popped the donuts in the showcase counter. I just found it fascinating to watch and still to this day, I like to see how things are done, no matter whether it be donuts to a big machine.
I still have memories of my sister telling me about this one man at the bakery and had me focus in on his hand. He was missing a finger or two. Yes they were missing and being the older sister, she was always one to cause me question those around me. It all makes sense now from the counseling sessions why I distrust people. Of course, it was all fun and games to her but in my mind, I took things way too serious and the donut man with a few missing fingers, were they cut off from all the machines they used. Of course, me thinking if…. they were in a donut. Oh, I could tell you stories she fed me growing up. Sisters!
This year as we all try to find the excitement of the Christmas season, it seems to take much more effort than before. It has been for me anyway but, of course, my age has something to do with it all, too. I still have yet to finish my Christmas tree, wrap gifts, etc., and tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I know it will all fall together, as it always does.
I think back and try to grasp the joy I had as a child and in some parts I do. My inner child is so desiring for some joy of the Christmas lights, snow and excitement that I have lost. Even though, my Christmas Eve or mornings as a child were fun while I believed. I have nice memories through the years of Christmas and especially with my boys. I always try to make it as exciting or more so for them and still to this day. I will do something fun and unexpected each year to cause laughter in our home. One year, I remember that I had a big box and multiple wrapped boxes inside with the gift in the smallest box. I can still remember my son opening up each box and looking at me. He loved it. This year is no different, but will be something different. One year, I tied socks individually with Christmas ribbon and stuffed them in an empty cardboard paper roll and wraped it so they would pull and pull and pull socks out. Those are some of my fun times. They know to expect something, knowing their mom will always have something up her sleeve. Yes, I do! This year is no exception.
What are your memories as a child that brings a smile to your face? What was your favorite Christmas? Did you have a gift or a toy that you loved? We all need to be reminded and know the joy within and of others, especially when things around us are not so joyous. This has been a rough year. We need to keep the joy alive and our hope that we are worth having fun and enjoying life, even in just the little things. No matter what age.