Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Taking Down the Decorations
If the Christmas decorations weren't taken down by Twelfth Night then my mum would start to panic. In Italy there is no such problem, decorations can easily stay up until Easter, especially in the mountains where they make everything more cheerful and festive. At home though when school starts it's time to take them all down, so you can start cleaning in all the corners again, because let's face it while the tree and cards are up it's a great excuse not to dust and sweep quite so vigorously.
Today I took down my Christmas cards and thought how much nicer it is to write them and then put on display the ones you receive.
There's even a lovely line in 'White Christmas',
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write,
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white.
We didn't have a white Christmas but it was lovely all the same.
But to get back to the cards, I love writing them and thinking about all the people in my life, or who have just passed through it, or maybe aren't part of it anymore, but there they are in my address book and it's a chance to tell them it was nice to have met them even though it was twenty years ago on holiday and they did make a difference to my life.
There's no song about taking them down. It's different, There are no more mince pies, the days are already longer and brighter, there are no holidays to look forward to. Taking them down though is a chance to read them once again, maybe more carefully than before Christmas, maybe notice something significant, take note of a change of address, a new baby, a career change, or just register in your heart the warm and happy greetings sent just for you. There might be a card or two from someone who you didn't send one to, so it's a chance to thank them or send a New Year card. It's a chance to reflect again on all the people who make your life better, who are part of your mosaic of ups and downs, the ones who stick by you and the ones who although you don't see them it makes the world a friendlier place just knowing they are there.
So putting up the cards is a chance to be grateful to all the people who are part of your life and taking them down is a chance to reinforce your goodwill and desire to keep them part of it.
When you've finished make a cup of tea and watch the January sunset, full of promise for a brand new year.
Happy January to you all