Dismantling Christmas for Another Year

Click here to hear the audio version.

Woke up at three in the morning. I stayed in bed for a while, just contemplating life. Then I padded downstairs to say good-bye to the Christmas tree. The cats stared at the tree with me for a few minutes in quiet fellowship, and said good-bye to it, too.

Then, while my family slept, I quietly dismantled Christmas – the cats batting Christmas balls around on the floor while I wrapped and tucked the decorations back in their boxes. I said good-bye to the nativity scene on the piano, the angel on top of the tree, the popsickle stick decorations the sons made in school, the decorations students gave me, the old Hallmark decorations, the decorations I bought years ago at the Rite Aid in their post-Christmas sale, the dragonfly tree decorations from the gift shop that closed down a decade ago, the decorations from Mom and Dad’s old tree. And then I looked at the tree, standing bare and exposed in front of me, and I thanked her for bringing her sap-scent into our home and told her how grateful I was for her. I gently tugged her outside to the front porch, swept up her needles from the floor, and went to bed.

Everyone was up and downstairs when I woke up again. I came downstairs and acted surprised. “Who took down the Christmas tree?!” I asked. “Did you take it down?!” I asked Scott.

But they all knew. It was Santa Claus who took down Christmas and brought it back to the North Pole for another year. Duh.

Christmas Lights

Ode to Boxing Day

It’s a humble holiday, tucked in between
Christmas and New Year’s, but it’s really keen.
Things look a little bedraggled, it’s true.
The tree’s a little droopy and no longer new.

The movies and music of the Christmas season
are getting on our nerves now, and we’re seeing no reason
to eat even one more sugary oversweet sweet.
It’s time for broccoli and carrots (maybe hold on the beets).

The pressure for perfection comes off on this day,
the toys have been opened, and it’s come time to play.
And if before we were wearing faux holiday cheer
to blend in with the others and not Scroogey appear –

it’s time now to be genuine, and honest and real –
the food banks are empty, people still need a warm meal.
The homeless and hungry and jobless and alone
still need love and caring, still need a home.

So maybe we can celebrate the day after Christmas
by keeping the spirit of hope alive,
we might make that our business.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book

Deflated Santa

Ode to Boxing Day

It’s a humble holiday, tucked in between
Christmas and New Year’s, but it’s really keen.
Things look a little bedraggled, it’s true
The tree’s a little droopy and no longer new

The movies and music of the Christmas season
Are getting on our nerves now, and we’re seeing no reason
To eat even one more sugary oversweet sweet
It’s time for broccoli and carrots (maybe hold on the beets)

The pressure for perfection comes off on this day,
The toys have been opened, and it’s come time to play.
And if before we were wearing faux holiday cheer
To blend in with the others and not Scroogey appear

It’s time now to be genuine, and honest and real
The food banks are empty, people still need a warm meal
The homeless and hungry and jobless and alone
Still need love and caring, still need a home.

So maybe we can celebrate the day after Christmas –
By keeping the spirit of hope alive,
we might make that our business.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES