What a time of year. There’s so much to do, and I enjoy it so much, but it is overwhelming, physically and emotionally. This year my daughter was old enough to decorate the tree with me. We listened to John Denver and the Muppets’ A Christmas Together while we hung the little animals and snowflakes and Nutcrackers. She was so happy, and so was I–I had a hard time holding it together, to tell the truth. Decorating the tree has always been one of my very favorite days of the year.
I am looking forward to celebrating in our new house, to “breaking it in” and making it our own, a little more than it already is. I am looking forward to the peaceful complacency of the week between Christmas and New Year, when the work is over and the presents are opened and there are leftovers for dinner, every night. And then I’m looking forward to the wholesome optimism of the New Year.
And, me being me, I am indulging in fancies of a nonexistent past, when Christmas began on Christmas, not on Black Friday. When it went on for twelve days. When nuts and oranges and sticks of candy were presents; when any larger gift was probably hand-made. When the baking consisted of a single batch of gingerbread. I don’t make our Christmases this way, because that isn’t how it happens, in our time and place. Or, probably, how it ever happened in any time and place. But the vague ideas are so very nice.
Whether you’re already finished with your midwinter holiday, or bracing for it to hit, happy midwinter to you, happy Solstice, happy longer-days-ahead. Hope yours are merry and bright.