It's over. For many readers — and non-readers, too — Christmas is over.
And the term "over" takes on different meanings. There are those who have a tradition today as steeped in — well, tradition — as when Christmas decorations go up all over the house. Today is the day many will strip the tree, stick it by the curb and put all the holiday decorations back in their rightful and carefully marked boxes. To some, that seems a bit of a humbug approach, but for many who hold to this tradition it's simply a good day, the right day to get the house back in order in preparation for the launch of a new year.
For others it is over in that the cheerful pleasantries and smiles are already giving way to grunts and grumbles, perhaps because, much like the decorations all over the house, it's just time to get back to a less cheerful normal. Of course, it could be the maddening crowds of people hitting the day-after sales — that sort of Black Friday in reverse — only puts people in a sour frame.
We know, however, there remain a good many who keep the Christmas spirit going well after Christmas Day. There are some who, with few exceptions, are as Christmasy year-round as Ebenezer Scrooge was that fateful Christmas morn after he was visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. But they are a rare breed.
We all see this year in and year out. Many of us annually bemoan how Christmas too often seems to come along and brighten our days and lift our spirits only to disappear as fast as a snowflake lighting on an open fire. Why can we not keep Christmas year-round, we ask. Better yet, why can they not keep Christmas year-round, we ask with index fingers pointed at anyone but ourselves.
Keeping alive the Christmas spirit, at least the parts that are borne out of holiday lights, parties, trees, presents and the like, certainly sounds nice but is not likely something we can all accomplish. After all, life is life.
For many, just focusing a few weeks out of the year on sharing that spirit is about all that can be expected. We can — and certainly we should — try to maintain as much of that good spirit as possible throughout the year, but what is important is for those who truly celebrate Christmas for what it means to keep that in mind and heart today and throughout the year into next Christmas. And the Christmas after that, and beyond.
The more that occurs, the more it is made outwardly evident, then the more likely it is Christmas will not be over Dec. 26 for as many people next year as it was this year.
And so, even though today is the day after, we again say to you "Merry Christmas."