At The Close of Christmas



Packing up the tree ornaments

I have taken a hiatus from my blog for almost two months. It wasn’t intentional it just sort of happened and on reflection, I think I needed it. Life, however, didn’t take a respite, it barrelled along at top speed finally coming to what I know will be a brief slow down in this lull between Christmas Day and New Year’s (Although looking at my calendar of events for the next few days, it is not exactly a lull devoid of activity).

I put the tree up on December first this year, which makes it the first to be taken apart and packed away. I will leave the mantle and the dining room table until this weekend. Stretching out the season just a little. Each year as I place each ornament away for the next eleven months, I reflect on the people who gave me the ornaments, or the memories attached to them. I think about how an ornament represents an aspect of my life, for example, the turtle that makes me think of my years at Laurel Hill Primary school or my collection of MOMA angels that make me think of my Mama. As I dismantle this year’s Christmas I think back on the current year, the good and the bad and take stock of where I am in this moment.

The packing of the decorations for me is a solitary activity which makes it a good time for contemplation. A new year is just days away and while my faith doesn’t officially close the Christmas season until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, I like to face January 1 with a clean slate, that’s a clean house in the real world as well as in my figurative world. After fifty years of living, I know that some baggage comes forward with me and I believe some of it should. Not all baggage is negative, some of it is wisdom or at least reminders to help make better decisions moving forward, hang on to those thoughts. Some are the blessings that lift us up and strengthen our armor for the battles that lay ahead, Keep these in your carry-on bags.

The rest, the doubts, insecurities, the hurts intended or unintentional, leave all those behind in 2018, we will pick up some new ones in 2019, we are after all, only human. But perhaps we can try and relegate these to the smallest disposable bag possible in the coming year.

As I pack up the ornaments and the trimming, I am packing up the good things I’ll move forward with and discarding that which I don’t want to see in my life when it’s time to pack up 2019. A year is but three-hundred-sixty-five days, we should make the most of it. Another thing I’ve noticed is the older I get the faster the years seem to go, so I’ll be back to this time of reflection before I know it. As I pivot from the past toward the future, I’m filled with contentment in this moment. After all, this moment is what life is really all about. Yesterday is part of my story, but I can’t change it, tomorrow is hoped for, but I can’t make it turn out the way I might envision, but this moment, this beautiful gift of a moment, I can soak up and be present in. This is the thought that I will carry in the palm of my hand, my passport into the year ahead.