There is something very bland about the day after Christmas. All of the excitement and anticipation is over and all that is left is the aftermath of all those gifts. Boxes and tissue paper, gift bags and plastic wrappers. This morning we piled the pickup truck high with all of the Christmas debris and headed off to the transfer station. There, we were joined by many others, also dumping the remains of Christmas Day into dumpster and cans.

Today is a day to re-gather. Make room for the new gifts and put away the new clothes. Pick up the remains of the packaging and re-assemble ourselves. We will have a big week ahead of us, filling with family and friends. My nephews are arriving by train this evening, we are picking them up at the train station. They are coming in early to snowboard with the boys, a treat that all of them are looking forward to enjoying. My inlaws are still here visiting with us and then my sister, brother, mother and a couple friends will be showing up, in drips and drabs until New Years, when we expect a full house.

It is interesting. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were quiet, even noticeably absent the ruckus that used to surround my Christmases growing up. These last few days were reminiscent of Tom’s growing up, as an only child, not much ruckus in his house on Christmas. New Years will be reminiscent of my holidays, lots of people (only a much bigger house to put them all in) and lots of laughter, noise and kids. That was my Christmas, chaotic. Christmas was always my father’s favorite holiday and his love of the season and the surprise and anticipation carried us through. Since he passed away, that holiday is definitely not the same, so it is kind of respectfully appropriate that we don’t celebrate it in the same way. But I do miss it sometimes, it is a part of me and while I can be very Cybil-like about liking the quiet, to a part of me, the chaos is the way I remember the holidays, the way I lived them through a substantial portion of my life and the way that it should be.

I enjoyed Christmas but I am looking forward to New Years, while over the next week, I may be grumbling on the outside at times, somewhere, inside, I will be smiling, thinking this is the way it used to be.