Friday, January 05, 2007

Smiles on the Eve of Epiphany--Old Christmas

The trees are down and packed tightly into their worn cardboard storage boxes, tied with string, and put into the closet for another year. I started dissembling the downstairs family room tree the day after New Year's, but I did not get around to taking down the tree in the living room until today. (I'd been involved with providing Katherine transportation to medical appointments on Wednesday and Thursday.) While the ornaments are boxed, they aren't all in the closet yet--but at least they are in the bedrooms near the closet where they will go tomorrow--I am hoping.

The house looks bare, and that is always a good and peaceful feeling after the visual richness of the holidays.

I really was thinking today was the 12th day of Christmas or Old Christmas as it is called in Appalachia. However, I was wrong. You need to start counting on December 26 as Day 1, and that brings you to January 6th or tomorrow for Old Christmas when early pioneers would make their cabins resound with the cry of "Christmas Gift" when the children woke up in the morning. (The gift might be an orange or stick of candy, but it was as thrilling to those children as our elaborate gifts are today.)

Usually I have taken down our trees the day after New Year's, but I remember one snowy Christmas vacation when our children were all at home and school could not resume because of the icy weather. That year I left the tree up until Old Christmas since they were at home to enjoy it. And I almost made it that long this year.

Yesterday I left the Cedar household in a happy state. I had already said my goodbyes inside and gone to the car. I was sitting in the driveway counting 37 cent stamps to see how many two cent stamps that I needed to use with those year-old dinosaurs. (The last time I had tried to buy two cent stamps, the post office did not have as many as I needed. And then that errand got put on a back burner.) I was not in the happiest of moods since trying to keep up-to-date stamps and postcards is one small frustration of this century.

My counting concentration was interrupted when I heard a tapping. There was Davie tapping at my car window with a big grin on his face. Since I thought he was in Seattle, Washington, for a moment, my brain swirled in confusion. He had played a fast one on everyone and surprised us. After a hug, I was so excited that I left the car running, lights on, and door wide open to rush inside after him as I could not wait to see Sam's reaction to his brother's unexpected arrival. It was so much fun to hear all the happy squeals of joy and excitement inside. I left in a great mood with a big smile on my face like the ones inside. I am still smiling as I write about it.

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