It's the morning after Christmas. The opened presents have been moved into piles, the few gifts designated for returns have been matched with their gift receipts, and the shreds of wrapping paper have been cleaned from the floor. Space has been cleared in the refrigerator, and leftovers from Christmas dinner have been transferred neatly into Tupperware containers. Our guests have left, the first load of laundry has been started, and it's just our family of five once again.
Back to normal.
The past week has passed in a blur -- closing the semester, getting sick, recuperating, holiday baking, last minute shopping, late night gift wrapping, welcoming family, attending Christmas Eve service, watching Christmas morning unfold through the eyes of my children who were hyped up on sugar and life, and navigating Christmas afternoon as new toys and games and books were explored.
It was a beautiful Christmas with family, and last night my husband and I turned into bed early, happy but exhausted. This morning I woke and realized how quickly the holiday had passed, how abruptly everything had ended.
Even so, there's something wonderful about today. The sun shines brightly. I hadn't noticed the absence of sunlight during the past several days, but now that it shines I realize what I've been missing.
Baby, it's cold outside, but with that sunshine, I don't particularly mind. Another day has dawned, and it's a new and hopeful one. Christmas has passed, but warmth and cheer remain.