So that is that...

Photo by Amy Kane of Atlantic Ave

Sometimes a blogger sees something on another blog and thinks, "Wow - I wish I'd been the first to post that!"

Just my reaction upon reading this wonderful section from the last part of W.H. Auden's "For the Time Being, A Christmas Oratorio". Of course the good news is that bloggers share, so a grateful H/T to Deacon Scott Dodge, from Salt Lake City via The Deacon's Bench for these words that so many will find a good fit...

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week --
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted -- quite unsuccessfully --
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off.
But, for the time being, here we all are...


  1. I blogged about that same poem two years ago at the end of the 2006-07Christmas season (this year it continues to the end of the Baptism of the Lord next Sunday!).

    Here I included the entire poem, which is quite long. But what I wanted to share with your readers is the picture I included with it. A statement to the ease we desire for "putting Christmas away" until next year.

    Happy new year! The work of Christmas has only begun.

  2. Good reflection, but I agree with Diana that it is premature. It seems to me peculiar that so many people jump the gun on Christmas (beginning to celebrate during Advent) and want to get off the track before the finish line. I prefer to celebrate the Christmas season as Jews observe Shabbat (forgive me for mixing metaphors), savoring its sweetness to the very end, knowing full well there is much work to do, but wishing to linger in the full celebration of God's gift as long as possible.

    Justice shall flower in his days,
    and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
    May he rule from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.
    Psalm 72

    Pax et bonum!

  3. Yesterday, January 6, was what used to be The Epiphany before it moved to a weekend. Traditionally, that was when we untrimmed our tree and put away the Christmas decorations for next year. I still hold to the "Little Christmas" time frame for packing up and moving on. This process always makes me nostalgic and a bit sad.


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