Though we’ve taken some of our Christmas decorations down, the tree is still up. Part of the reason for that is that Christmas seemed to go by too fast this year, or at least we were too busy to enjoy it. By “enjoy it” I mean build a fire in the fireplace and sit and study the tree. (Some of our ornaments, like “Baby’s First Christmas,” go back almost 40 years — 39 to be exact. They carry lots of memories.) On top of that, our tree was near perfect this year; I hate to take it down.
I did a little research to try to justify still having it up and remembered that in some traditions, Christmas decorations stay up until Epiphany, which works well except Epiphany was yesterday. Then I found this sentence in Wikipedia: “While it is customary for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve) those in other Christian countries historically remove them on Candlemas (February 2). There you go. So if you need to procrastinate on taking down your Christmas decorations, you can legitimately go all the way to February. Tell everybody you’re waiting for Candlemas.
Someone should invent a holiday to get over the holidays. We’ve turned Christmas into such a stressful time. Of course that has nothing to do with Jesus, and everything to do with our traditions, our memories and our expectations. Besides, this was simply a very busy December all the way around.
It’s almost impossible to lower expectations on Christmas without turning into Ebenezer Scrooge. The real answer is to plan better and start earlier. I hate those people who ask you on the 10th of December if you are ready for Christmas. They’re asking that because they obviously are.
Of course Marti will believe this when she sees it and not before. That’s because she’s the planner and I am not. The doctor made her shut down for most of last week because her blood pressure had gotten so high. That’s unheard of. Her blood pressure is usually so low, I wonder if blood is ever going to get back to her heart in time to go around again. So this means I have to let her plan more and cooperate with her plans. I gave her all that stress. She’s going to fall over when she reads this. This is where all those New Year’s resolutions come into play. Do they do any good? Can we change? Truth is: within reason, we can do anything we want. And outside of reason, we have the Spirit of God to empower us beyond what we think we can do. The big question is not can we do it, but do we want to do it?
So the tree stays up for now. Maybe not all the way to Candlemas, but for a few more days. It is a near perfect tree.