Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Year musings

Well, another year... we’re in the strange and wonderful interregnum between the start of 2006 and the end of Christmas. I know that when the new year glow dies down for many, they assume that’s it — the end of the holidays; time to stow presents and cards away into the usual places of everyday life; the candles don’t get lit again; perhaps the tree even gets put away early.

All of which is anathema to me. Although religion has nothing to do with it as far as I’m concerned, I still like to think I keep Christmas in the way it should be kept: a reservation of time shared with family and friends, an appreciation of the childlike magic inherent in the season as winter really starts in earnest and all the contrasts between humanity and shivering nature are on display.

I love the decorations — around this house are sprigs of holly, some gathered from our tree in the garden, some from elsewhere, and to me it brings an exciting, sharp reminder of coldness and pagan ceremonies into a warm, cosy house. The tree contains some sparkling glass decorations and painted eggshells which I remember marvelling at when I was 5 or so.

For at least a few minutes each Christmas — possibly more — I go back to being 5. This is not about holding back the return of the everyday for a little while longer; every Christmas, I simply don’t feel the return of the everyday until sometime mid-January, even when I’m back at work.

For now, this house is warm, a cold sun shines on the ice-filmed twigs in the garden, and pies and cakes bulge with dark, spicy fruits laden with fiery alcohol. Millions of children still look at their empty stocking in wonder because Santa actually touched it... why waste that? Happy New Year, everybody. :o)

tags: [] [] []

No comments: