Christmas Is Over

I sat on the couch this morning feeling the warmth of my fury blanket around my shoulders. Looking out my living room window, I could see the grey clouds moving in. Squirrels collecting left-over pecans on the ground caught my attention and I watched them as I sipped my morning coffee. Busily they danced around the yard, collecting the pecans, running from tree limb to tree limb, so carefree. A cardinal, so crimson red perched on the River Birch's branch, seemed to shiver against the cold air outside. He too, seemed to be watching the squirrels waiting for their absence so he could eat what they had left. I knew as the morning moved on, more birds would join to feed on the left over cracked pecans accumulating on the ground. An orange blur shifted my attention to the other window..Eugina, my orange tabby cat was running home. I opened the front door for him as he ran inside. Quickly he went to the fireplace and snuggled against Stella, my american bulldog, lying on the floor in front of the fire, seeking warmth.

The Christmas tree blinked a multitude of colors, beautiful, yet quite pitiful looking. There are no ornaments left hanging from the bottom to the midsection. Yet, the midsection to the top is overly crammed with ornaments. Some of the multicolored lights now dangle off the bottom branches almost touching the floor. Maybe I should take it down today instead of waiting to New Years. I smile thinking how much fun the cats have had with the tree thinking I put it up just for them.

I sat for awhile watching the lights blink on the tree. I love the quietness of the morning. My teens still sleeping in their beds, my husband out in the shed tinkering around, the dogs and cats snoozing, the only activity is the busy squirrels outside. Christmas has come, and Christmas has gone. I reflect to Christmas' in the past. What a joy it was playing Santa Claus till 3 or 4am. Setting out barbies, barbie houses, barbie cars, barbie clothes, baby dolls, and games. Getting only 2 hours sleep before the girls were waking me waiting eagerly to see what Santa had left them. I can still see their sweet faces, as their eyes grew so big, gasping, squealing, at the site of what Santa had left. The laughter, the giggles, the precious moments, now only a memory. When did they grow up? When did they become so tall and so beautiful? The last couple of years, they didn't want Santa surprises, but only money in their stockings. The first year in leaving them money, was so simple, so easy, and I was actually happy I didn't have to go out shopping for them anymore. This Christmas, however, I missed being Santa. I missed the giddiness they would have on Christmas Eve. I missed the surprise wonder on their faces on Christmas mornings. I missed assembling barbie houses. I missed tearing open all those packages and unwinding hundreds of silver twist ties on the barbie packages. I honestly missed being Santa Claus. And then it hit just a couple of years they will be gone off to college, on their own, not only will I be missing Santa Claus....I will be missing them!

**the above photos taken at my Moms house Christmas Eve** .

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