So here we are, on Twelfth Night, the evening of the Twelfth Day of Christmas. In an e-mail the other day, Carol asked me if I get depressed when Christmas is over, since I like it so much.
I've been thinking about it, and I have to say that I don't really get depressed (any more than I usually am, which is plenty thank you very much); instead, more so than on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, it occurs to me that another year has passed, and I get a little bit wistful about that. I generally allow myself a day or two of should-have-beens, what-ifs, and if-onlys, but then I think about the fact that I have at least one more day to enjoy being here, and I'm on my way. True, some years it's more difficult than others, for instance if someone close has died, or if there is serious illness. But generally speaking, if I've learned one thing in my life, it's that the world continues, no matter how much I think it should stand still because of something that has happened to me. At the same time, I find that reassuring, knowing that everyone and everything hasn't had to stop and wait while I catch up.
This year we had a great Christmas holiday. We were able to have some company once our decorations were up, which I always enjoy. We got to see Sebastian on Christmas Day (the past few years, he and his mom have been traveling). Everyone in our families was well. We had plenty of chances to watch corny Christmas shows, listen to Christmas music, and bake all sorts of goodies. We had more than one opportunity to see friends, and to remember to be kind.
And I think those are the types of things I miss the most the rest of the year. Not because it isn't possible to have those same experiences, but because the rest of everyday life, regardless of your personal intentions, seldom lets you stop and focus like you can at Christmas (and even then, there are those who scoff at your efforts). I know only too well how your entire universe can change in an instant, and though I try to be conscious of that all of the time so that I can appreciate what is here, and what is now, I fail more often than not.
I usually don't make New Year's resolutions, at least not hard and fast ones. I enter every new year hoping that those I love most will be well and happy, that I will be well and happy, and that I will learn to be a kinder person. A lot of that is out of my control, but hope is something I can continue to have, and try to hold on to, no matter what else is going on. Because real, true hope allows you to be true to yourself, and to the world around you.
So for those of you who have not stopped reading this rambling series of [sentimental? philosophical? sappy?] thoughts, the gift I wish for you this Twelfth Night, for the coming year, is that you will always have hope.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at our house. Let's hope we can do it again next year.