We began to de-Christmas the house yesterday. I get a sense of sadness in my gut as we do this – putting away the holiday towels, taking the candle lights out of the windows, gathering all the little snowmen and holiday dolls scattered about the house. It’s a feeling of nostalgia, maybe of loss, I haven’t really pegged it. Both kids are in their 20s, and I wonder how long the Christmas excitement lasts – as if we will never have this again. An irrational feeling, certainly. I hear from others who have grandkids and they describe the fun of watching little kids at Christmas morning, or they talk about what the kids want for Christmas. Such things sound like re-generation.
Advent is the season of waiting. Now that the event has occurred – a celebration of life and hope – how do we treat our lives? Maybe the best way is to invoke Wendell Berry again: give ourselves away.
We are taking down the tree today. It may be some time before I can retrieve the outside lights, as they are frozen under a significant mantle of snow and ice. But that’s fine, they represent the last vestige of Advent during the dark hours of winter.