Yesterday was the day that the Christmas tree came down. It had to come down sometime, right? Yet every year when that day draws near I find myself feeling wistful, as if a really special part of my life is over. Normally that would hardly be surprising, as that is exactly what Christmas is.....a really special time with family and friends. But this Christmas was really different for me.
I'm not talking about the actual day itself, or even Christmas Eve, as both days were spent with our most near and dear. Sure, we certainly could have done without the freakish storms that hit mid afternoon Christmas Day and pelted my sister in law's house with tennis ball sized hail stones that broke windows, and left my husbands car with three cracks in the windscreen, and panels that resembled bubble wrap. I am referring to the weeks leading up to the 'big day' that saw me become a lesser version of myself.
As a general rule, I am a big lover of Christmas! Especially since having children. Sentimentality always gets the better of me, and nothing makes me happier than experiencing the excitement with my boys as we count down the days on the advent calendar. Even the hoards of people at the shopping centres and the countless hours of researching, shopping and wrapping don't get the better of my Christmas spirit. Normally.
I'm not sure what happened this time, but I couldn't wait for it to be over. So many times in the weeks prior I was so close to tears, just trying to get my head around all the things that still had to be done and trying to find the time to do it all, and push through the physical and mental exhaustion I was feeling.
Admittedly, I had a lot more going on than previous years, so perhaps I shouldn't be quite so hard on myself. For the first time I was the Treasurer for my son's kindergarten and the end of the kinder year was a busy time with the audit, Annual General Meeting and having to document the figures for the year. Also, my oldest son was having additional hours of therapy for his autism, as it was the last chance before he starts school this year, so it meant more running around from kinder to appointments, so many times a week. Add to that, my wildlife caring (which is one of the few things I do for myself), that involves collecting fresh leaves everyday for the older possums in care and syringe feeds for the babies. I only care for a couple of animals at a time, but it is still something that I have to make a priority in my day. I guess, when you look at all of that, plus the Christmas shopping, trying to keep on top of the housework AND spend some quality time with my hubby and kids, it isn't surprising that I became grinch like.
So today, as I sit looking at the now bare spot where our tree majestically stood, I feel a tinge of sadness, as if an opportunity has been lost. Almost wishing I could have a 'do over' and start the Christmas period all over again, but this time in a better frame of mind. But I am a big believer in 'it is what it is', and my Christmas was what it was. There are no 'do overs' in life, so you have to make the best of what you have, and I have the whole of 2012 ahead of me. There is nothing to say that I won't ever have a Christmas like that again, but hopefully with this one freshly etched in my mind, it won't be for a while.