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Christmas tree still standing on Jan. 4

The presents are gone but the tree still stands

This is the Saturday after New Years—the weather has turned cold, an Arctic blast has hit, and snow is falling outside. Inside I’m puttering, trying to catch up from the holidays, tending to various tasks. But I still haven’t taken down the Christmas tree and put away all the decorations. I guess there’s no rush. Instead, as I sort through old desk calendars, I come upon an diary that I kept when my children were very young. Reading through it consumes part of my day.

What a gift I gave to myself, and hopefully to my children someday, when I took time in those busy years—constantly on the run as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, church worker—to record many of our family activities and some my thoughts.

On this same day 30 years ago—Saturday after New Years—this entry appears in my little diary:

“I took down the Christmas tree and all the decorations—organized them in boxes. Cleaned the house.

“Christmas is over for another year. I love the bright things in the house. But there is a season for everything. Now is the season to internalize the brightness, letting it motivate me to action. For the same Jesus whose coming we have celebrated, will come again! Then we’ll have a celebration that will make our Christmas festivities seem very dim in comparison.”

Regaining perspective, letting my soul be renewed, that is what this kind of day is all about.

And like the toy train chugging around the Christmas tree, the cycles and seasons of life continue.

~Catherine Lawton