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  • Betty Girardeau

The Day After



The packages have all been unwrapped. The stockings have been un-stuffed. The fancy dinner has been eaten. Now there are trash bins full of torn pieces of wrapping papers. The refrigerator has lots of little containers of left-overs. The children are in the midst of creating new Lego and puzzle creations. There are periodic calls of "Dad, can you help me?" The batteries in the toy mouse seem to "dead," so we don't know how much the cats are going to like it. It's interesting how all the weeks of preparation and expectation are wiped out in just a few hours. I wonder why we have never adopted the old English celebration that had Christmas lasting twelve days? Apparently, we can blame business for this as they have long "sold" us on the idea that December 25 is the last day of Christmas marketing and, therefore, Christmas itself. Almost overnight after-Christmas sales signs have sprung up and Valentines have replaced Christmas cards on the racks. If you turn on the radio, the carols and sounds of Christmas are no longer being programmed. Of course, officially, the Holiday Season is not over. We still have New Year's Day in a little less than a week. But if we thought Christmas was a little "less" this pandemic year, New Year's celebrations as we have generally known them will be much altered or non-existent as we still have to maintain social distancing and the need to avoid group gatherings. I wonder how many are actually going out to the store today to find bargains in Christmas decor and wrappings? In the coming week, there will be few college football bowl games to watch on TV. And there will be no Rose Parade to watch on New Year's Day 2021 either. It seems like this year the rest of 2020 will just fade away. For a few weeks we had something more positive to look forward to. Now we are going to have to find some new positives on which to focus as we try to move forward into a new year that will still for many months ahead will still be greatly defined by Covid-19. For me, I am hoping for some more winter snows. After I get home, my Christmas decor will be replaced by my snowmen, which in recent years have become mere symbols for what the winters of my memories. This year there was a white Christmas in Tennessee. Now I can hope only hope for a little real winter, too.

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