We are a bit behind everyone, in fact we're even late by our own standards. Today the kids and I packed away the final remnants of Christmas decorations. Why does this simple task leave such a sense of gloom over the house? I can't imagine we are the only ones who feel this way.
This was a weird holiday for us all around. Putting the decorations up on the 13th is the last part of a very disjointed season. It wasn't just one thing that threw us off course this year but an accumulation of events that gave this season a feeling of "going through the motions". That's why it took me aback when Meg commented on how sad the house felt with everything going away.
Packing up the tree was easy this year because we never got around to decorating it! Not only didn't we decorate the tree but we never got to the Hallmark store to buy our 2012 ornaments and of course they're out of them :( It's not as if we sat around and ignored the tree ~ there literally just wasn't any time. Meg and I were in Gainesville until Saturday the 22nd. On the 23rd we attended a Jaguar game and left directly after for Mobile.
That was the other thing that was weird this year. In addition to us not being home for Christmas we all weren't together for the first time as well. Emily had to sing at a church in Mobile and Patrick couldn't get off work so he stayed behind with friends. While the kids were growing up we were adamant about having Christmas in our home beyond Emily's first Christmas. Being hit with two firsts at once was a bit much. While we did arrive home on the 25th around 4pm I can promise you I did not jump out of the car and start cooking our normal Christmas fare, nope we had take-out Chinese. We didn't even go to the movies like we have the past few years that got moved to the 26th. Despite plans to have our special dinner on Boxing Day we're lucky we made it to the movies we were all so jet-lagged.
Emily decorated the house beautifully while Meg and I were out of town. She went back to school yesterday so maybe that is what's added to the gloom; us taking down all of the things she did to make the house so festive. I purchased a couple sets of Snowflake wall stickers that were so popular this year and had an idea in my mind of how to use them only to have Emily place then around much more nicer than I would have. Seeing as how it is the closest thing we are going to get to seeing snow we're leaving them up for a while longer. I've actually kept some of my snowmen out as well.
I'm thinking that maybe we're feeling the gloom a bit more than usual is the realization that things are changing faster than we realized. We all know that the family dynamics change as kids grow older. Responsibilities enter our children's lives that we as parents have no control over. Personally I'd prefer to adjust to each of these changes one at a time and each spaced out a few years.
The weird thing is there wound up being a true silver lining to this crazy and disjointed Christmas. In the back of my head I was stressing over how hard the 10th anniversary of my Dad's passing would hit me. While I thought of him often and shed a few tears the grief didn't consume me as I thought it would.
So today is simply a sad Monday and you know what that's okay. Mourning for things you miss is what helps them remain strong memories. It is when we hold onto the mourning and sadness that we can't welcome the new traditions and memories that we all have in our future.
Snowmen and Crowns two of my favorite things!