Christmas Weekend: Twelve

Previously: Blueberries, Tubas, Tires

Last year, I took down my decorations too early.

I am always quick to remind people that Christmas is longer than a day; that it's a season of a dozen days that goes all the way through the New Year to January 5th. If you've ever wondered where the concept behind that song about turtle doves and lords a-leaping comes from, there you go.

And so I try to honor this as best I can, allowing our tree, oversized stockings (seriously, nobody wears socks that big), garland, and lights to remain in place until early January, the full season as those who developed the liturgical calendar intended.

But every year, or nearly so, I become antsy. I want to reclaim the space these things take up in my house, and they hardly ever make it to the 5th before finding themselves stuffed back into boxes and shoved into our crawlspace for another 11 months.

Last year, I once again couldn't muster the patience, and everything was gone before Twelfth Night.

And I regretted it immediately.

If there was ever a year when I could have used a little extra joy; for symbols of peace and good cheer to linger for the full season and to remind me that the promises we celebrate at Christmas endure beyond those first 24 hours, it was then. But the part of my brain that wants to move on overpowered the part needing reminders and reassurance.

Remembering how my tree's premature absence felt last year, I'm prepared to allow Christmas to linger this time around. I think I and many others need these signs that peace on earth and goodwill to all extend beyond a single day more than ever.

The celebration is soon to begin, and for all twelve days, I plan to lean into it as much as I can.

Image via Freefoto.

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