Thursday, December 25, 2014

Well, it's Christmas night--is it all over?

I was tempted to write about the letdown of Christmas night and the anticipation of the new year to come. For a couple of months I've been focused on the holidays--I don't know if you start that early--so nothing else much got done. But I was always aware of that new leaf I was going to turn over after Christmas. I probably wouldn't even wait until New Year's--in fact, I did my yoga routine today and that's part of my new leaf. The rest of it really has to do with  establishing a writing schedule, getting serious about all the projects on my computer and in my head, doing some of the cooking and entertaining I want to do.
By Christmas night, with dinner behind us and the dishes done, it's too easy to think it's time to move on. A bit of a let-down, yes, but also, at least for me, a time for looking forward with optimism.
But then I read the weekly Advent message from my church, this written by senior minister Larry Thomas. Larry lamented that he would have chosen to write about the first week of Advent, when we're all gearing up for what he called the "Christmas marathon" and our energy is fresh. By Christmas night, our energy is sapped and it's sometimes hard to maintain the spirit of peace and goodwill toward all men.
But he suggested not rushing past Christmas, not hurrying to put it behind us. Leave the decorations up, even until Twelfth Night. Sit, quietly and peacefully, in front of the tree or the fire, enjoy the company of family or the peace o quiet meditation. Christmas of all times brings us together in a spirit of awe and thankfulness and love--treasure that feeling and let it linger.
No, it's not an excuse for procrastination--I still have to do my yoga and once I get thank-you notes written and finish the novel I'm reading, I have to get serious about that novel in progress. (Maybe that in itself is a bit of procrastination.) But I can carry the spirit of Christmas with me--probably all year long is a bit too much to hope for but I can try. I can be kinder and gentler, with loved ones and strangers. I can pray for peace and for solutions to world problems such as climate change. I can still write that great American novel.
Sit back, smell the scents of Christmas, and linger in the holiday.

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