I don't like taking down my Christmas decorations early, because its important to give it time to sink in and last. We had a particularly full advent and Christmastime this year. There were occasions of real grace in the simplest moments of life. The message of 'needing a savior" and simultaneously having one, touched me so deeply.
And we shared ridiculously happy days too, like the day we went to museums by candle light and wound up in the middle of a town party where my kids met Santa and won prizes, only to end with a candle light concert at the Seton shrine where my kids listened to melodic Christmas carols sung by three choirs. The following weekend we went to Weinberg theater for a Christmas Carol play, and it was dazzling.
Scrooge learns to "Keep Christmas in his heart and honor it all the Year" and we all face a similar challenge. I didn't worry about needing the decorations to remain up this year in order to 'keep it' so to speak, a bit longer. There are so many beautiful memories to help me keep Christmas for a long time. Memories I can pick up and hold in my heart, and turn this way and that to recall I have been blessed. In my family, and in my friendships, in my town, and in my country, I am blessed.
These moments are the ones I will hold onto, until the day grows long enough to retain a bit more light, and evenings don't feel bitter and cruel. While I sit by the fire, and push through the mountain of purgatorial school work, I can go back and remember that life is good and my neighbor is who God puts in my life this day.
What will you hold onto?