And suddenly....it's all over. Gifts, thoughtfully chosen and wrapped to shiny, sparkling perfection, are handed out, oohed and aahed over, proper thanks offered. The Christmas ham, the hors d'oeuvres, the brightly frosted cookies are no more. Family has come, bearing more food and more gifts, and they've gone. Gift boxes have been flattened, ribbon rolled up and stored until next year. Strange, this whole process of preparation, planning, anticipation, execution...and then exhaustion.
There have been years when I would un-deck the halls as soon as the hoopla has ended. Not so this time. Lights still twinkle on the tree. Snowflakes still surround the glittery "Let It Snow" that hangs on the mirror. A teeny manger scene continues to sit on a bookshelf as a reminder of a night in a stable when Love came down. I find myself rather pensive and unwilling to let go. Perhaps I need a few days more to accept the ending, to gather the gumption to face a new beginning. Already I know there are challenges to overcome, joys to be discovered, plans to make.
What lies ahead, the known and the things we can't possibly imagine, they roll soon. But not today. Not this moment. Today I am choosing this quiet with my journal, a hot cup of coffee, good music and a little something full of chocolaty comfort. This moment is mine to just be. Quiet. Rest.
The new year? I'm allowing myself a Scarlett O'Hara moment. I'll think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.