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Cottrel: Why rush? Take time to savor holidays

Christmas day is over and here we are in the middle of one of the nicest weeks of the year. This is the week to savor all the joy of Christmas and fruit of our labors. It is not the week to rush on to the next task. There will be plenty of time for that after New Year’s Day.

It seemed almost like our culture has been racing to Christmas since October began. While most of us were enjoying the beautiful leaves and getting ready for Trick or Treat, we had to walk past displays of Christmas ornaments in stores. Some stores even had lit trees and Christmas music before Halloween.

The last “trick-or-treater” had barely gotten home from Beggars Night when we saw the first Christmas Decorations going up in front of houses.

What was the hurry?

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Yeah, I know; the smart folks are the ones who put up their decorations early in the fall while wearing shirtsleeves and before the time change robbed us of an hour of light. I get it, but do they have to turn the displays on before December?

Some radio stations had the 24/7 Christmas songs going in November. I avoid them.

We got our first Christmas card before Thanksgiving this year. Really, we did. I was so shocked when I opened it. All I could think was what is the hurry?

People were in line for the Black Friday sales before the turkeys came out of the ovens. What a pity it was for them to miss Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Black Friday, people were cutting down live trees on the days immediately after Thanksgiving and decorating them. What made them think those trees would hold up until Christmas? I always figured live trees were good for a couple of weeks at most before they started dropping needles and became prickly.

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December was crazy as ever and the activity all grew with intensity until Dec. 25, Christmas Day.

Every year the Christmas music on the radio suddenly stops on Christmas evening. Why is that?

Why the rush to celebrate Christmas early, then abruptly stop the holiday before it is truly over? Can’t we still be in the Christmas spirit on the way home from Grandma’s? Can’t Christmas linger a bit?

As the sun rose on Dec. 26, the first live cut Christmas trees hit the curb. Yep, they did. Now I can understand this part. If that tree has been up very long at all, it will most likely be a fire hazard. So if it is dry, it really does have to go for safety sake. But why not leave the rest of the decorations up for awhile? And why take down the artificial trees?

Dec. 26 is when the “I’m all done with Christmas” bragging starts. This rush to end Christmas abruptly has me wondering. Is there a prize for the first house to be undecorated and back to normal? If there is, I don’t want to win.

It isn’t like we have to quickly clear Christmas out to be ready for the next impending holiday. After New Year’s Day we have a few weeks off.

I cannot understand why the folks who spend months in preparation for Christmas push their favorite holiday out the door with the discarded wrapping paper.

This glorious week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day is the icing on the seasonal cake. It is the time to savor all that is Christmas. We need to take time to thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the holidays.

It’s time to view all the wonderful decorations around us, stuff ourselves on leftovers, and finish off the Christmas cookies. It is time to have meaningful visits with the relatives and friends who have traveled from afar.

Since the kids are out of school, why not introduce them to the primitive world of board games and home movies from the past? If the weather is warm enough take walks, and if not, enjoy a warm cup of tea by the tree with loved ones. It is important to savor relationships and enjoy the presence of friends and relatives.

Obviously, I’m a Twelve Days of Christmas kind of person. I think the days between Christmas and Epiphany should be full of joy, fun and relaxation.

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We like to leave our outdoor lights up for awhile past Epiphany. It is a dark time of year, and I love the way the lights break up the dark nights when we travel. I hope our late outside lights cheer those who have to travel after sunset in January.

I’ve decided that my theme for 2018 will be to savor every day: take the time to totally focus on something and enjoy all its different aspects. We refused to be stampeded into Christmas and instead chose to savor Thanksgiving. Now we are savoring the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season.

Happy New Year. Enjoy it. Savor it.

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