Now that we are well into the month of January, I am reflecting on the past holiday. In my house, I go ‘full out’ decorating for Christmas. I decorate the basement, main floor and upstairs adorning with festive colors, ornaments, and family holiday heirlooms. Every nook and cranny has something on it, in it or hanging from it. It takes days to pull all the boxes out of the basement crawl space and drag the 37 plus crates upstairs to decorate (Thank you husband dear!). It’s quite visually overwhelming for anyone to step inside my house; but everyone in my family loves the season. This brings me joy.

The setting up of holiday decorations is not a ‘simple pleasure’ nor does it bring me joy. However, sitting in the dark with the Christmas lights on DOES, walking from room to room seeing keepsakes everywhere DOES, listening to holiday music with a glass of eggnog DOES. We love all the friends and family that come to visit, reading holiday letters and of course displaying holiday cards keeps us in the spirit. Following family traditions does bring me joy.

In early January, the tree is losing more pine needles each day, the cats have broken their expected three ornaments and the house is starting to close in on me with all this ‘stuff’ EVERYWHERE. It’s time to pack up.

Here’s my joy, this is what I love most about all the holiday stuff, I touch and cherish putting away one ornament after another, packing all the memories sitting on the shelf into tissue paper and neatly storing them away. My greatest simple pleasure is holding those special school-made gifts from my children. My son, (now age 28) probably at the age of 8 or 9 made a clay figure of Santa Claus. It’s marvelous. His cap even comes off. My daughter (now age 25), her teacher was into painting. My daughter excelled in painting. At the age of 5 she added perspective and depth to her artwork. I have three pictures that I hang every year in my kitchen. Two are of polar bears and one is of dancing penguins. They are fabulous. Pure joy.

And by now I’m back to a super clean and streamlined house again. Simple pleasure.
Happy New Year!

Dr. Michele