Putting Away Christmas
So, I read an article this morning that was discussing the appropriate time to take down all your Christmas decorations. The article used the words “unlucky” and “traditionally” and “inappropriate”. It’s after new year’s, we’ve all hit the reset button emotionally, but new habits have not yet been fully implemented, the lazy days of Christmas vacation are coming to an end and seeing our nutcrackers gathered together for packing up, a sad crunchy Christmas tree, it’s purposed fulfilled, is ready to be set on the curb. We all feel the need to be productive but are not really ready to go back to school or work but we know the bills never stop, especially now.
So, just to pass on a few tidbits from the aforementioned article. Don’t feel like a slacker if you wait until the twelfth night after Christmas to take it all down and get it out of site. January 5th to be exact, taking it down any earlier is considered bad luck by many, as is putting up your tree before Thanksgiving. For those of you feeling lazy, as do I, the twelfth night is a festival which marks the official end of the Christmas season, and marks the coming of the Epiphany, another Christian feast day on January 6th. 12 days is the length of time Christians traditionally celebrated the birth of Jesus. Wow, why have I all been in such a big hurry.
Our family tops the tree with an Angel, to represent the Angel of the Lord that presided over Jesus’ birth, some use a star, early Christians used a baby in a manger. Regardless of your beliefs, I think we all go through the emotional hangover that comes with pulling that symbol off the top of the tree, after the lights and ornaments, and getting back to the grindstone. This combined with the bigger tasks of taking down all of Christmas, replacing your old décor, throwing away all the boxes, and trash that has accumulated over the last two weeks, making room in the refrigerator from leftovers to school food. Thankfully my son always makes use of the old tree to drop in the pond for future fish habitat, and can be enticed with cash or a tank of gas for his truck to take down our outdoor Christmas lights.
But my personal take away from all this is a powerful feeling of renewal. The greatest gift of all was Jesus. I have replaced a feeling of guilt and procrastination with a firm appreciation for the 12 nights of Christmas that comes after December 25th. So, it’s time to be restored and refreshed. No more teenagers sleeping on the couch until noon, no more muddy boots in the living room, no more garland on the mantle, but a deep sense of renewal and rebirth, for which I am thankful. (Until the weekend!)