Today is one of endings and beginnings. The year’s Thanksgiving ends as many people will be on the roads returning home after a long weekend. Today is the first Sunday in Advent, the traditional beginning of the Christian season before Christmas. The endings always seem harder than the beginnings, don’t they?
This year our holiday was a quiet one, and we faced recognizing that our holidays will be on the quiet side from now on. Parents are gone either figuratively or literally, siblings scattered, far-flung children are enmeshed with their own lives, and friends aging along with us showing us changes we don’t really want to see. Soon it will be memoires that sit at our tables in the winter months; holiday will mean any day and any place during the year that we can be with our loves ones.
Once we waved goodbye on Thanksgiving afternoon, I started putting autumn décor away. I took my time this year and tossed out a few things rather than repack. Ah…do I admit that there are still five boxes and two crates of autumn pumpkins and pilgrims? Autumn is a special season to me. The next morning I dragged out the Christmas stuff…another big ordeal.
I weeded Christmas things last year, but I did more plucking and tossing this year too. I still have much to use for decorating. Like last year, I am going to leave the decorations off the tree and rely on only the twinkling lights. I so enjoy the tree this way, a visible “less is more” feeling. I enjoyed the poinsettia trees, the family trims, the tea pot themed year, the red/white/blue year all in their day. But this year with Christmas only 23 days away, I am going for simpler stuff sitting around the house. Believe me, there is still plenty of red and green about!
I have huge ceramic nativities, but I am setting out a more modest one. The local Catholic Church does not decorate until week before Christmas. The local Episcopal Church does not put anything out until right on Christmas and the baby does not show up in the manger until Dec. 25 with the Three Kings arriving a week later. I like to have mine up early in the month to remind me in the bustle of busy days why we do all the holly and stuff in the first place. Then when January comes I want things put away for winter reflection, restoration, and writing days.
My favorite winter snowmen...made from chenille bedspread fabric. Soft and easily stored, cheery
while sitting among us!