No More Christmas

Today was the day to put Christmas away.  Our tree was dropping needles like crazy, but we just have not had a minute to “undecorate.”  For me, putting the decorations away is a much different experience than decorating before Christmas.  Before Christmas, it’s exciting and festive and loud and very merry.  Decorating the tree is a family activity.  We play Christmas music and chatter and laugh and tell stories.

Putting the decorations away is more solitary.  I like to pick a time when I am home alone to get started.  Today, when John and Ben were away on an errand, I began the process.  I really enjoy taking the ornaments off the tree, handling each one with care and putting it in its box.  Today, it seemed especially quiet.  Snow was falling outside.  The dogs were sleeping in a pile on the couch.  It was a really lovely time for me to look at the ornaments we have collected over the years and see the development of the kids’ artistic abilities over the years.  It felt a little melancholy and a little nostalgic, but not in a bad way.

When John returned, we both tackled the job of making sure all the decorations were packed away,  It took longer than I expected.  In fact, most of the day was spent on this task.  We put out a lot of decorations, so there were a lot to put away.  Now, Christmas is all put away, the tree is out by the curb, and our house is almost back to normal. We are ready for ordinary time.

Now that the Christmas season is over, I can think about the new year.  I am not going to make Resolutions per se.  My Advent and Christmas season have led me to see that there are a couple of areas that I would like to focus my energy on in 2011.  I am very intrigued by the idea of dreams and I want to take some time to discover, articulate, prioritize, and take steps to accomplish my dreams.  I also want to encourage my family members to do the same with their dreams.  I am working on a process for this and I am very excited to see how it goes.  I also want to see if there is a way to take this idea of “dream managing” to even more people.  I have already begun asking people about their dreams, trying to casually drop the question into conversations.

The other area that I feel inspired to work on this year is “generosity.”  Over the last few months, I have found myself being less-than-generous with my time, energy, money, etc.  Part of this was because of my own uncertainty about my future.  I needed to devote time and energy to adjusting to low vision living.  Still, I really want to avoid becoming self-absorbed or so caught up in my own issues that I forget to help or be present to others.  I know that gratitude and optimism come more easily when I am generous, so I really want to work on this in 2011.

These are my two big areas of focus for 2011 – dreaming and generosity.  I am certain that through the work on dreams and goals, more “resolutions” will become apparent, but for now I am going to be satisfied with these two.  I am really excited to see what blessings and grace these two ideas bring to me this year.  Dreaming and Generosity.  These ideas seem exciting, and I believe spending energy on these will be much more helpful to me than making resolutions that will be forgotten before January is over.

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