We left for Florida the day after Boxing Day, and I came home this past Saturday evening to a Christmas tree still brightly twinkling, wreaths on the doors, and our front yard lit up at night like, well, a Christmas tree!
On my kitchen wall hang two ornamental gold painted metal card holders; one in the shape of a Christmas wreath and the other a Christmas tree. They are handy, because our many Christmas cards can be arranged in them, instead of falling off shelves as people walk by.
Every possible moment I've been listening to a lovely Christmas CD given to Paul :) by Brenda and Kevin: The Piano Guys--A Family Christmas. Since we celebrate Christmas with family on Boxing Day, I had only had one day to enjoy Paul's CD before leaving and I just can't bear to put it away yet.
Now that the unpacking from our trip, the laundry and grocery shopping is done, the next job is putting away our Christmas decorations and tonight I made a good beginning.
When I got to the Christmas card holders I took them off the wall and put back the pictures that normally hang there, in their place. Then I began to take out the cards, group family photographs and Christmas letters.
I must admit that when these first began to arrive in early December, I had to fight the urge to think uncharitable thoughts about the organized senders. With every card received, the pressure mounted because my own long list of cards to send was not keeping up. I gave myself a shake though; told myself to not be so silly, and began to take joy in opening the cards arriving from Holland, Spain and England as well as friends nearby.
As I dismantled my card holders this evening, each card was reread, each photo looked at again, each Christmas letter lingered over one more time. I think I enjoyed them even more then second time around. And I couldn't bring myself to throw many of them away, but tied them up with a ribbon, with the year, "2013," written on the back of the end card.
Words mean so much, and I treasure those written by friends. I love Facebook, and the group celebrations with the world of friends there, but a personal, handwritten note with a memory shared, or a word of blessing or kind word of appreciation, is a special gift that is worth more than any other to me.
So, as I lick the last crumbs of a piece of my friend Cheryl's Christmas shortcake from my lips (one of a few pieces found serendipitously in a Christmas cookie tin on top of my fridge,) I wish you all a very merry extended Christmas, because in Bond Head, it isn't over yet, and I suppose that today really is Epiphany after all, and the 12th day of Christmas!