I am (quite reluctantly) putting away the decorations, books, CDs, etc. To be honest, I think that some of my reluctance stems not so much from a love of the season as from a sense of regret at (yet again) not completing many of my plans for us. I truly have made efforts to limit my desires to only those things which I and/or my husband and children really want to do, yet I still seem to accomplish so little. We did not finish any of the Advent readings; we never even got the fourth candle lit, let alone the Christ candle. We didn't get a family picture. We didn't make any ornaments. We didn't even read the story of the Nativity from the Bible. I did absolutely nothing special for the 12 Days of Christmas or Epiphany.
We did get a tree up and some lights on it; I gave the girls some pretty glass snowflake ornaments that I had bought at a craft fair (and promptly misplaced) last year, and I bought some painted acorn snowcaps at a craft fair this year for the guys. I finally attended a midnight Mass on Christmas Eve this year, and it was lovely. We had our traditional Christmas brunch dishes: egg casserole, little smoked sausages, cranberry-pear crisp, and gingerbread baked in my castle-shaped-bundt-cake-pan. We had some friends over on New Year's Eve and made a few more of our traditional treats: spinach piroshky, queso bites, and vegan-oatmeal-craisin-chocolate-chip cookies. Before the arrival of our guests the kids and I got the house clean. really clean. cleaner than it's been in 5 years. and we have kept it up.
All told, it was not a bad Advent/Christmas season in our home. My children and my wonderful husband all have fond memories of the past six weeks, and I was able to focus on the nativity of our LORD and ignore the clamor for the world.
I think, though, that I will leave the blue twinkle lights which I bought for Advent this year up around the kitchen windows. They have become a pleasant companion during my pre-dawn prayer time.