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Keeping that spirit alive

Published December 28. 2013 09:00AM

The leftovers are in the fridge and I couldn't be happier to be able to take them to work for lunch.

After all, I have been told I do a mean ham for dinner.

The gifts have been unwrapped and the wrapping paper has been all cleaned up.

Well, except for the few scraps that I just noticed underneath the sofa.

I should probably go and pick those up but part of me wants to leave them there as a reminder of the wonderful time spent with my family Christmas Day.

Having 10 people and one overstimulated dog crammed into my tiny living room was a bit loud and chaotic, but at the same time, it brought me so much joy and fulfillment.

I experienced the best sleep I have had in quite some time after everyone went home.

No doubt stemming from exhaustion mixed with pure contentment.

It's been quite a ride from Thanksgiving until this point and now we are looking forward to the last hoorah, so to speak, by celebrating New Year's Eve with friends and all of our kids.

But then what?

That is when, for me at least, the winter funk sets in.

I know many people feel gloomy around the holidays, but for me, it always comes after.

The joy and festivities of the season are over.

The colorful decorations and twinkling lights get boxed up and tucked away in the attic or basement.

The good tidings and good deeds; the wonder and the magic of the season are just, gone.

The visiting and the gatherings cease and all you are left with are a quiet, empty and drab house along with the bitter cold.

I keep saying I want to keep my tree up and decorate it with a winter theme in January, a Valentine's theme in February, St. Patty's in March and so on just to keep the cheerful colors and lights aglow throughout the year. (Plus it's less stuff you have to lug back up to the attic.)

I don't think hubby would go for it though.

I got to thinking about all of the things that made me the most happy from Thanksgiving until now and what I can do to keep that going throughout the year.

With December being a month of giving and the time of year most people make donations, I got to thinking that the other months of the year must really be lacking while the need is still just as great.

I have decided that I will make donations to the food pantry on a monthly basis along with continuing to seek out individuals and/or organizations that can use a blessing, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.

As I stated in a previous column, I wanted to scale down the giving of things this year in order to focus more on helping those who had true needs over the holiday season.

I can't tell you how much helping out family, friends or even strangers truly blessed me.

Now I know why Santa does what he does; it just feels good.

With how blissfully loud and busy it was having all of my kids, their significant others and my grandkids here at the same time on Christmas Day, I figure, why do it once a year?

Once a month is more in order (at the very least) as far as I am concerned because I love them so very much and life is just too short as I have learned this past year.

And while I don't think that keeping our tree up for the whole year is a good idea, I do think I may make some sort of decorative arrangement, which includes those twinkling lights.

After all, who doesn't love a little wonder and magic.

As the 2013 holiday season comes to an end, I want to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Thank you for your loyal readership and for your constant encouragement.

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