Saying Farewell to Christmas

I confess that the past few days have not been the most harmonious or Christmasy. Nels and I have been working and the girls have suffered from a bit of benign neglect. We were in danger of the twelve days of Christmas just quietly slipping away. Sadly, Nels also had to be out of town for two days quite unexpectedly, so it was just the three of us at home.

This morning, as I sat with my Christmas journal reflecting on the past few days, I decided that today we would say farewell to Christmas. I decided that my work could wait a day and that my girls needed a day with me truly present.


My journaling turned to baking and the girls woke up this morning to scones topped with red and green sugar. Christmas music was playing and, as we ate our scones, I read their favorite Christmas books. Helen hadn't read any this year and was secretly pleased to be read to.

As I cleaned up from breakfast, Lou made gift tags for next year by cutting out scenes from the Christmas cards we had received and punching holes in the corners. Hels began to make a 3 Kings Cake.

We then sang along to every single song on our favorite Christmas CD while we tucked all the ornaments away for the year and dragged the tree outside to be decorated for the birds this weekend.

It was lunchtime by the time we had packed away all our Christmas decorations. Helen and I had to run to the fabric store to find a pattern for her handwork class. When we got back, we sat down to a 3 Kings Day Cake, complete with hidden coins. The table had been already changed to the deep blues I like to have in January. We gave a toast to Christmas and the New Year.

We had one surprise--a late gift for each of the girls from my brother and his wife. Here is Helen beyond thrilled to receive a new set of colored pencils.

The late afternoon brought thank you notes--thankfully they are all done!

Our final farewell to Christmas was a game of snapdragon where we snapped a raisin out of the blue flames of burning brandy and made a wish for the coming year.

I sat with my journal again at the end of the day, filling in the final bits of our Christmas season. I added my wishes. Wishes to help me through this year--a year that will be bringing many big decisions and projects that will impact our family for years to come. These wishes are not of my own writing, but of Lynn Jericho's. Yet, they are just right for me this year. I wish for~

Fierce Courage
Profound Creativity
Stable Confidence

May all your wishes come true in the coming year.
Merry Christmas

MamaGames  – (January 6, 2010 at 9:27 PM)  

I ~love~ the idea of taking a day to say goodbye to Christmas! How lovely! I'm jotting this one down in my holiday notebook & hope that we can weave it in next year. Thanks for the inspiration!

Penny  – (January 6, 2010 at 9:33 PM)  

What a wonderful and inspiring post. I hope that 2010 finds your wishes coming perfectly true.

A Woman Scorned  – (January 7, 2010 at 12:50 AM)  

The loveliest of lovely living. Thanks for this inspiring post.

Greyhaven Pines  – (January 7, 2010 at 9:09 AM)  

This is a good example of really good parenting -- analyzing in the moment and changing your plans to respond to the needs of your children. I'm sure your girls will have lovely memories of this day for years to come.

Happy New Year to you all,

Elizabeth

Lovely World  – (January 7, 2010 at 12:11 PM)  

So sweet. I love how you shared the day with your girls. It is so easy to get carried into our own pre-occupations.

Dawn  – (January 7, 2010 at 5:23 PM)  

I think I moved on from Christmas too fast this year. I like how you took the time to say goodbye to Christmas. That sounds like a special day.

Lisa Anne  – (January 7, 2010 at 7:09 PM)  

Lovely day, we just took our tree down today, we needed it just one more night...We made a big dinner last night and sat by the tree enjoying the lights. Did you like the Lynn Jericho's messages over the holy nights this year? I read them everyday but only felt inspired by one or two of the messages, but made time for journaling and making vision boards for the new year. Why does there always seem to be big gaping whole after taking the tree down?

Sarah  – (January 7, 2010 at 7:27 PM)  

Lisa Anne- while the holy night messages didn't directly speak to me until the very last night, they did provide me with some form for meditation through the week. Yes, our house is feeling a little bare. I put up some felt birds on the windows which our cat promptly removed :)

Julie  – (January 8, 2010 at 9:36 AM)  

what a great idea - I always feel really flat taking the tree down, and sad that the whole celebration is over, even though sometimes I am looking forward to getting back to our regular rhythm. To turn the day into a final celebration, and do all the things we've enjoyed (Christmas stories) or listening to christmas music, as well as some baking could really make a marvellous end to the celebrations in a far more positive way. Thanks for such a great idea - now I've just got to try to remember all the way to next year to put it into practice!

ZenCrafter  – (January 28, 2010 at 5:57 PM)  

Beautiful post, Sarah! I spent a very quiet morning by myself wrapping up our Christmas ornaments, saying goodbye to them for another year. I don't feel that I am a materialistic person, but each of those ornaments has significance and holding each one I felt its history and connections. I'm very inspired by your whole day saying farewell to Christmas, and next year I'll have to try involving the whole family as you did.

ZenCrafter  – (January 28, 2010 at 6:04 PM)  
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