Tuesday, January 7, 2014
A Minor Melancholy Task
It's the new year. It is also the time when the traditional "social" holiday season begins to wrap up. A fair number of organizations and businesses will have their holiday parties in January but for the most part, the holidays are done, at least in our house. Thus begins the minor melancholy task of the holiday clean-up/pack up.
For those of us in the Midwest, locked in the "Polar Vortex" or whatever they are calling it, it's way too cold to take down lights. It's one of the reasons that there are still more than the usual lights on display this far past New Years. I was able to get mine down on New Years Day, mainly because there were not that many (I love net lights, by the way) and I actually thought about the takedown process before I put them up. That left the decorations in the house.
Those got taken down on Sunday and full disclosure, I did not help. I was upstairs watching my beloved Packers come up short in the first round of the playoffs. (We'll now pause to allow all Bears fans a moment to snicker. OK, moment's up.) I did haul the tree bag and the boxes downstairs. And with that, the holidays in the Berta house are officially over.
Many people go thru a period of holiday letdown. There are ample posts and articles out there on the internet about this issue. Here's one I particularly like:
For me, it's both normal and healthy to go thru a bit of a period of feeling melancholy about the tasks of cleaning up and packing up the holidays. After all, lights and decorations and Christmas music is fun! When fun stops, well, it stops. We're back to reality.
One could argue that the holiday season is as much reality as today is. To quote a friend of mine, "I'll buy that for a dollar." I would also offer this: The reason we like the holidays is because of the uniqueness of the experience. If we had the Christmas Tree up all year, then it would not be a "Christmas Tree." It would be a piece of furniture (albeit one with lights and ornaments) just like the chair or end table that got shifted out of the way when the tree went up.
Look at it like this: The reason that the season is so special is that it is only for a limited time. As I wrote a few weeks back, I only listen to the December Album/CD during the holiday season. It is why it is so great to hear again when Thanksgiving rolls around again. So when we feel a bit of a sting of sadness at having to put the Christmas things away, that is natural. By doing so, we're preserving the great feelings we will have in forty-some odd weeks. It is kind of like paying it forward with a candy cane and a mug of egg nog.
So farewell the trappings of Christmas, we will see you next year.
Be well my friends,