Over the years my enthusiasm for full-blown Christmas displays has declined. This year was the simplest one yet. We did not have a big party as we have in years past. We put up a tree and decorated it with white lights and beloved ornaments, including a new one bearing the likeness of our new miniature dachshund. While we have at least a dozen cottages, mansions and stores in our porcelain Christmas village, and dozens more miniature people and street lamps, this year we just put out a few.
That made it very easy to de-Christmas this year. Yesterday my mom and I listened to Andrea Boccelli sing Christmas songs one last time as we took the ornaments off the tree. Then my husband and I dragged the tree out the back door like a dead body – think Scarlett and Melanie dragging the Yankee soldier – as it left a trail of dehydrated needles. It seems like a heartbeat ago that we were picking it out at the garden center — as always, debating the merits of balsam vs. frazer — and the kids were decorating it with ornaments that date back decades. Now it sits forlornly at the end of the driveway, stripped of its baubles like a bankrupt debutante, waiting for the Boy Scouts to pick it up Saturday. But I am ready for a fresh start.
The house has been cleaned top to bottom; the white candles, porcelain Santas and Christmas villages packed away in plastic tubs; and everything looks as fresh and pristine as the snow outside our windows. The hubbub of Christmas is over and the social calendar is clear until Super Bowl Sunday.
While I know better now than to make resolutions I can’t keep, this quiet time of year allows for some introspection. Here are some of the things I hope to do better in 2013.
- Listen more, instead of chomping at the bit to jump in with my own observations.
- Be less petty. Try to see the good in people. Be less cynical.
- Eat better. I’m trying to recover from binging on holiday cookies and hors d’ oeuvres but it’s tough not to want hearty stews, casseroles, tuscan bread and noodle soups.
- Make more time for friends and family who really need me. Be less self-centered and more tuned in to what others need.
- Take piano lessons so that I can get out of my playing rut and reverse longstanding bad habits.
- Resume Rosetta Stone sessions in Spanish
- Write more often, and post more blogs
- Enjoy the inspiring posts of my terrific blogging friends
Happy New Year to all my readers!!!