Putting away Christmas

I put away Christmas yesterday.
So much easier than getting it out.
And so much harder.
Physically, there is no comparison. No untangling strings of lights. No searching for the perfect place on the tree for the peach ornament you bought in Savannah during your daughter’s first year of college.
But psychologically? Emotionally?
Forget it.
The tree, the perfect tree, carefully selected on a crisp December morning at a farm in the country, lies on the curb.
The baby Jesus, lovingly placed, always last, of course, in the stable your father made, is back in its box.
Even this morning’s coffee, sitting close by in a regular, everyday cup, not the clear glass one decorated with holly, serves to remind the holidays once again have come and gone all too soon.
The house feels empty. And so, in a way, do I.
I will shake it off. I always do. But for now, a period of mourning is in order. Christmas deserves it.

Ed Ackerman