Posted on January 10, 2012 | 0 Comments
The putting away of Christmas is a thoughtful time - the extended family has returned to their respective homes and we settle down to embracing the work of 2012. As the ornaments are removed and the tree finds a new home on the edge of the yard, we once again reminisce each ornament's history and receive pleasure in knowing that the tree returns to being shelter for the birds. Somehow, even in retirement, we establish new traditions. This year, for the first time, it was the family botanist who placed the greens, tucking them in here and there around our home. They are so artfully placed it is difficult to want to remove them, even with the thought of saying goodbye to the holiday and enjoying the process of "sweeping clean" for the New Year.
We were ever so pleased to have been researching Candlemas, and to have found a reference to the fact that Candlemas, February 2nd, is not only a Christian commemoration of the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, a festival of lights celebrating the half-way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (in particular the strengthening of the life-giving force of the sun), but also a designated day for the putting away of the greens of Christmas.
And thus we shall wait. We shall savor the continuing presence of the greens. We do admit that one of the happiest parts of Christmas is bringing the tree into the house--we often reflect as it happens that we don't actually need lights and decorations, that just having the tree inside is perfection, in fact one large perfection in a series of holiday perfections that make the season so meaningful. Now we have something new to look forward to, adding this tradition plus a small celebration of Candlemas on February 2nd. Life is good!
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