Bright Holidays in the Dark Season
It was dark when I came up the stairs at 5:30 pm. My office has no windows, so if I work in the afternoon, I don’t notice the fading daylight. I just emerge and discover the world to be already dark. It makes me understand why extra lights are such a feature of the holiday season. We’re trying to chase away the darkness with holiday cheer. Or maybe that is just me. This is the time of year when I light candles and watch the melting wax. Last year I even made some candles. We try not to break out the holiday music until after Thanksgiving, but that holiday is only five days from now. Somehow the march of days has carried me all the way to the end of November. We’ve entered the dark, housebound portion of the year. Part of me wants to jump forward to when there is more daylight. Part of me wants to slow down because time is slipping away quickly. Part of me wants to dash ahead to embrace the coming changes. Part of me wants to huddle right here where they haven’t happened yet.
I’ve begun to accumulate things which will be wrapped for Christmas. At this time of year I have to figure out how I’m going to manage (or not manage) the holiday. During the financially lean years of 2004-2006 I did all the planning and shopping. I carefully balanced everything and had it all done before Thanksgiving. Last year I was too stressed and busy to do much advance planning, and the holiday happened anyway. This year I appear to have some brain space to spare for holiday planning, but I think that perhaps I shouldn’t. Christmas needs to be a community project, not mine to arrange and manage. Also, the spaces I have in my schedule need to be filled with more writing, not more elaborate holiday preparations.
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