The End and the Beginning
Well, Christmas hasn't ended if you celebrate all twelve
days, but I don't. John went back to work last Monday and
the boys all start school this upcoming Monday. The reality
is, it's over. I washed the snowman plate which held fudge;
it's empty. All the other candy dishes are empty. I put the
few remaining Christmas cookies in the cookie jar. The last
piece of fruitcake was eaten yesterday and I washed the
crumbs off the cake stand. The small piece of ham which
remained went into the pea soup. There is no more mincemeat
pie. My poinsettias are losing their leaves. The tree
comes down tomorrow and by Monday the rest of the Christmas
decorations will be packed away for another year. It's done.
I remember reading a police report in the local newspaper
years ago about an incident which happened one Christmas
night. A woman in an apartment complex called the police
about 9 pm because she heard a young girl screaming and
screaming. The deputy came and knocked at the door and he,
too, heard a child screaming. The door was answered by an
exasperated mother who insisted there was absolutely nothing
wrong but the deputy insisted on speaking to the girl, who
was about eight years old, outside the mother's presence.
He determined that the girl had been screaming because she
did not want to go to bed as her mother insisted she did.
"If I go to bed" she wailed "it'll mean Christmas is OVER!"
But the new year is beginning. I have new calendars with
empty white blocks. I'm making lists of things I want to do
which will quickly fill up those white blocks. Everything
feels fresh and new.