I came across this page from the very first printed Bower, as I was lackadaisically tidying up a corner of my studio. Do you see that last line I wrote ten years ago? “I believe we can all appreciate the awareness, expressed in this custom, of how difficult it can be to make the transition from “holiday” to “everyday”. I have certainly found it so!

Our Christmastime was very good and sweet and satisfying…..especially once all the gifts were mailed and groceries bought and my mom was safely ensconced in our home for several days. Our annual Winter Solstice celebration was lovely and subdued-they seem to have a different flavor each year. Christmas Eve was quiet at home with It’s a Wonderful Life on television and the decorating of our Christmas tree. Christmas morning was really neat as our boys, without asking, spent the first half-hour or so helping to start the fires in the hearth and woodstove and lighting candles and bringing out the doughnuts and eggnog… was so unexpected and a clear sign that they are growing up….and, perhaps, that they recognise (even unconsciously) how much these details make the atmosphere of a special day……

And the so the days unfolded. It was a really social Twelve Days of Christmas for us, more so than usual. And when we got home from a Twelfth Night party late Saturday night, with Quaker Meeting to attend the next day. We all felt as tho’ the holidays had been wonderful, but where had all the time gone? The wooden Christmas puzzle that we started Christmas Eve was still less than one-quarter done, we still had an awful lot of treats to enjoy, I hadn’t made a dent in my Christmas-magazine reading. We simply didn’t feel quite ready to jump into the usual routine again on Monday.

So when I was reminded of St. Distaff’s day, I realized that we have ended up having a week of “partly work and partly play” as our transition back into everyday life. I filled all the orders that had come in during the holidays, my sons applied themselves to their lessons fairly diligently, I am doing my exercises again and we have made some feeble attempts at uncluttering the house and “putting away Christmas”…..truly feeble, I must admit. We have also slept in a bit in the mornings, and I have indulged in many episodes of Monarch of the Glen from Netflix and finished one magazine and parts of a few others. But I am finally feeling rested and can feel the energy I need slowly building….I am certain it will be all there when we truly get back to normal on Monday.

I hope that Monday will find us ready to get up on time. And that we will greet the day in a shiny New Year’s house….but I will be gentle on us if its all not quite as clean and fresh as I would like it to be. Slowly and steadily we shall get there.