The picture to the left represents something significant to me. Actually, it is not a picture of something, but a picture of the absence of something -- an image of "nothing," in other words -- as in, there is no Christmas tree now where from around November 24th until yesterday it stood in all of its glory in this corner of my living room. But, alas, the Christmas season in all its festiveness and chaotic madness is over. And for that, I think I am glad. I do hold, however, that Christmas can live on in our hearts if we only allow.
Everyday life as we know it is back to normal. The holidays are quite like birthing a baby. You plan and plan, you try to be as prepared as possible, you look forward to it with great anticipation, and then one day you say I gotta birth this baby -- I can't deal with it any longer! So Christmas with all its planning and preparing and shopping and wrapping and the glitz and the glitter and the pondering and the good wishes begin to wear on even me as the season marches on -- and I absolutely love Christmas! But on December 25th or thereabout, it is over and life returns to normal just like life after having a baby returns to normal (sometimes you think it will never return to normal, but it does; it's just a lack of sleep telling your mind that). And year after year, when I finally put away all the decorations (sometimes not till January 6th or 7th), I feel a kind of euphoria...a clean-ness... a feeling of being organized, if only for the one day when the decorations actually come down. I even pare down a bit from the way I had things before Christmas. Less on the dining room table, less on the kitchen countertops maybe, just less -- less is more, simplified and quiet, unlike Christmas as it shouts Hey, look at me, I am dazzling don't you think? However it's quite likely that I will enjoy this tranquility for only a few days, because very shortly my daughter's family will "move in" as she puts it for two weeks. Yay, I truly cannot wait for that! My peaceful, clean abode will be somewhat short-lived, but that is okay indeed because I live every year for their month-long visit at the holidays. When they arrive in a couple of days, in come the suitcases, an accumulation of gifts they have acquired over the season along with the essentials needed for a small child, and suddenly the house becomes a chaotic mess again. Little Preston pulls out all of the toys and drags them all over the house and leaves her precious little mark on everything. Then, once again, the serenity of a straight house descends upon me after the kids leave and, even though the calm has returned, the source of the chaotic joyfulness has returned to her home in another country and her bigger-than-life presence is but a mere memory once more.
One might foolishly assert that it would be easier and better never to celebrate anything or have family stay with you or have little munchkins who make messes. But I would venture to say that one has never reveled in the glow of the Christmas lights on the tree as they reflect on the gifts below. And most certainly they have never enjoyed a playdate with a granddaughter who magically makes Christmas and all those scattered toys come alive. But then, without her even knowing, she silently breaks your heart when she goes home and leaves those toys behind, sitting still on the living room floor. The calmness and organization I feel when things are in order pales to the joy of making a mess with my little ones.
So even though I love a clean, tidy house, even I can say that a semi-perfect home might just be overrrated at times. Because to have the absence of a mess is to also have the absence of people and the love of those people in your life. And that, my friend, is a deal-breaker for me. I have just three words for all the chaotic love in my impending future:
BRING. IT. ON.
Posted by CC
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