Isn’t it odd how, as we age, what is meaningful and important to us changes? A good example is how important it was to me to never put up the Christmas tree until the week after Thanksgiving. Even when the kids clamored to find and cut down the perfect tree at the tree farm (I think it was really about the hot apple cider and the ride on the tree farm train…). Honestly, I still don’t know if it was the 2020 pandemic or age that drove me to decorate the house for Christmas one full week before Thanksgiving last year. All I know is that putting up the outside lights and the tree early brought me great joy.
It was also a family tradition to ensure that all holiday decorations were fully down by January first, or risk bad luck all year. Somehow, that didn’t matter so much anymore either. I didn’t get my tree or Christmas decorations down for the 2021 holiday until January second. And – I left my front yard lights up all day and night because it was a gloomy, dark, and rainy day. Why not spread just a little more joy into the new year for our neighbors (or me), right?
For the first time in my life, I sorted the ornaments into categories as I took them off the tree, for I realized that each one told a story. There were the ornaments my bride and I bought at Rich’s basement for our very first Christmas together, those handmade and painted by our daughters during their elementary school years, and the very classy ones we obtained for a multitude of reasons through 47 years of marriage. Yeah, each one was meaningful, and each one told a story.
As I write this blog, we’ve packed all the decorations in labeled storage containers and placed them carefully in the basement for next year, taken down the tree, put away the lights, and packed the ornaments in tissue to lovingly decorate the tree next year. Pandora continues to play favorite holiday melodies as I sing – rather badly – to many of them and my little dog, Gundry, howls! Pure joy!
If the pandemic has taught us anything, we need to find more joy each day and to celebrate, not only life, but especially life with those who we most love. Isn’t it odd that it took me more than seventy years to figure that out…?? Go ahead, decorate your Christmas tree next year right after Halloween if it brings you joy.
Look where Dr. Kerr is presenting in 2022!
Chicago Midwinter Meeting
Thursday, February 24, 2022
“Let Me Tell You a Story…” (L147)
“Key Elements for Practice Success” (L185)
Friday, February 25, 2022
Your Questions Answered by Experts (PL214)
Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting
Saturday, March 19, 2022
“When Life Needs a Sticky Note. . .”