While elsewhere people are putting up Valentine's merchandise and pulling lights down from the rafters, Allen and I are looking forward to the last official hurrah of Christmas. The living room isn't perfectly clean. There aren't any whimsical centerpieces, crackling fires, or gathered friends. There are steaks marinating on the counter though and unopened presents waiting under the tree. This isn't the Epiphany I hope to be celebrating five or ten years from now, but it's the very best Epiphany our travel wearied selves can celebrate this year. And, by God's grace, it's enough. Tonight, with steak and good wine, gingerbread and sweet potato soup, we'll quietly close out what has, in some ways, been the best Christmas we've ever celebrated.
That's the thing about getting better with practice. I don't want this Christmas to be the best Christmas ever because that means I'll spend all my other Christmases looking back to one tiny high point wishing I could go back again and capture a few fleeting moments. I want this Christmas to be the best Christmas so far - not the best one ever. But with that desire comes to the temptation to rush ahead and try to plan three or four Christmases out instead of enjoying the one I have right here. I need to rest in imperfection for a while.
So my bookcase needs organizing, and I can think of a dozen things I'll likely try to do differently next year. But I think it's been the best Christmas so far. And that is enough for this year.