Monday, November 26, 2012
Catch that Snowball!
Here's when the tiny snowball of the holiday season begins rolling down the hill, faster & faster, gaining momentum as it grows larger & larger, and we chase it hard, never quite catching up. I've always loved this betwixt and between time, when Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas/Winter Solstice are still ahead, but the last couple of years I've found I'm not the holiday elf I once was. Glittery abandon has given way to rustic restraint, joyous tackiness yields to cozy simplicity. Much of that is Linda's tasteful influence and discerning eye, but some is my own need for peace and gentle calm. The week before Christmas is crazy busy and stressful for me at work, with so many loose ends to tie up before I walk away for a week. This year I get the gift of being off three whole days before Christmas proper, which will thankfully allow for baking and wrapping and relaxing.
I'm not chomping at the bit to start decorating. Ordinarily the Winter moose dishes would be on the shelves before the Thanksgiving plates had fully dried, but they're still tucked in their hot pink totes. Not one light string, no tree has emerged from hiding yet. Saturday is the Forest Farmers' Market at the local Extension site, and we usually find inspiration there, so by this time next week, the Fall decorations will be safely stored and the shelves will wear some hints of the season. It's been an odd year, and part of me wants to see my family get past this holiday season and move steadily into a new year, not linger over days fraught with memories and heartbreak. So I think we'll deck the halls with flickering candles and serenity, woolly decorations and soft quiet, pinecones and the belief things will be better, evergreens and hopes for the future. After all, this is the season that draws darkness close around, thick and black like a woolen cloak; when we think we might suffocate in the sheer depth of the darkness, that cloak is flung aside and the light returns, bathing us in radiant promise. Darkness passes, and isn't that what we all celebrate this time of year, no matter what holiday we call it?