"Time Marches On"
Well, Christmas has officially come to an end! The celebration, which begins on December 25 lasts for twelve days. I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of the year. But I always find myself getting a little depressed when the season draws to an end. And I felt this way I as I took down the tree and pack away all the Christmas decorations. All that remains are some lights outside, but it is way too cold to take them down. I will save them for a warmer day. The house always seems bare when the decorations come down.
I couldn't help but laugh as I was driving to my parents' house on Christmas Day and noticed a Christmas tree laying by the curb for the trash truck to carry off. It was 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Day and someone had already thrown out their Christmas tree. I couldn't believe it! While you may not observe the traditional twelve days of Christmas, certainly you can celebrate it for a whole day.
Like so many, the days after Christmas can be a little depressing for me. I find myself asking, "Is this it?" After weeks of preparation and it has come and gone! But this is quite understandable. Over the past weeks our emotions have been wound tighter than a toy doll. Our celebration has led up to near fever pitch. And suddenly, it is all over with! Psychologist often refer to this as the Post Holiday or Christmas Depression.
But the fact is, time marches on. We have to move on with our lives and the question we should ask ourselves is what do we take with us. With each celebration, with each special occasion we share with friends and family, what have we gained? How have our lives changed? What memories have we made? I think this only serves to enhance the next celebration.
Sure, we could be like some who never take down their Christmas lights or decorations. But I have a feeling they are doing this not to preserve the Christmas spirit, but out of laziness.
I used to work with a company where I would sit with elderly people. Oftentimes, I would be called to sit with someone who was homebound, while their caregiver had to run some errands. Other times, I might take an elderly person out to lunch or dinner to give their caregiver a break. There was one elderly man that I loved picking up and taking to lunch. He suffered from dementia, but what I loved most about this man was, no matter what time of the year it was, he always had Christmas apparel on. He would usually wear a Christmas sweater or vest, socks and, a lot of times, he would wear a Santa hat. To him it was always Christmas time. His daughter, whom he lived with, told me that he would throw a fit if you tried to take down the Christmas decorations and so they stayed up all year-round. He would listen to Christmas music continuously. In fact, his daughter gave me a C.D. of Christmas songs he loved, so that I could play them in the car while driving him around town. At first, I thought that this must be fun and exciting. To live each day as though it were Christmas. But then I realized how sad this was. He was stuck in Christmas. He was living the past. He didn't have a clue who I was. His daughter's life had to be difficult and depressing. Christmas, like all things, much come to an end. The decorations must be taken down and put away. So that we can make room for other celebrations and special events.
Perhaps, I had been looking at it all wrong. I need not get depressed when Christmas draws to an end. Sure, we must take down the decorations and pack them away, but not our memories or even the joyous spirit.
I used to purchase a real Christmas tree every year. But it never failed, it would dry out and become a fire hazard before the celebration had ended. It was really dangerous to keep it up till January 6, although I would wanting to observe the full spectrum of this season. I tried all the tricks to keep the tree green and alive. I used Aspirins in the water, sugar and other solutions, but regardless of my efforts the tree would always wither and dry out. Times marches on. Seasons fade. And we must now allow ourselves to become stuck. We must continue moving and marching with it and allow its seasons and celebrations to enhance our journey.