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The long shadow of the season

Well, that’s it for another year.  

When the tree in the corner of the living room looks more like the sole survivor of a nuclear winter than a winter wonderland, then we tend to know it’s time to call it a day, pack up what’s left of the lights and twinkling ornaments, and return to our work-a-day lives. 

We’ve travelled, eaten, played, laughed, argued sometimes.

We’ve opened, bought, given, smiled, perhaps even cried.

But has any of this festive cheer changed us for the better?  Are we in any way different because of the story of Christmas that we have, in one way or another, re-enacted?

I’m not particularly speaking of faith here, although clearly this is where the story began.  I’m simply wondering whether, as the dark days of winter begin to take their toll (at least for those of us living ‘above the line’), the light that grew with all these ‘good times’ will be strong enough to last the onset of yet-again-ordinary life.

Or perhaps we’re accustomed to letting it fade away slowly – faith, hope and charity eroded by the winds of anxiety that accompany the stresses and strains of modern family life.

Looking back with the hindsight that January tends to bring, I notice that most of us head into the New Year firmly resolved to do less than what we did back in December. 

Eat less, drink less, make less mess. 

Could it be, though, that is where I tend to go wrong?  Are we too quick to extinguish the long shadow of the season and settle back into something less than real life?

American writer and broadcaster, Andy Rooney, died just before Christmas, only a few weeks ago.  “One of the most glorious messes in the world,” he once is reported to have said, “is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.”

Don’t clean it up too quickly. 

The tree in our home is gone.  To be perfectly honest, I’m not at all sad about that. 

And yet, this year, I’m determined not to forget too quickly those few days of seasonal cheer, surrounded by those I most love in the world.   I’m determined not to forget the feasting, lounging, playing, and long half-meaningful conversations that end deep into the night.

That is my resolution.

After all, these are the moments that my children will remember.  The rest is nothing but white noise.


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Reader Comments (1)

Hmmm my mom always clean up the living room quickly. I might have to let her read this.

January 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBusiness Card Printing

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