Un-Decking the Halls

Today we finally got ourselves into the swing of the New Year. Schoolwork. Housework. Errands. A little bit of time outdoors tending the cactus and what’s left of the pretty green vines Aunt Debbie gave me last summer. Sadly the vines appear to have fallen victim to my brown thumb. One can’t really tend a cactus, I suppose… But I am curious as to why it’s so droopy.

The start of school was delayed by a miscommunication in our schedules, with the flu following right behind. With a one-two punch, the flu knocked out Kat and then me. She recovered more quickly than I did. Being older has its advantages, but not when it comes to doing battle with a virus.

The Christmas tree stayed up into January. New Year in the Deep South was very stormy. Between the fireworks and thunder, the pets were not amused. Hermione sought refuge under the Christmas tree for several days. I didn’t have the heart to take it down until the storms were over and all the neighborhood kids had spent their fireworks. By then I’d caught the flu, too, and really wouldn’t have cared if there’d been a beanstalk growing through the roof.

I’m not one to tear things down and box them up on December 26th, anyway. If I had my druthers, we’d celebrate Christmas the old fashioned way and forget all this Black-Friday-start-to-the-Christmas-season foolishness. I’d much rather carry baby Jesus into the New Year, boxing up the tree and manger at the Epiphany, than dragging out all these sad old resolutions that never make it past Valentine’s. Call me old fashioned. You wouldn’t be the first.

But all is disassembled and put up now. Schoolwork is underway. Thinking ahead to spring vegetables and gardening projects.

Also thinking about our literature selections for the second half of the school year and the can of worms we purposely open with that subject. Literature is a great way to have meaningful discussions about the hard topics, the uncomfortable stuff. That’s what we’re about to do here in January with Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

I heard a statistic quite recently (though I can’t remember where) claiming that January is the worst month for suicides and depression. There’s a vacuum of sorts after we’ve un-decked the halls and stare down our shortcomings. And for what? So we can march out a list of those horrid resolutions? Then we’re left to deal with the Christmas bills, expanded waistlines, the Pinterest projects that promise to help us organize our junk in 30 days or less if we’ll just get with the program.

No, thank you. I’ll take baby Jesus over all that any day. The greatest hope we can ever have in the midst of depression was laying in a manager in Bethlehem a couple thousand years ago. He’s still only a prayer away.


©2015-2017 Our Lives In Stories


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