Un-decking the Halls

Does taking down Christmas decorations leave you blue?  I can’t help but feel that way as a “un-deck” the halls at our house. We had a lovely, busy, and festive holiday season full of multiple family gatherings, delicious food – and some tasty leftovers, and many wonderful toys.  Now as I take everything down, I can’t get motivated to cram the last few things into the big green storage bin in our basement.  Instead it sits on my husband’s already cluttered tool bench (though I’m not getting any complaints there).

Growing up our artificial tree would be up for what seemed like MONTHS after Christmas!  My mom once dreamed it was March and the tree was still up.  I think she too struggled with putting everything away – something I may have inherited from her! We also had Christmas lights permanently mounted to the main window indoors.  All you had to do was flip a switch and cha-ching – instant holiday year-round!

Is putting everything away part of the realization that we’re just going back into our typical, non-festive routine – a long stretch of hibernating during winter and cold without any EXCITING holidays for some time?  Shouldn’t I still be feeling the hope and excitement of a New Year?  Sigh…I don’t know.

Little by little, everything will find its place, from the Christmas decorations to the newly received toys that are overflowing from toy bins as we speak. I will get re-organized and re-energized at some point.

I already found a few inspiring places for motivation and kid’s organization:

Small Potatoes

Merriment

Attempting Aloha

For today, I’ll hang out with my 3 year old, who is boycotting nap time. How is “un-decking the halls” going for you?

Squinting to see the Light

Our Christmas Tree with white lights 2012

Our Christmas Tree 2012

When I put the lights on our Christmas tree every year, I like to use what I call the “squint test.”  This means that I step back from the tree and squint my eyes once the lights are on to see if there are many points of white light to make our tree shiny and beautiful.

In the wake of yesterday’s shooting massacre, I find myself squinting to see the light again during this holiday season.  My heart aches with prayers for heaven’s newest angels, for their loved ones left behind, for all parents, and for everyone searching for answers in such a violent year full of too many tragedies.  Is it possible to squint real hard to see the light and have some hope?

Life is precious and delicate – a concept put beautifully by Little Miss Wordy in her post yesterday.   I had some rough parenting moments with my 3 year old yesterday, but I quickly got over it when I heard the news.  I feel so blessed as I hugged my children extra hard last night.

In reading friend’s posts on Facebook, everyone expressed their sorrow, pain, fear, sympathy, and love. It’s a scary world out there, and every day is so precious.  I thought this quote from Mr. Rogers helps us look for the light –

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

Praying for extra helpers to shine love & light….

– Cathy (Mama O.)