Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Christmas arrives

16 Comments

My community band played our holiday concert last night, complete with Santa conducting one of our pieces. It seemed a bit early to me, playing Christmas music on the first of December, yet I know many radio stations have been playing Christmas music for weeks. And the crowd seemed to get into the spirit, clapping along with “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Sleigh Ride.”

Checking out the music prior to the concert

Checking out the music prior to the concert

We had only four weeks to get ready for this concert; just a month ago we were playing Halloween music in our first concert of the year. It always feels strange to be rehearsing holiday pieces early in November, long before any of us are bitten by the spirit of Christmas.

It reminds me, every year, of the late 70s when my mom owned a ceramic store. We started firing glazed Christmas trees in October. In order for people to have their trees for holiday tables we needed to get them done prior to Christmas. And given how many we put through the kilns we had to start weeks before anyone would typically think about decorating with trees and ornaments. I remember feeling that Christmas was over the weekend before the actual holiday because we were finished putting Christmas ceramics projects through the store. And I remember listening to people talk about their plans for Christmas and being perpetually surprised that it was still in the future.

The real deal.

The real deal.

That’s how I feel this year. Now that the concert is over I feel like I can relax. As if the holiday was done. No huge holiday event hovers over me. No frantic planing, shopping, cooking, cleaning, no real plans at all. And while that is a peaceful feeling, it isn’t all good. I notice Christmas trees lit in living room windows as I travel past houses at dusk, I see the Christmas lights up in yards, and I smile a bit wistfully.

So a little Christmas cheer is in order around here. I think I’ll put the big wreath up on the front of the house and plug it in. That’s about all the preparation I think I can deal with and it’s enough to make me smile when I pull into the driveway.

What is enough for you? Are you doing the full Christmas tree, house covered in lights, piles of gifts, huge holiday dinner? Or are you scaling back this year? For me, for this year, a quiet Christmas will be just the ticket now that the holiday concert is a wrap.

Music stand reflects light

Music stand reflects light

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

16 thoughts on “Christmas arrives

  1. I actually gave all our Christmas Decorations and tree (including the boys stocking – by mistake) away to Goodwill. The older I get the more utterly depressing I find Christmas – so from now on I just plan to basically ignore it and treat it as any other day.

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  2. The tree, yes. I miss it when I don’t put it up. And probably a wreath or two if I can find them in my messy garage. As for dinner, I’m assuming we’ll have a neighborhood dinner. I hope. No piles of gifts, just maybe something very small for Kat and Gep. Christmas music if/when I think of it.

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    • I haven’t put the tree up in about 4 years and yes I do miss it. I like trimming the tree, and I like sitting in a dark room with just the tree lit. But taking it down is no fun. Maybe I’ll put it up this year…we have space because we tossed some furniture and haven’t replaced it yet. Hmmmmm….

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  3. I’m just doing my outdoor mini tree this year and a couple wreaths. Not going to bother decorating inside. Just another thing to add to a “to do” list.

    Quiet is my favorite kind of christmas.

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    • I did an outside spruce tree last year. Bruce wasn’t home and I couldn’t reach very high..so it was a few lines of lights at the bottom of a tree. Looked ridiculous during the day but was comforting at night.

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  4. We put up our $16.99 artificial Christmas Tree already. Mommy always says the price, and people always respond after she says $16.99 — We can tell! (Mommy likes the tree because it isn’t too big and it easy to put together and it’s not that heavy to lift the box to store in the attic. Mommy thinks the bare spots on the tree give it character.)

    Mommy likes the picture you took of the Music Stand and the light. Very artistic!

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    • I think your mom did good to find a 16.99 tree! Our big tree is too heavy for me to drag up from the basement by myself. So we just haven’t done it for the past few years. I should try harder I guess. I liked the music stand and light reflection too. Woke up one night and saw that and had to take a picture. Katie thought I was crazy getting up at 2 to take a picture of something that was not her.

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  5. Dallas here. Mama and The Kid put up the tree and decorations (indoors and outdoors) right after the turkey feast. Mama says that, on these too-dark days, having lights about makes her feel happier. I’m all for a happy Mama!! Glad your concert went well and you can relax with the princess now!

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    • Outside lights are my favorite…I want to leave them up until spring but by March I’m feeling silly turning them on. I think we should all band together and make Christmas lights normal to stay out there till the end of April! Or whenever daylight savings goes back into effect.

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  6. The wreath on the door sounds pretty and a lovely idea. I haven’t managed to work out how to get one to stay on my door so I have put some lights up in the window this week. I am glad the concert went well. Thank you for sharing the start of the festive holiday. I’m planning to send Christmas cards and have a minimalistic time of it!

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  7. I bet it does feel a bit anticlimactic. We are always so busy over the holidays, but it’s good-busy. We travel and spend the week with our families, and we bring gifts for our nieces, nephews, and parents. We haven’t had a tree since we got our cats 15 years ago…which is to say “never” for us. So, we decorate what we can, and enjoy instrumental Christmas music, which is perfect for us 🙂
    Happy (simple) holidays, Dawn 🙂

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    • I used to travel a lot over the holidays but it’s hard to fly then, airports are just insane. Weather makes driving uncertain. It’s nice to stay home. Though I will be traveling a bit this year, to a simpler place and time…up your way.

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