After the holidays, I always have have the desire to start a new and clean out and clear out and strip away the holiday season, not because I do not love it, but precisely because I really love it so much and want to keep it special by not keeping everything around too long.
My father’s birthday is January 6th, epiphany day in the Episcopal church, my usual ‘take down’ day and a great day for a New Year’s clean up.
Well this year, my Dad passed away on epiphany day, his 78th birthday, suddenly and unexpectedly, which added a great sadness to the day and this day’s meaning in my life. I took the tree down and felt the sense of permanence one would in this situation.
Once I had the tree down, I decided to tackle the exterior and I had an epiphany. I was not going to remove all the carefully executed decor, I was going to recycle it into the celebration of the light returning and have that adorn our house for our 12th annual XC ski party, keeping my Dad alive a little longer in my heart at this dark time of year.
It was a fresh and welcome look and it extended the greenery’s life for so much longer. I will keep his spirit alive now every year at this time as not a time of sadness, but as a time of the return of the light and new beginnings. I think my Dad would have liked that.
I love you Dad and here’s to more light in all our lives.