I Do Declare: Christmas decorations illustrate how I can go from sentimental to pragmatic at warp speed

The calendar says today is January 4, which means Christmas is over and we’re into a new year. This much we know to be true.

And yet: There are technically a few more days of Christmas left. And by technically, I mean if you follow the church calendar, Christmas keeps on keeping on until Epiphany (January 6). Which is why some people keep their decorations up until then.

Ha! Not me.

Sure, I follow the church calendar too, but when it comes to the trees and lights and garland and elves (whether on shelves or not), it’s high time they all went back to their storage bins and hibernated for about 11 months.

Not that I’m anti-Christmas or anti-holiday or anti-anything. My official policy is that the holidays are delightful. Enchanting. Blessed. And let’s be honest, a season of good cheer and good will to all is a pretty darn good thing, especially in this day and age – and this is only one reason why I celebrate it.

In fact, I’ve mentioned before how I love the magical tranquility of the days before Christmas.

But here’s the thing. It’s a season. Which is to say that it has its moment in the sun, after which it is meant to fade into the background, at least for a while, to be replaced by the next season.

And that next season is known as: Okay, everybody, up and moving, time to get organized. Or, as some call it: the new year.

For me – the consummate organizer – that season can’t come too soon. Almost as soon as the gifts are unwrapped, I’m ready to move on and get the house back in order. That table has been over in that corner making room for the tree for far too long. That garland wrapped around the banister is becoming an eyesore. The candelabras in the picture window are getting on my last nerve.

I need my house back, y’all. My surroundings require a place for everything and everything in its place.

The new year is here. I have a colossal project list, along with a daily planner that, if all holds true, indicates I will have to schedule my headaches. So be it. I’m ready for a substantial to-do list and the work it will take to get it done. I need checklists is what I’m saying.

As we move away from the meandering of the holidays and pick up the pace toward efficiency and productivity, I have a strong urge to enter the new year unfettered by the ghosts of months past.

My breakup letter to the past year notwithstanding, I’m done with excoriating 2020, as if continuing to rake it over the coals would mitigate one millisecond of the angst it caused.

To everything there is a season, so the scriptures tell us. Maybe the time for beating up 2020 is over. You’re forgiven, 2020. Go in peace.

Let bygones be bygones, I say. Let’s start fresh, with no past recriminations, no grudges held, no burdens of regrets and misgivings to carry around.

There’s a year to take hold of and make the most of.

Let’s get on with it.

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