“How did it get so late so soon?”

pocket watch with Seuss quote

The house is dark as I get up and make my way to the kitchen, bleary-eyed, knowing I need coffee.

It has been nonstop people, meals, dishes, talk, games, presents, more tea, more talk, more games, more presents, and more tea. Thank God for tea.

And it is wonderful and exhausting, but mostly wonderful.

I try hard to be quiet as I get ready, but the minute I put on my heeled boots, the click click click on the wooden floor sounds loud, echoes across the darkened house. I put on the Christmas tree lights, longing to sit for just a minute but I’ve been off work for a while now and I need to get back.

I pull my thick coat close to my body, a scarf wrapped tightly around my neck. The warm of the past few days has given way to the seasonal cold and I feel it. My neighborhood is still asleep and the Hanukkah lights of some neighbors radiate blue into the morning sky.

Inside our home it is still festive, full of light and Christmas with frosted cookies still on the dessert menu, their red and green slowly getting grainy. But outside it is business as usual. All around me is evidence of a society ready to close out Christmas and pull people in for end of the year sales.

Christmas has ended. It is being packed up, put into tissue paper like fragile ornaments. Wreaths and ribbons are slowly taken down, the lights rolled up, and soon we will see Christmas trees put out on sidewalks, their boughs casting sharp, green needles all over the ground.

I’m not ready. During Christmas we give ourselves the gift of time. Time to curl up and read. Time to play games. Time to have long breakfasts and dinners. Time to talk. That’s one of the gifts of Christmas — time.  I’m not ready to pack that gift away. I’m not ready to get back into a busy schedule, slave to deadlines and projects. In the words of the sage children’s author, Dr. Seuss, I wonder:

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

When I was a kid, time felt so slow. I would wait in anxious anticipation for everything from Christmas to a boy asking me to sit with him and exchange furtive glances. Time took forever. Now I wonder how it got so late so soon. 

So I walk, bundled up, to the subway, thinking all these thinks, pausing for a minute to speak words of gratitude for time to the One who is timeless.

Picture Credit: http://pixabay.com/en/pocket-watch-jewel-chain-stone-560937/ word art Marilyn R. Gardner

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