This is a photo I took of our Christmas tree on Sunday, January 5th. Its job is done. Its time has passed.
My wife and I brought it home on December 21st, the first day of winter vacation, the day before our daughters arrived for a two week stay. While we were decorating it, I was happily anticipating their arrival. The tree represented hope, reunion and the fun to come.
I love looking forward. Sometimes, it beats the actual thing. But not always. Certainly not this time. The 12 days of Christmas were as good as expected, only they're over now. Good stuff stops. I hate that.
But I love that I hate it. I'm grateful I have people I don't want to leave and times I don't want to end. Every early January, I feel a melancholy gratitude. Even if it hurts, I know it's good. It beats the alternative.