Our Christmases are always filled with precious memories. (No, not the cheesy figurines.) Precious memories and, well, peculiar ones. Probably because my whole family is just a bit off-kilter.
Do you mean to tell me that other families don't pass their gifts around so everyone can smell them? Or openly discuss the possibility that gits of special bath soap may reflect a deficiency in one's bathing habits? Or, as my cousin did after lunch, heave oneself onto the couch face down muttering,
"The food-baby. If I lay on it, maybe it will go away."
And then there are the gift-opening traditions. We open one gift at a time, so it won't be a free-for-all, and so that people (especially smaller people) can properly demonstrate gratitude. Also to give my mom time to carefully collect the bows that are nice enough to be used again. And again. And again. And the boxes. When my Nana was still living you might receive a gift, wrapped in a box that was older than you were. Possibly from a store that had closed in the 1950's.
Ahhh. Good times.
Actually, they are good times. The boys heartily proclaimed this the best Christmas ever. And they're right. Every Christmas is the best one ever. And it's not just the gifts, either, though we like them ;D
You see, we view the holidays as an opportunity to spend time together. With each other. Sitting around the living room, (or standing around the array of cookies in the kitchen, more likely), finding out what's been going on in each others' lives. That's what we do when we have company over, too. Talk together. Get to know each other better. Find out what they've been doing, what they think about things, what's important. Some people think we're kind of weird (probably true), but I think
conversation is a dying art that needs to be revived :D
But now that Christmas is over, I am SO ready to move on. In fact - don't hate me - I took the tree down the day after Christmas. Had we not been trekking down to the in-laws the following day I might have waited a bit. But coming home yesterday, which felt like eons after Christmas, I knew I'd want it all gone. And after three days in the bottom of a valley, in non-stop pouring rain, even more so.
I love Christmas. Just about everything to do with it. And the decorations are part of the joy and celebration. Now, I don't want to tart up my house until truckers stop to ask if Earlene is working this shift, but we do like things festive. Yet as much as I love it, it wears on me after awhile. When you add the piles of gifts we've received (wonderful gifts!) it's all just too much visual clutter.
Time to shift to winter mode. Move things away from the windows so as much light as possible can come in. Clear off all the surfaces. Give the house a winter-y look. Time for things to be new and fresh and clean.
There may be no snow outside, but inside sparkles with joy.