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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Post Christmas


I haven’t turned on the Christmas tree lights in a few days now.  Seems like so much, all this ramping up for one day that we spend sitting around in our pajamas.  We had to stop opening presents because Emma was crying each time we opened a new one.
                “Can I paint with these?” She said, holding up a new set of bathtub paints.
                “Not now, you can use those when you take a bath tonight,” cue the tantrum.  I don’t even know what my parents got for her; two unopened boxes are tucked in the corner of our apartment.  I will open them on some dreary day in February when we have cabin fever and the toys from Christmas have lost their shine.  
                I asked Scott when we should break down the Christmas decorations, 
                “You know we should have champagne or wine while we take them down, because we have two months of winter left and no Christmas to look forward to,” he said, flipping my family’s tradition of drinking while we decorate on its head.  One time I was looking at calendar made for an elementary school classroom, it had a bell for December, a snowflake for January, a heart for February, and a four leaf clover for March.  It occurred to me that we placed Christmas and created Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day just for that purpose. If we hadn’t it would be snowflake, snowflake, snowflake, and then a brown snowflake. 
                There are no major holidays in the summer months.  We don’t need them.  It’s the dead of winter where you need something to decorate for or look forward to.  I’m sure our forefathers got tired of sitting by the fire and whittling for four whole months.
                I was just musing that I wish Christmas was at the end of January.  Spread out the holiday cheer.  Or madness.
                We made our gingerbread house today.  That’s right four days after Christmas we made our house of candy.  Emma loved it.  I had started with dreams of piping on perfect scalloped windows and arched doorways, while we were making our little house I realized I wanted it to be messy.  Dripping with royal frosting.  Covered in mismatched candy.  Emma’s three, after all, and this is about her, and not some silly notion that I saw in Better Homes and Gardens.  So we did it together, on a cold leisurely morning.  Scott came up with the idea of putting spice drops across the top, Emma placed mints and butter mints all over the place for shingles, and I tried to glue candy canes to the corners.  (A side note: does it scare you when frosting dries into that glue?  I always think, ‘oh gracious, we eat that,’)
                I think I might do more of this.  Holiday traditions after the holidays.  Save some of it in those quiet quiet days that come after.  So much of what we do has little to do with Christ’s birth and more to do with the fact that it’s cold outside.  I had a coupon for Glade’s line of winter scents.  I stood before a rack in Target that looked like it had been ransacked.  All of the holiday fragrances were sold out.  I was a bit sad.  An apple cinnamon or pine candle still makes sense in mid-January. 
                If you’ve followed me for awhile you know that I can be a wee bit grinchey.  I did my due diligence this Christmas season with the holiday music, more for my child’s sake.  It is, at the very least, kid friendly.  My grinchey heart aches more because of the excess and the breakneck speed at which it goes.  We cram a lot of sugar, expectations, and emotions into the thirty some odd days that come between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I end up with a bit of a tummy ache, tight jeans, and graying tree in my living room.  Why can’t we take this slow?  Savor it.  Make the four dreary months a little brighter the whole way through. 
                Is there anything that you’ve started to do after Christmas to make the hang over a bit easier to get over?

3 comments:

Kristen Lina said...

I'm not sure if this link will show, but here's a podcast of a wonderful teaching I heard at my sister's church in Cambridge from early December: http://sainteds.podomatic.com/entry/2012-12-03T01_23_59-08_00

Maclom reclaims Advent as a time for reflection, and the 12 days of Christmas (following Christmas) for celebration. I think he'd approve of your "late" gingerbread house.

Lina

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Great blog Lara!! May I follow?

Happy New Year from a fellow blogger :)

~Keith

Amy said...

I agree we need to slow Christmas down! I actually put up my tree earlier than most people because I try to stretch it out. But this year I was ready to take everything down on Dec. 26th. My little girls started asking if we could get out the "egg" decorations. I guess we're skipping Valentine's Day! But it just goes with your point that we all need something to look forward to this time of year!