The presents are unwrapped and being played with and the forgotten scraps of foil and paper that once encased them are now crumbled into a kaleidoscope of color sitting inside a trash bag at the curb. Meats, sweets and breads have been consumed and put away in plastic containers and stowed inside the refrigerator. All the dishes have been done and are slowly drying in a warm kitchen where the heat does not come from the heaters but from the love and caring that fills the house.
On the television an overabundance of seasonal feel good movies has everyone laughing, crying, cheering or sitting, starting at the flickering pictures in a food induced coma. Small talk is made but the conversations are short for it is late and while everyone feels a sense of emotional fulfillment, they are tired. Too tired in fact to maintain a lengthy conversation about anything other than how full they feel. Yes, overindulgence in food, family, friends and loved ones has put us all in a state of rare bliss. It seems all of our needs have been sated, for now at least.
To my untrained eye it appears as if everyone I know has overdosed on good tidings, good will and peace that seem to be in abundance this time of year. We all know why there is an overabundance of these feelings during this month and it is no secret that some people, including your truly, have had an issue with finding the peace and harmony so many others seem to slip into easily like an old comfortable sweater. But this year, I made a vow to try and find and keep what has eluded me so often in the past. I think I found it and I believe I was and still am, hanging on to it.
For you see, not only is this the time of year where we celebrate our individual beliefs but it is also a time for giving and sharing with family, friends and strangers. I tried to do this in my own way. I tried to keep each day precious and not stress too much about the everyday normal mundane tasks we all face. And, while it is true I was under pressure and I did get a bit… surly, I did manage to make the most of my situation. At least to my satisfaction. When I started to get stressed, and about to go on one of my “famous” verbal rants, all I did was make jokes. Jokes that were and still are, witty and dripping with sarcasm but also alleviate unwanted tension inside of me and, oddly enough, to the laughter of those around me.
Soon though, the twinkle lights will be put away, as will the ornaments, trees, candles and various other decorative bric-a-brac that adorn the rooms and hallways of our lives. Soon, we will all have to get used to the stark corners, walls and porches in our life. As the decorations get stowed for another year I know so will the good feelings that come with them. It is an odd correlation to me. You see, this year, the day after Thanksgiving, when we decorated our home, I could feel the warmth that they bring with them. Warmth that no cold seems to be able to get rid of. Ornaments, handmade with love and kindness when pulled out of a chilly box that has been resting in an attic whose temperature is the same as the frigid wind outside seems impossible. But, yet in my hand, as I slowly pulled the ceramic craft from its carefully wrapped and yellowed newspaper, there was still an unexplainable warmth to it. Almost as if the person who made it put a little bit of their own self into the fabrication of the piece.
I know next year, when I drag the boxes down from the attic the ornaments, whether they are made of plastic, metal or ceramic will still have that odd feel to them. This anomaly is a bit foreign to me yet comforting all the same. I question myself, “Does the warmth come from the memories of each piece? Is the wrapping of them staving off the chill of autumn? Or, maybe, just maybe there is some sort of supernatural force at work here that I can not see?” To be honest, I don’t want an answer nor do I need the answer. For I know if I had the answer, it would just take away one of the mysteries in my life that bring me a small sense of joy and as an added bonus, make this particular season so special.
I know the inevitable is coming. When good men and women will once again fall into the trappings of the rest of the year, a time without these good intentions. We will once again find ourselves being petty and vicious towards each other. After all, isn’t that what this season is all about? Trying to be better than what we have been? I know I’m guilty of actions unbecoming of a human being as I know that others are as well. Because of this knowledge, I think I know what I’m going to do to try and keep a reminder of how I’ve been affected by this past holiday season. You see, I’m going to take one ornament off of my tree and not pack it away in a dark box. I’m going to keep it as a token of what we are supposed to be all day, everyday. I may put it on my bedside or I may put it on my desk, or even in my office. All I know is that I am going to keep one of these special pieces of warmth and remembrance for myself in the hopes that it will help me remember the feelings, the warmth, the love and even the miracles of what has occurred in our benefit over the millennium.
Have a great week and remember, you can celebrate every day if you want to.