The Party’s Over

closeup of woven beaded wire bracelets in many colors

Woven for Beauty

The party’s over. The holidays have come and gone and taken with them the richness of color and scent that fills our surroundings during the darkest days of winter. I have to admit I love the decorations and the music and even the commercialism of Christmas: the stores filled with items to excite and entice. I love buying small gifts for the people I love, and also enjoy waiting until the last minute to do my shopping. The energy which fills those last few days carries me along, and I find myself buying more than I intended to – not sensible or thrifty – but much more fun to go along with the flow. The world holds so much, it’s impossible not to share.

I made what seems like tons of cookies the week before Christmas – cutouts from an old recipe, using the cookie cutters inherited from my mother and grandmother, chocolate chip (two types which I personally perfected), peanut butter, taffy-oatmeal, fruitcake cookies (a new recipe), pinwheels (not as successful as I’d hoped)…and the list goes on. Two days on my feet chasing perfection and only burning my hand once. Later they all looked beautiful in the baskets I readied for my friends. Dragged our 20+-year-old artificial tree off the attic, set it up, decorated it. Put the unbreakable ornaments on the bottom branches with an eye to our cats’ playfulness. Dragged home some pine branches for the mantle, candles, other odds and ends scattered around; my collection of Christmas coffee cups hung on the rack, replacing the mundane collection which usually takes up space there. Made sure the tablecloths were clean and ironed, napkins, plates and silverware, refrigerator full of food ready to serve. Then the peace of Christmas eve, resting and watching the fire. The world’s psychic energy slows down then and if you are careful, you can feel it as it slides into the rising joy of Christmas morning.

The week between Christmas and the New Year progresses, filled with visits and travels close to home. Watching the birds at the feeder, walking in the bare-treed woods, catching up with old friends. The ball drops at midnight on January first, taking us into the New Year, heralded by parades and ceremony. Ah then, January 2nd. Back to the real world. Time to clean up, to put away, to store the special things away. But somehow the joy remains.

Some say life is a circle. I think of life as a great spiral: round and round, but you keep getting higher, and what you have learned, experienced, and enjoyed on one level, you take with you to the next. To rise up, rise up, and reach and experience everything more deeply. Here’s to the New Year. May we all have joy in depths beyond what we could ever believe.

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