Shortly after Thanksgiving we begin to decorate for the holidays. This has been a tradition ever since I was a young boy. My grandfather made a big deal about Christmas and his house was always the one that people stopped in front of to admire the lights and decorations. When he got to the point where he could no longer decorate, I went over each year and placed the decorations up for him. It became a service project I looked forward to each season. When he passed I inherited his outdoor decorations and I have diligently set them out each year in his memory. It is always fun to retrieve the decorations from storage and remember all of the times we spent together. It is exciting to place each strand of lights around brightening the dark winter evenings. The kids are always on their best behavior and in great moods to help since the hanging of the decorations signifies the beginning of the Christmas season. Soon though the holiday arrives and afterwards there becomes the task of taking down all of the brightly colored decorations.
Suddenly the kids are less willing to help as they are more interested in playing with their new toys and devices that they got Christmas morning. Removing each strand of lights you are reminded that they are going back in storage for another eleven months and the bright lights that adorned your house will go back to the relative darkness of a single porch light. The anticipation of the gift giving season is now replaced with the reality that the holiday bills will soon appear in greater frequency than the Christmas cards we had awaited. This always leaves me in a melancholy mood with a reminder that another year of my life is over. I’ve maintained a personal journal for many years and recently I have begun cataloging the entries. This has helped to remind me of all that I have been given and all that I should be grateful for. It is a constant recollection of the memories I have of the past year and of my life. So as the house begins to again resemble normality, I am left with my journals and these blog entries to remind me of what I have accomplished and what lies ahead.