Well Christmas has come and gone. What do we have left to show for all of our efforts? For me, I have a bright red and green poinsettia sitting in my living room. It’s not a plant I typically would like to have sitting around, but I purchased it in honor of my grandparents for the church during the Christmas season. Now here it sits and I’m unsure what to do with it. It occurred to me that these poinsettias really have no place after Christmas. And it made me sad.
The flowers are very beautiful, it’s a nice full plant, but now, after Christmas, it just seems out of place. With all the other decorations, gifts and sparkly items put away that say “Christmas”, and the house put back to “normal”, it just looks like we forgot to put it away with the other items.
Don’t we often feel this way ourselves after the holidays – out of place? All the family have gone home, all the festivities are done, but where is our place, where do we belong now? With no more holidays on the horizon for a couple of months – what do we do now?
The holidays can often fill our lives with a lot of fun, family, and festivities. But after the holidays, when all the “hoopla” is over, we feel out of place, lost without a map of where to go next. No more holiday parties, no more mountains of cookies and sweets to devour, and no more pretty flowers. Where do we fit in now that all the family have gone back to their own homes and all the goodies have been put away? We want to continue the uplifting feeling of the holidays, but we can’t, we have to just go back to work. And our poinsettias sit there, reminding us of Christmas just past, and soon forgotten.
So how can we keep the spirit of Christmas, or our poinsettias, continually growing throughout the year? I’m really not sure. I was going to keep my poinsettia sitting here in the living room where I can see it, reminding me about the holidays with its red and green blooms, but within a few days it started to wilt and I gave up on it. I know I should have probably worked harder to keep it alive, but I was truly ready to start fresh for the new year and its wilting blooms just reminded me of all the things I didn’t accomplish over the holidays. It began to remind me of all the stress I felt too during that time. It no longer represented the joy – it showed me the despair.
But I’m hoping to still think back on the holidays with fond memories and not dwell on the bad parts. Even if our families are difficult, even if we didn’t get the presents we wanted, and even if it just wasn’t what we expected – I need to dig deep to remember all the good things too: the smiles and laughter, the moments of joy with family, the hugs, kisses, and special moments each of us shared.
Let’s try each day into the new year to experience the spirit of Christmas and the happiness of being together – even with the ones in your life who might drive you crazy sometimes. Although my poor poinsettia is gone now, I can remember the blooms, think about the sparkling lights and reminisce about the time spent together – because this year let’s focus on the joy all through the year – not just at Christmas!