12 Days of Christmas

Last week ended the 12th day of Christmas and Epiphany on Saturday. I sat by the fire this weekend, in the frigid 40 degree Southern California weather, contemplating my plans for our holiday decoration removal. Unintentionally poetic, we have ended up with 12 large bins that store our lights, trees, ornaments, greenery and candles. It’s beyond ridiculous. We don’t have any lords a leaping, but we do have some ladies dancing and if you will listen closely to our Scottish background music, there might be some pipers piping. I tripped over a few turtle doves on my way to get some coffee by the maids a milking, all in an attempt to amplify my motivation. 

Lighting hooks, ladders, boxes… logistics were flooding into my mind like those drummers drumming. I knew I needed to get moving, but my head was swimming around like those seven swans a swimming. I took a stroll outside to survey the outdoor décor removal. It was dusk, so likely nothing would happen today but I was building my mental checkbox and dropping items into my packing list like those geese a laying.

At this point, I need to mention that we welcomed a new girl into our family this Christmas. Her name is Elizabeth and she is a Cocker Spaniel we adopted from the local animal rescue center in Santa Paula. She is a sweetheart and I can’t help but sometimes call her Ms. Lady, from Lady and the Tramp. Anyway, she was helping me with the survey mission but as the cold wind blew, she talked me into going back inside. As is her new custom, she drug her blanket over to our fireplace and began walking in fast and determined circles on it like those five golden rings, until it was “just right”. Off to sleep she went. I shut the door and wondered what she would think about missing those beautiful black birds that had landed on our lawn. Maybe she was dreaming about the French hens instead.

Oh no! Somehow Epiphany became Sunday and the runway was running out to get all the holiday goodness packed up and stored. Oddly, it didn’t seem quite right. I discussed with my family and my true love said to me, “I’m not quite ready to take it down.” I was elated! Looking at the cheerful twinkling lights, glowing candles and shimmering ornaments, I agreed completely. It was clear that the décor needed to be enjoyed and age a few more days before it was ripe for picking and packing. 

I know what you are thinking. You have neighbors like us. They keep the lights up way to long. Yes, to keep the season special, it must be put away to be enjoyed again next time. We normally do that sort of thing religiously, but sometimes it is good to give yourself some license, some kindness and grace to pause and enjoy the moment. We wanted to sip a little more on the beauty that is all around. Do you feel it too? It’s wonderful! 

We will pack tomorrow, but today, we will enjoy the wonder of the season for a bit more. I encourage you all to do the same. Even if your holiday wares are all packed up and tidy, spend a few minutes this week reflecting, meditating and appreciating the goodness and joy that every season brings. Life is glorious, precious and can easily be missed. Enjoy it!

Oh yeah, and I’m still looking for the partridge in the pear tree…

Have a great week!

Christmas lights on a house, tress ans bushes in the evening with a snow covered yard. Photo by Adobe Firefly.