While I was in San Matteo, the cabinet with my collection of music boxes was moved and most of my things were brought down for me to pack. This was planned and expected and yet I am a little reluctant to put them all away just yet. They are Christmas music boxes and I find myself contemplating Christmas.
I love to listen to the boxes at Christmas. My mom got the first one for me when my kids were small and after all these years, it still works. Because it is wooden, it is the one all the kids are allowed to wind and we do it gently, together, so that they learn to feel when the box is fully wound. Each year, whenever I am alone in the house, I wind them up and let each one play. I love to hear their tinkling melodies. Sitting, thinking of this, with them all around made me think hard about Christmas.
I want a display of my Christmas music boxes on the shelves just under the stairs. And the nativities too. All the books and rocks that usually occupy space there, are packed and it is a little bare and empty. I think this will be the perfect place for them. Out and yet out of the way of little fingers except for when Grandma and the kids wind them.
This is only step one. I have been meaning to make a big Christmas, with the house decorated to the nines...well the eights at least ;) and cookies and delicious treats and recipes old and new, for the last several years. It has been too long since Chez Needles did a big Christmas. The last two years Christmas has been taken up with Mr. Needles knee problems so these things just haven't happened. And now, since I have to go through all this stuff anyway in preparation for the move, I want it all out. I want this year to be big and flashy and full, as a sort of goodbye to the house and to mark not the sorrows of the last months, but the joys.
Christmas is a goodbye but it is also a sign that there is hope, that life moves on and changes and that after a season of darkening, the light will come again. It is a gift, perhaps the greatest gift. Christmas marks moving forward and moving on, as we must. Bittersweet.
Somewhere in that place between joy and sorrow, I sit, not so much knitting, not so much organizing, maybe a little packing, some trying to figure out where the heck will I put the tree. Busy, but good. Or at the very least, good enough.