WHAT WE THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.
One of my early memories, from before I started school, so I must have been four years old, was my mother taking down Christmas decorations. It's a sad memory. It was early January. My dad had gone back to work (as a math teacher). My brother and sister had gone back to school. It was just mumsie and me. The house was sort of chilly and grey feeling.
She put Christmas music on the record player. And methodically took down ornaments, wrapped them, and put them into the large cardboard carton where they lived. And she wept the whole time. Not wailing. But sniffling and tearing.
The days following Christmas can be disorienting. Do we still sing carols? Do we still wear festive ties? Do we greet people with a seasonal thing? It's all so anticlimactic. So, here are some ideas for things to do, starting today.
1. Start a family tradition of walking to breakfast, someplace cool, a decent distance away, the day after Christmas. Everyone gets up at an appointed hour. Everyone bundles up. And everyone hikes to breakfast. For us, it'll probably be Edison's at The Grove Park Inn.
2. Visit widows and orphans. Everyone visits people in the days leading up to Christmas. But if you think it's lonely after Christmas, just image how they feel. So, pack up the car with treats, and go calling.
3. Dust off your favorite non-Christmas songs. You put them away in favor of Christmas music. Now, be ceremonious about breaking them back out. Maybe you can even make 12/26-31 household classics days, where you rediscover great old music.
4. Make decoration packing a family thing. Set a time and date for it, and do it together. Maybe make that the last time for the year you listen to favorite Christmas songs.
5. Annual Road Trip! Everyone is together and at loose ends. Great time to drive to that awesome park, or a museum, or the Amish restaurant, store, and farm.
6. Runway time. Get the kids to do a modeling show, featuring all their new Christmas clothes.
7. Write an after-Christmas letter to family and friends. Recount the blessings of the year, including the Christmas season. Talk about what you're hoping next year will hold.
8. Here's a hard one. You probably have all you need, without everything you got for Christmas. So, on December 26, sit down, calculate the value of the gifts you received, and think of people and organizations that could really use that money. And star writing checks.
9. Cook together. All day. Have a massive December 26 dinner. Give everyone a job in preparing it. Invite neighbors in. Eat good food. Enjoy each other.
We have a lot to say about the true meaning of Christmas. If you want to hear it, send us an email. But for today, enjoy December 26. And make something of it.