Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. ~Chinese Proverb

Well, Happy New Year!

I am late sending along my greetings for 2011. I have to say, I just did not want the holidays to end this year. It was not because I had this wild and crazy time. In actual fact, the twelve days of Christmas were quiet and peaceful. Reflective and sometimes a little sad as I reflected on the Christmas mornings of days gone by.

But, I just did not want it to end. So, I’ve kept the tree up.

It is not like me. Usually, with the first sign of New Year’s, everything must be put away, floors must be scoured, and the house needs to smell like Mr. Clean. Fresh start for a New Year. But this year is different.

I suppose I just want the light of Christmas to linger for a while, to boost our spirits. Perhaps I wanted to look a little longer at life through the branches of the tree, with eyes squinting, so the colors blend together to create a magnificent kaleidoscope of beauty.

I will be honest, I’ve made excuses for myself.

At first, I told everyone that I was too busy to take it down.

Then, I said it was to stay in place to celebrate my husband’s birthday. He needed it.

Finally, grasping at any excuse I could find, I said what the heck, I will leave it in place until the 12th day of Christmas.

I just can’t make any further excuses.

The tree is way past its prime. The wind from the dog lightly walking by causes needles to fly from the tree. Two sets of lights have gone out and there are dark patches within the branches. One patch is shaped like Italy, and I am looking at it right now from my office chair.

It is time…

But for today, on this feast of the Epiphany, I will drink up every last minute of the lights of Christmas. January 6th, observed in commemoration of the coming of the Magi. Catholics believe the three kings brought gifts to the newborn Jesus, following the light of the star.

Epiphany. It has two meanings. The first, is as I listed and simplistically explained above, the feast day. The second meaning?

“usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something”

And, right on cue, as I thought about the epiphany, I have one of my very own. This feast day, right at the end of the holiday season, is one last reminder for us to take with us throughout the year.

The Magi, or three wise man, followed the star. The looked to the light, and decided to put faith in the fact that the light would lead them to something wonderful.

Let us all, as we tuck away the colored lights for another 350 days or so, remember the lessons from the Magi.

Remember that if you look for the light in your life, and move towards it, you will find something wonderful. Remember even in the darkest of nights, you can look up, and see the stars and know there is something much bigger than you guiding you through your days. And remember that it is our responsibility, much like the light on my tree, to be the lights for others who cross our path on this earth.

Be the light for someone today, and the next day, and the next day, and the one after that too. Be the light that may help someone find there way out of their own dark night.

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice

So, with that lesson in my pocket, I am ready to disassemble Christmas. I am ready to spread some of my own light around.

Have a 100 Watt kind of day,