I Have a Confession….
I have to admit that I find this time of year a little drear. Not only is it gray and bleak outside, but it’s also freezing cold. And, to make matters worse, the sun goes down around 5 p.m. The combination of gray, bleak, cold, and dark is somewhat of a downer. Plus, all the merry-making has come to a complete halt. It’s like, okay, January 1st–time to take down all the cheer. I feel like proclaiming, “Whoa! Wait a minute. It’s going to be dark and dreary for the next eight to ten weeks. Let’s leave the decorations and lights up a bit longer.” After all, we just spent resources and time buying and displaying twinkling lights, wreaths, and candles to make our homes merry and bright; and, for what? A measly few weeks of illuminated bliss.
The holidays can be overwhelming. There’s pressure to get decorations up and then back down again in a timely manner. I like to avoid the stress of a take-everything-down deadline by extending the holiday merriment a while. However, I certainly understand and appreciate the folks who want to clean-up and get back to their routines after the holidays. My mom is the Queen of Christmas Closure. On New Year’s Day, it’s tree and decorations down, and black-eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread for lunch– a Southern tradition for good luck in the New Year.
So, all that having been said; I have a confession: My Christmas tree is still up. Yep! It’s still up in all of its sheep and chicken ornament glory, and my shrubs and trees continue to be illuminated with colored and white, twinkling lights. I figure if home-improvement and department stores can display Christmas trees in September, and grocery stores can place Valentine’s Day candy on its shelves on New Year’s Day, then I’m extending the holidays on Green Hill Farm…..at least for a few weeks! That’s one good thing about living in the middle of nowhere. There’s no one you can bother, and no one to ridicule you for not conforming. Besides, those little, twinkling lights make me happy!
Here’s the thing: I find the month of January challenging; it’s cold, gray, and void of any festive holidays. That’s why those twinkling lights on the trees and shrubbery are so uplifting; I love the warm glow that the candles in the windows and the illuminated shrubbery framing the front porch give our home. Now, I realize that in traditional circles, leaving your Christmas tree up after New Year’s Day is considered tacky. And, as a Southern gal, I understand that good taste is paramount and wouldn’t want to offend anyone’s sense of etiquette. So, I will say this: I do plan to take our Christmas tree down tomorrow; however, the lights outside will stay–at least until the end of the month. After all, a little extra joy never hurt anyone! Happy January!