Well, the Big Day is over. Friends and family have gone home, presents stuffed in beat-up bags. The turkey and ham and hors d’oeuvres have been scarfed, bottles of wine and cartons of egg nog emptied, toys played with and abandoned. Parents can finally get some sleep, grandparents can once again start putting money into their savings accounts for next year’s presents, and the dog is still looking for leftovers dropped on the floor.
I still have my Christmas lights up — do you? If I had my way I’d take down the tree and leave the lights around the window and across the arch up until at least July. The Santas can go, except for the clear ones that look like wizards. The tree has wonderful memories on it, including my 34-year-old’s “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament. But those can get packed away, too.
So what do we do now?
The Christmas vibration still lingers in the air between it and New Years, but it’s growing faint as we speak. Football games are getting ready to take the place of Hallmark Christmas Movies, and those mini hot dogs and smokie links aren’t on sale anymore.
It’s also the time that reality starts clicking its castanets on the outskirts of our hearing. The warm fuzzies of the holiday season can only last until New Years. The 12 Days of Christmas and all of that. Once the tree is down and the lights packed away, people are free to start being jerks again. Politics will raise its obnoxious head, snow will cause major traffic jams and road rage, and it still will be dark when you wake up and dark when you come home from work.
Has this holiday season been for nothing after all?
A couple of blogs ago I said I’m not that much into Christmas, because I celebrate Christmas every day. Obvious baby Jesus isn’t born every day, and the three wise men don’t visit every day, but the spirit can last all year long.
Before you make your New Years resolutions to lose weight, visit the Vatican, or find a new job, grab a hold of that spirit that the season has left behind and make it your own. Use that positive point of light and make something of it.
Be a nicer person. Forgive those who are idiots. It’s not up to you to show them the light. Mean people, bossy people, all have nothing to do with you. Their hangups have nothing to do with you. Feel sorry for them, then move on.
Give five dollars to a local food pantry or animal rescue shelter. Just because. Help an elderly shopper with their groceries. Someone slips and falls, stop and pick them up. Little movements of kindness expand exponentially back to you, surpassing your original gesture.
If you hold on tightly to that little spirit of the season that is fading behind us, you will see that the world is all right. In all it’s monstrous, ungrateful, banal existence, there is a part that still shines with the Christmas spirit.
That part is in you.
Even if it’s hidden behind all those Christmas cookies.