The riders in a race do not stop when they reach the goal. There is a little finishing canter before coming to a standstill. There is time to hear the kind voices of friends and say to oneself, 'The work is done.'”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr
I may have had a little Brit heritage in me...for a little while.
Used to be, day after Christmas, the tree came down, the garland was crated up, the lights were snuffed out and the general holiday flotsam and jetsam was relegated once again to the dark reaches of the attic.
The day after Christmas, I officially declared the holidays over.
And, sure, we would always do some kind of New Year's bash, but it was sans tree and Santa statues. I was done. D.O.N.E. No more peppermint stripes, no more jingle bells, no more mistletoe.
December 26th. Boxing Day to the U.K.
And I felt pretty organized and righteous about it.
As long as we were in Oklahoma, my house was Christmas Central. My out-of-town brother and his wife and family would travel in, my 2-miles-down-the-road brother and sis-in-law would practically move in, and we would Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.
(Yes, I just used 'Christmas' as a verb. I'm a maverick that way.)
We would have our time at my in-laws, we would gather round the tree with my siblings, we would unwrap, laugh, eat, watch movies, laugh some more...and eat some more.
And then I up and moved. Moved far, far away.
I cherished my role as Aunt Sissy, the moniker bestowed on me by my precious nieces and nephews and siblings and siblings-in-law. I cherished those years that I hosted the holiday cruise. I cherished being Aunt Sissy, replete with all the holiday trimmings.
I miss it still.
But part and parcel of the Aunt Sissy Christmas was also the grand pack-up, the day following all the festivities. I was usually Noel-ed out by that point, ready to clear the surfaces and banish the wreaths.
(For those of you counting, that was another use of a Christmas noun as a verb...'noel-ed'. Just trying to keep you on your grammatical toes...)
But moves and forced changes of tradition have yielded a kinder, gentler Aunt Sissy when it comes to the big Boxing Day. We travel back to our home town city now, the week before Christmas, and are still in the process of rewriting what our holiday traditions will be.
Gone are the days of my table surrounded by nieces and nephews building gingerbread houses. Gone are the days of a house-full of extended family snoring in our extra beds. The Aunt Sissy Christmases are no more.
So when we arrive back to our new home, when we come in the door, somewhat breathless and exhausted after many hundreds of miles, when we gallop toward Christmas Eve and the Big Day and the presents and the stockings and the dinner and the toys, I'm just not ready yet.
I'm just not quite ready to call it done. I'm not ready to tear down the tree. I'm not ready for Boxing Day.
And maybe, just maybe, that's the newest Aunt Sissy tradition....relaxing. Leaving it all up until the New Year. Letting it be. Lingering in the lights just a little longer.
Ushering in this new season.
Is your tree still up? Or does it make you itch to still have elves on the mantle and ornaments on the greenery? What is your tradition for taking it all down? Day after Christmas? The day of New Year's? Easter? Write a post about this topic and leave your name and the url of that post in the Mister Linky's box below or simply leave a comment. When do you put all the magic back in the Rubbermaids?
Making History,Aunt Sissy....er, um....,