1.04.2011

Can We Still Be Home for the Holidays?

[This post is dedicated to Edie of Life in Grace, who lost her home to fire a few days before Christmas. I can't imagine how you feel, and I pray your sense of home is restored, with much grace from God.]


I've been thinking a lot about the holiday season.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. Like most of us, I love the cozy nights by the fire, the excuses to see family, and the many special treats and traditions that we look forward to every December.

There's always something that bothers me, though. It starts to set in bright and early on December 26, and by January 2, it's full blown. The Let Down. Everyone talks about it, everyone fears it. I can't say why for the rest of you, but for me, here it is:

The holidays give us permission to value the things that are really important to us. We walk into a store and the songs are playing over the speakers: "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire," "There's no place like home for the holidays," "Since we've no place to go, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!" It's like our whole culture allows one big recess from the usual focus on achievement, acquiring, and conquering. We are told it's acceptable, even preferable, to sock in, cuddle up, turn to our families and friends, and allow that to be enough.

I know we have control over our own lives and we can choose what messages we allow to penetrate during the other 11 months of the year. We can sock in and cuddle up anytime we want to, right? But somehow it just feels like the hurdles are bigger, and that we have to defend our choices a little harder.

Does anyone else just feel a bit bummed about having to get back in the fight?

In an attempt to remind myself that "home for the holidays" doesn't have to end after Christmas, I posted this quote in my kitchen:

It reads:
Winter is the time for comfort. For good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire. It is the time for home.
--Edith Sitwell, British poet

May your January have as many open fires, chestnuts, and comforts of home as your December.


21 comments:

DanielleisNesting said...

I love this quote! I desperately need a chalkboard in my home for quotes. You're looks fantastic.

DanielleisNesting said...

Yours looks fantastic, rather. Drat.

Christi said...

Love this, Carrie! I erased my New Year's message & put this on my big red kitchen chalkboard, too.

Hope you're having a great January so far!

Richella said...

This is really lovely! What a beautiful post to dedicate to Edie. Her life is a great example of choosing home rather than away-from-home. I'm going to mull over your idea of making the other 11 months more like December. You've inspired me!

Tricia said...

Carrie: I share your reluctance to return to "the fight." I appreciate routine as much as the next mom, but there was something so nice about having my family at home over the Christmas break. It's sad to have my husband and son back to work and school. Thank you for the reminder to hold tight to the comfort of winter! Tricia

Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top said...

I love the quote! This is a wonderful post and a sweet dedication to Edie.

The Life of Blights said...

Well said girlie. Well said. I echo your sentiments exactly.

Anonymous said...

Carrie,
Wow, you hit the nail on the head! This is the reason I really love to read your blog and others like yours because "blogland" seems to be the only place people really celebrate family, home, simple, quiet all year round. My oldest daughter is 12 and so many of her friends spent their Christmas vacation skiing, snowboarding, going to musicals, going to the mall with friends, etc. None of these activities are bad, but it just seemed like they didn't even allow the holidays to let them disengage with busyness. I was almost embarrassed for her to go back to school this week and tell everyone that she made gingerbread houses, baked cookies, watched movies, drank hot chocolate, and spent her downtime here in our home as a family. Reading your post reminds me that it is okay. Thank you!
Liz in Colorado

Lorri said...

There is JOY in remembering those holidays spent with family and relaxing. My hope is that my children will know that family time and "down time" is important to our souls. Loved this post!

Christy said...

YES! Love it! I hope to get my chalkboard pantry door done this month. I really hope to get it done this week, but since I still have Christmas up, I should probably get it down before tackling a project, huh? We'll see. I love the quote so much!

Jodee Leader said...

Amen, sister! I am in the same boat here!

Yolanda said...

I love this and am so glad to have found your blog.

Connie said...

Be so happy you are feeling this and make a change that's good for you...especially when you have such a pretty fireplace to enjoy and share with others. I think we in California just don't slow down enough and enjoy the times with each other. I'm thinking you are missing Colorado a bit!

We are heading to Colorado this weekend. It's supposed to be cold...17 degrees. Our granddaughter turns 5 next week and we are going to celebrate.

The Avery House said...

I found you from Edie's birthday bash and just wanted to tell you thank you for this post. It is simply beautiful and so true. I am going to "copy" you and write that poem on my own chalk board. Your kitchen is beautiful. It looks like we have similar color preferences!

paige said...

i felt a little bummed yesterday too. christmas time is so magical, so hopeful, everyone is nice & excited. we are all home more....
it is hard to get back in the ballgame in january

beautiful chalkboard poem too
ox

debbie said...

Hi Carrie

I found your blog through Edie's birthday party and what a lovely post to dedicate to her.

I also feel an enormous let down after Christmas. My decorations will be up for a few more days. The twinkling white lights will make my house cheerful for a few more days.

Kimberly said...

I'm new to your blog (just today in fact!) and I just had to say I love it! So lovely, encouraging .... Bravo! Thinking of and praying for Edie & her family as well. The quote inspires me to think of winter in a positive way -- I'm a CA girl living back East and admittedly not such a fan of snow, but I'm working on it! ;) Thank you!

Margaret said...

So well said-Amen, Amen, Amen!!!!

Robin said...

Yes, I feel exactly the same way, love the quote you have as a reminder!

Blessings,
Robin

Tiffany said...

Oh, I am so with you on this. The let down is a huge issue for me. I hate it. I don't want to feel that way. I don't want to wish for spring the second Christmas is over but it never fails. I like your perspective, I'm working on it! : ) Thanks for sharing!

edie said...

thank you so much ms. carrie for such kindness to us. thank you for caring and praying for our family.
bless you friend,
hugs and much love,
edie