Sunday, January 04, 2009

Tis Time For The End Of The Holidays

I know its January fourth.

I am well aware that Christmas has been over for a week and a half. Christmas is last year's news by now.

But we are still in festive holiday spirits at our house.

The Grandmas are both here. The tree is still up and lit. The lights hung on the outside of the house are still up. For us, probably like a good many of you who celebrate Christmas, we are still - for one more day at least – in the holiday spirit.

It's not often we get both Grandmas in the house together. The one Grandma – my Ma lives in Pensacola Florida, and we will be hard pressed to ever drag her up from the sunny south for Christmas again.

Because, like me, Ma is not a winter person.

It should be noted that in late December and early January, Pensacola is not usually a sunny warm place, but instead cool and rainy. I hope I don't get the Pensacola Tourist Board mad at me for sharing this observation.

So both the Grandmas, who enjoy each other's company, are stationed in their positions at the kitchen table, dealing cards, moaning at their defeats, and congratulating each other on their victories.

It's really quite noisy. Now I know where my own two daughters get their boisterous energies from.

Tomorrow, everything changes back.

Tomorrow, I go back to work, and the girls head back to school. And the three of us will have to hit the ground running, because January is a busy time – making up for productivity that was lost to the Holiday Season.

My phone will be ringing. New problems will require solutions, and new deadlines and schedules will have to be defined.

Good grief.

But the Grandmas will still be here tomorrow night when I come home. My Ma's plane leaves Tuesday morning to head back to Pensacola – via which ever stopover at whatever hub city the airline she is flying uses. On Tuesday, my Ma will have her own timelines, schedules, and deadlines to meet, until she finally arrives home safe in her little dwelling on the golf course.

And the other Grandma, my lovely wife Darlene's mother, will head to back to her home – to the Grandpa Nonos and Uncle Glennie.

Things in our house will slowly drift back to normal. The massive amount of decorations inside the house will gradually find their way back into the many boxes and bins. The outside lights will gradually come down, and also be stored into containers. And those containers and boxes and bins will eventually find themselves placed perfectly back into the storeroom in their precise positions, safe until next January sneaks up on surprisingly quickly after Halloween.

But we will be hard pressed to rekindle the same level of festive holiday spirit here next year. Because I know Ma won't want to fight the holiday airport traffic. Or face the deluge of snows and ice we had this season. Or catch the standard holiday's colds and sniffles that we Canadians think little of during the opening days of winter.

So today we are savoring the final holiday moments. The final hours of time together as a complete family. The last lingering experience of togetherness and love before we all kick back into the standard fare that normal daily life doses out on a daily basis.

Quite often through the holidays you hear the sentiment that Christmas should be in our hearts all year long, not only at Christmas. The spirit of giving, of kindness and well wishing. And that would be wonderful. But I could not take three hundred and sixty five days a year of Christmas trees, and colored lights, and banisters wrapped in holly.

And I do not want to hear another Christmas carol or see Rudolf or Frosty on TV until l at least December first.

I'm done with that nonsense.

But I will be sad to see the spirit melt away like that magical Christmas snow.

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