This household is in that vague, sleepy, weird, in-between time that happens post-holiday, made even weirder by the fact that nobody has had on a real pair of pants or gone to a proper office or classroom in months (I exaggerate only slightly), due to the pandemic's grinding on. Still, we've taken full advantage, with bowls of chili and casseroles of hot spinach dip, and naps, and movies (It's a Wonderful Life, Die Hard, Lord of the Rings marathons).
While everyone I knew seemed to embrace the holidays even more fully and earlier this year, as a way to forget the utter garbage that happened in 2020, I found myself with my old familiar reluctance to, as they say, get the party started. I have long known that a large part of my holiday scrooge-y-ness has to do with my introvert side: I find holiday stores, gatherings, music, and stuff all tend to put me in sensory overload without good coping mechanisms in place.
Didn't need the coping mechanisms much this year. "Family Christmas" involved driving to St. Paul, Eau Claire, and Cedar Rapids to deliver Christmas presents to the kids, giving them quick (masked) hugs, and driving back home, the most we were willing to risk to see our kids, even for a few minutes. Our Christmas dinner was the four people in the household around the kitchen table. Like so many other events in 2020, it felt incomplete and constrained, even for an introvert like me. I miss my people.
While I did put the tree away on New Year's Day, I'm leaving a few things as they are this year, at least for awhile. Some of my favorite Christmas decorations are not actually overtly Christmas, but more generally "winter," and I want them to hang around in January. Probably because the holidays did feel incomplete. Probably because winter is my hibernation time and I want to feel cozy. Probably because I'm a little lazy. Probably.
The mantel is garland, pine cones, and LED candles. For a person who really values authenticity, I'm mad for the fakery that is LED candles. You can get them with a remote switch to turn them all on at once, they add that soft golden glow one wants for long winter nights, and you can place them any old place and wander off from them like the menopause addled brain that you are and don't risk burning the house down.
I got a new wreath for the new front door this year, and it too has a Christmas-into-January vibe.
The last thing that's sticking around is actually overtly Christmas, but because it's chalkboard art I put a lot of work into, it stays for a few more weeks before I scrub it out for something new. It's out on the screen porch, cheering up an otherwise plain corner.
Other stuff I'm doing right now:
Watching this: The Trial of The Chicago 7
Reading this: My 10-Point Plan for Feral Eldership
On the way from that link, I also found this: Please Don't Call Yourself an Empath
Amused by this: New Yorker cartoon