Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ordinary Time

Despite my desire to keep all the Christmas decorations up until January 6, my husband insisted that they come down today. Kevin went out and took down the outdoor lights and then brought from the garage all the boxes in which to put our indoor decorations.

“It’s too early! Look, I have proof!” I went over to our new Church Calendar and found nothing printed on January 6. Instead, Epiphany Sunday was written in. I saw that next Sunday started Ordinary Time, starting with the celebration of the Baptism of Our Lord.

“See, and it’s after sundown, so it’s okay,” said my husband.

Still, I felt depressed. I always feel this way when it comes time to take down the Christmas decorations.

“What’s wrong?” Kevin asked. And, as he has said many times since our First Christmas together, “Christmas only comes once a year. That’s why it is so special. It has to come to an end sometime.”

“But it’s the end of a celebration, and once it’s gone all that’s left is the bleakness and coldness of January”, I said, still moping.

My attitude continued as I put ornaments away, one by one, in a lackluster fashion. Most of our ornaments come in their own special boxes, and the task is enormous. Empty old boxes lay all around me. I found a little comfort in replacing some of the old boxes with newer ones.

We seemed to have found just about every ornament. Some little books were missing from our Nutcracker Advent calendar. They were in a hole in the bottom of the couch, where the remote control sometimes disappears to. (Kevin had seen them earlier, while searching for said remote.) When I find them, they will go into a little drawer in the dining room into which I squirrel late-found ornaments that turn up through the year.

I reluctantly helped him to drag the tree out the door. It was a really good tree and dropped few needles. He helped with the vacuuming and put the boxes away. After a dinner composed of leftovers, I dusted off the surfaces and replaced our picture frames. Suddenly I felt a whole lot better.

There is something about the term “Ordinary Time” that I do not like. But it is for the joy in ordinary time that Jesus came for us. As I settle into the new year, I will take comfort in the relative peace that comes during this quiet time of the year.

Painting: The Adoration of the Magi, 1385-88, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena


Loren Christie said...

I also squirrel ornaments in a drawer in the dining room during the year. The ornament you gave us is so nice- and thoughtful. I don't know if I told you that I love it....
I know how you feel. I have not yet put away the decorations. I was thinking of purchasing some things for St. Valentine's Day...and there is a fun old-fashioned custom of making candles that I might start with the kids, (as a craft). So when the Christmas decor comes down we will have something fun in the mid-winter to look forward too. Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 29 for the sixth time. :)

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Our addiction to buying Hallmark ornaments has gotten ridiculous, but we love them. There are a few Christmas items I keep out all winter, such as a cookie jar shaped like a gingerbread house,in which I keep all my cookie cutters. I also have a snowman tealight holder in my kitchen window, and ceramic "mittens" hung over my front window curtain rod. I always wanted to learn how to make candles, and getting ready for St. Valentine's Day is a great idea to cheer up the house! I also like to force bulbs indoors.

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

p.s. Happy birthday Loren! You'd better get older soon or I'll be your senior by far!