Reflecting on the season in quiet of winter

Published 1:02 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

There is a huge spider web suspended between the branches of an oak tree in my front yard. It is only visible for a short while when the sun comes through the limbs and turns the web silver.

I’m watching it sway in a light breeze this winter morning, the day after Christmas. It is quiet in my house at this early hour. My daughter is still sleeping and the cat finally settled down for a nap on his favorite cushion.

The day after the big day has a different feel depending on your age, I think. When you are a kid, it still holds the excitement of Christmas and is a time for exploring possibilities. There are trampolines, and bicycles and baby dolls and video games etc. to discover in more detail. And, there’s the freedom of knowing there is time left before school bells ring again.

As you get older, the feel of the day changes. For a lot of folks, it is a day back at work, catching up on what came up and went unnoticed in the race toward Christmas Day.

For others, it brings the rush of bargain hunting as they brave the jungle of holiday clearance sales. The spirit of competition fills the air, and the aisles, as shoppers rush to take home their treasures they didn’t realize they needed until they were marked 70 percent off the original price.

People who love and crave all things Christmas might experience a bit of sadness today. They’re the ones who have their tree and all other assorted lighted decorations turned on this morning and have no plans to take any of it down before New Year‘s Day. For them, the holiday season passed too quickly and won‘t return soon enough. (They start celebrating it the day after Halloween and finish around Valentine‘s Day).

Sitting here thinking about this, I’ve decided we should petition our leaders to make Christmas a three-day holiday every year. We need the day before, the eve of Christmas, to prepare, Christmas Day to enjoy the frenzy of celebrating, and the day after to recoup, to regroup, and to rewind before returning to life beyond the sparkle of the season. Of course, it must be a paid holiday.

Me, I’m a bit of all the above-described ways of experiencing this post Christmas Day. I am enjoying the fun of yesterday’s gifts. (I didn’t even take my new InstantPot out of the box until this morning).

While I don’t have a job to return to this a.m., there is a fair amount of laundry that waited out the holiday in neatly separated piles. That mountain of gift bags is not going to put itself in the closet either.

Oh, and I really want to check out the mark down on sweaters in my youngest daughter’s size. Since it appears we are actually having winter this year, she could use some new ones.

As for my decorations, yes, my tree is on and my outside lights will shine in tonight’s darkness. By tomorrow, my daughter will insist we put Christmas away because for her it’s over when the paper comes off the final present. That is probably the only reason the snowman collection goes back in the Christmas closet before the arrival of another year.

Yes, this year’s Christmas Day came and went. It was a nice one.

Now, on the morning after, there is a silver spider web I will only be able to see for a few more minutes before the light changes and it hides in the shadows for the rest of the day. So, I am going to enjoy sitting in my rocking chair, experiencing a bit more of a quiet morning after the big day.

Then I will turn on my washing machine, pack away the gift bags, promise my daughter I’ll take the tree down tomorrow, and prepare myself for a farewell to this holiday season as wait for the New Year to arrive.


Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.