The corner where the tree was now stands empty. The formal dining room serves as a catchall for jolly remnants–the ornaments and merrymakers we missed in our post-holiday sweep. Last night I gave in and threw away the balsam fir candle–its wick burned down to the metal disc at the bottom.
Christmas is officially over.
Like countless other moms across America, today I buzz along to the familiar soundtrack of my day: the whir of the bread machine, clothes tumbling in the dryer, the dog’s occasional yawn.
Most every year, I’m itching to get the tree down–the girth of it having worn out its welcome. But not this year. This year, though I still un-decorated within days of Christmas, I was sorry to see it all go. I knew I’d miss sitting by the light of the tree–and the flickering winter white candles–each night. I knew I’d miss the fullness of the nativity on display in built-ins that–otherwise–go empty. Even the persistent jingle of the Christmas toys, I miss.
People tout January for its clean slate and new beginnings. I’m not a January kind of girl, myself. I feel almost guilty saying so because some of my favorite people were born within it, but still. January is cold and it’s stark and those things are much easier to live with when they come with the promise of Christmas just around the corner. With Christmas gone by, the cold stings and the stark corners just stand there. Empty.
Empty seems so much emptier, when once it wasn’t.