Remains of the Day

by Stefani on 30-December-2008

All that Remains

Christmas was good… 

Sweet, memorable, full of fun and family and way too much yummy food. It was night rides to see the lights, squeaky precious Christmas concerts, a candlit service, glad tidings, comfort and joy. 

When it was all said and done, after our merriment was made, there was the familiar mix of sadness and eagerness. Always, on the day after, I'm so sorry to see it all end so fast, and yet so ready to move on. 

By The Light of The Tree

Our tree is already down, our mantle blissfully bare, the bright, busy poinsettia table cloth exchanged for a plain pale blue one, the snow village packed away to shine again another December, and in it's place all the lovely simplicity of milk glass and white candles. 

I've been cleaning out cabinets, reorganizing drawers, dusting, mopping, folding, washing and otherwise preparing to start 2009 off with a fresh clean slate. And OH that feels good. 

But… as exciting as that is, as full as this new year is sure to be with adventures and new stories to tell, there is still that tinge of sadness, isn't there? 

Already, looking back at this year's photos of Christmas celebrations, I think, "never again will they look just that way on Christmas morning." 

This year, and all that it held, has been unwrapped. 

But of course… that's part of what makes it all so special right, the fleeting goodness of it? 

So we tuck our ornaments and Christmas treasures into their tissue paper coverings and put them back into their boxes, and I wonder, who we will be, what dreams and hopes we will hold, what stories we will have lived out, when we unwrap them again next year? What will our eyes have seen, when we see these things again?

I can't help but wish that I could freeze time. That I could spend just a little while longer reveling in this perfect moment – when they are 7, 6 and 4, laughing, dressed up as a samurai, an Indian chief and a tiger, turning the quilts into a fort by the fire, reading stories to each other, then chasing chickens in the yard, and taking over my kitchen, so proud of their cookie-making prowess. 

But I can't. So I pause, breathe it all deeply in, and trust that this magic, this messy, crazy, loud life will hold new wonders tomorrow too. 

 And now we walk, hand in hand, warm and knit together, into a new year full of promise, ready to  receive it's blessings. 

I hope that this coming year holds joy for you and yours as well. 

We will see you back here in 2009. 
Sarah Jackson December 30, 2008 at 8:49 am

Much joy to you, my friend. Big hugs to you and your men.

Eren December 30, 2008 at 8:58 am

Oh, yes! So many new adventures to look forward to. Happy New year to you and your sweeties!!!

elissa Finger December 30, 2008 at 9:16 am


Janice December 30, 2008 at 9:16 am

Happy New Year! I also LOVE the return to the pared down version of our household decor after the holidays. Everything looks so tidy and clean! Non-cluttered. We won’t take ours down until after the first of the year – the anticipation is almost as urgent as it was for Christmas to come!

Amber December 30, 2008 at 10:13 am

You just get it right every time. This is exactly how I feel and what I’ve been doing the last couple days. Thanks for reminding us to live in the moment with our kiddos!

Cassandra M. December 30, 2008 at 10:24 am

Exactly. You took the words out of my mouth. Except I couldn’t seem to form them for myself. I just felt the sadness. And then I went and had dinner with some old girlfriends who made me laugh and I realized that although time passes, the goodness keeps coming. Thanks for reminding me of that again. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Sarah December 30, 2008 at 10:53 am

Please publish a novel, my friend. Looking forward to more of your adventures in 2009!

Rachael Dominguez December 30, 2008 at 12:05 pm

I do wish I could be organized like you. Yes and freezing time could help. This year has been a very sad one for me and as much as I look forward to moving on, I too yearn for just a little more time with my boy.
Everyday his face changes just a little and little by little he grows. It’s bittersweet. I just have to be remember how lucky I am to have him right here, right now and cherish that for as long as humanely possible.
Thanks for your wonderful words, they truly are a blessing. Do publish a book please.

heather December 30, 2008 at 12:34 pm

“This year, and all that it held, has been unwrapped.”

there you go again, arranging ordinary words in unexpected ways, making me wish (like sarah) that you wrote novels! 🙂

wishing your family the happiest of times in 2009 – and many, many more days filled with magic and wonder.

Tiffany Sanders December 30, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Perfect. Just a wonderful way to start the new year; with a clean slate. I love the way you paint a beautiful picture with your words. Glad to see you back from the holidays. We missed you.

emily ruth December 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm

oh how i love your writing…you always get it just right…now that my kiddos are kids & not babies or toddlers anymore i get teary just thinking of how they will be next year…so different from now…teary with sad but also with excitement & hope & can-not-wait-edness to see who they are becoming…it is such a great road:)

ps looks like all you need to add is a police officer to have your very own set of village people…ymca, dudes:)

Crystal December 30, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Happy New Year!

Alissa December 30, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Stefani- once again you manage to touch my heart. Happy 2009 Mama!

Stephanie December 30, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Looks like it was a wonderful time at your house, too!

I can’t let go of it quite as quickly–things stay up here until I get a few days off to pack them away properly, but already I am reluctant to fill the soon-to-be-cleared-off places again.

Relyn December 30, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Happy new year, dear ones.

Kate December 30, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Thank you. You’ve beautifully expressed what I’m feeling right now.

Michelle Cowden December 31, 2008 at 6:49 am

Thimbleina December 31, 2008 at 8:20 am

Happy New Year

Anne December 31, 2008 at 12:09 pm

I feel the same way this week, but you seem to have been able to write it better than I can say it.

Happy New Year!

erin December 31, 2008 at 1:26 pm

same to you! happy new year, stefani. thank you for taking the time to write this blog. it has added much happiness to my year.

Jen December 31, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Ooooo, that gave me goosebumpss! What a great encapsulation of how I feel right now, and so wonderful to “hear” your voice again!

Marina January 1, 2009 at 4:24 am

Happy new year to all of you and thank you for all your words in 2008.

Kelly January 1, 2009 at 7:11 am

You are an artist of words! Fabulous post once again! This is exactly how I was feeling this week, stuck in that place of looking back but anxious to move ahead.
Happy New Year to you & your family!

Katie January 2, 2009 at 1:36 am

Happy New Year! I love the mess – that’s the best part about Christmas. I can relate to your post – I found myself thinking the same things – in a way, you don’t want it to end, but at the same time, you’re ready to move on to the next adventure. I hope 2009 is good to you. 🙂

asnipofgoodness January 2, 2009 at 6:33 am

I love this post, and that you SEE that the days are fleeting, and cherish them all. So many of us don’t get it in time.

Suzanne January 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us out here. You have given me much inspiration to homeschool next year. I really cannot thank you enough.

Ansley January 2, 2009 at 7:07 pm

It was also sad to see it pass so quickly yet so eager to start a fresh year!
I started my cleaning in the garage….

The Chatty Housewife January 2, 2009 at 9:13 pm

What a sweet post and well written!

Gretchen Skovron January 3, 2009 at 6:33 pm

happy new year to you !!!

Gretchen Skovron January 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Would love to hear your thoughts on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act as a parent who purchases handmade toys, knowing that so many small toy makers will be closing their store on Feb 10th 2009.
Please, I would love to hear your thoughts

Caroline January 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Happy New Year!

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