First of all, a very big thank you to everyone who took part in 'Pause in Advent' - whether they were contributing, or just reading. Thank you for the comments, and all the insights and ideas you shared.
|My 'Advent Dolls House' calendar, just waiting for Father Christmas and his reindeer.|
One of the headteachers I worked for used to have Christmas completely tidied away by the end of Boxing Day, as though it had never happened. Everything boxed and bagged and packed away into the loft, the whole house swept, hoovered and dusted.
I have a feeling I kept some of the decorations up until Candlemas, in February las year. Maybe not the tree, but possibly the lights around the window. Some of the decorations stay out all year; a crochet Nativity set of characters loll about in a disreputable fashion on one of the bookshelves,
a lovely little olive wood Nativity scene always hangs on another wall, and this lovely carved wooden scene stays beside the fireplace.
Leaving a few Christmas decorations out on purpose is like having a fixed point of reference from one year to the next.
I gave Himself an Advent Calendar as a Christmas Present, full of his favourite marzipan. A couple of years ago we spotted chocolate Advent calendars in the bargain bin when we went to buy milk at our corner shop a few days after Christmas Day. We added them to the basket, feeling very childish, and hugely enjoyed doing a sort of backwards countdown from Christmas, opening a door each day until well into January. It seemed to softened the boundary between 'Christmas' and 'not-Christmas'.
Advent has been busy - not as much as previous years as the catering and social organisations have been so simplified - and now, these days between Christmas and New Year feel like a real Pause.
A time to reflect, and read, and ponder, and just generally catch up with myself.
I wrote the rest of my Christmas cards on Christmas Day (still two left to write, now I think of it) and they were posted today.
I hope you are all having a peaceful time, and wish you all the very best for the New Year.