Well, the holidays are now over with. As usual, I dismantled my tree and stowed away the decorations late New Year’s Day afternoon and evening. And as usual, a little bit of melancholy started to settle into my mind. The joyous feel that the festive decorations generated is in the past. There’s that bare spot where the tree used to be. And I’m left wondering what might await me and everyone else in the new year. This is especially true with He Who Must Not Be Named about to become our “fearless” (re: egotistical) new leader.
Okay, I’m just gonna say it in the frankest though less-saltiest way I can: The year 2016 sucked. I mean it really, really sucked. Every time the calendar changes from one year to the next, I keep hoping and wishing that the old year had nothing but good things for everyone, and that the new year would be pleasant and enjoyable, or at least bearable. I can’t apply any of that to our collective 2016, really. This was a year of so much hate, so much anger, so much controversy, too much violence, and far, far too much loss.
We’re three days into 2016 now, and if you’re like me, you’ve already taken down and put back into storage your Christmas/holiday decorations (tree, ornaments, stockings, snowmen, etc.). I usually take my decorations down on New Year’s Day, a nice way to keep sort-of-busy while switching back-and-forth between college football and outdoor hockey. (Yeah, I’m a sports nut.) But since I was busy all day on January 1, I actually put away the decorations Saturday night.
A few things about taking down the tree I noticed on Saturday, thoughts that perhaps you’ve noticed as well when you put away your own decorations: First, no matter how sure you’ve taken down every single ornament from the tree, there always seems to be at least one snowflake or bobble still hanging down a hidden branch of the tree. To help alleviate that, I always make sure I never box up and stow away my decorations before the tree is put away.
Now that I’ve used my last post to scare you with my speaking voice (note to self: practice on your feminine voice in the new year), I want to tell you a little story about a New Year’s Day in the past — exactly 10 years ago today, to be precise (January 1, 2006).
There’s a tradition on my mother’s family for so long I don’t remember when it started, but on or around every New Year’s Day, my mom and as many of her grown siblings as possible would gather at their parents’ home (with their permission, of course), for a combination holiday party and family reunion: Decorations are left up, food (high in calories) is consumed, beer is drunk (in moderation, of course), grandchildren and great grandchildren run around and play, stories are told, and fun is generally had by all.