I acknowledge that the holidays are over, although you wouldn’t know it if you came into our house. Our tree is still up (with about half of its original lights illuminated, but it’s up) and not a single decoration has been taken down. Our stockings are still hung by our terrace with care (no chimney), we still have a wreath on our front door and the boys still have their (completely opened) Advent calendars hung on their bedroom doors. I enjoy the feeling of the holidays, and I’m not ever in a hurry to put everything away and get back to normal.
I doubt that our tree will be up much longer, though — in addition to the lights going out at an alarming rate, the tree doesn’t want to take in any water (because the Austrians all put their trees up on the 24th and took them down today — they didn’t need to last very long) and I am completely paranoid that it’s going to spontaneously combust. We don’t really have many decorations besides the tree, so once it comes down (probably soon) it’ll probably motivate me to take down everything else. We’ll probably be “done” with Christmas here mid-January, unlike most years where our tree almost makes it until February.
I’m enjoying it. My favorite vestige of the holiday right now comes from Benjamin. He’s still feeling the holiday spirit, and he’ll randomly tell us all, “Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!” He says it quietly, and very sweetly — he uses it alongside, or in place of, “I love you”. It’s wonderful. He says it to me every night when I kiss him goodnight, and he told me just the other day that he can’t wait to tell everyone at school when he goes back on Monday. He’s still got the Christmas spirit. I love him so much.
Happy holidays and happy new year, everyone, from Benjamin and from me.