Each year when the holidays are spent and so am I, something exquisite occurs. It’s a period of time, a short-lived season, if you will, that I call the Cusp. And increasingly, it’s becoming my favorite part of Christmas.
During this period, the Christmas tree already may have been towed to recycling or maybe it just stands as is. Green. Next to the tree, I’ll build a fire one morning and read the Christmas cards again—this time, void of any sense of time.
My favorite card is usually the same one every year, literally, and always the smallest (three by four inches) with a 1950s feel. It’s a blue-and-white sketch of a snowman wearing a top hat and driving a sleigh loaded with identical items, each having been rolled up and tied with a blue bows. On the inside it reads:
"I have enjoyed
bringing the newspaper
to your home.
I hope you have
A very happy Holiday.
Your Newspaper Carrier"
The page opposite is stamped with the person’s name, address and cell phone number. I hope next year the mailman delivers another card of the snowman driving the sleigh. I hope we still have our mailman, too.
By the middle of the Cusp, the unfortunate bird from Tyler, Texas, that they call “Greenberg Smoked Turkey” has turned into a soup bone—the soup, too, is almost gone. Since visitors and chatter have left the house, our scaredy-cat cat has returned to his favorite spot to take a snooze. His wilder brother has yet to re-enter the house. I might go days without checking, not even picking up my cell phone, spending an entire evening working a Sudoku puzzle, watching football with my husband for 10 hours straight or going to a matinee.
Amazingly, in the Cusp even leaf blowers take a break. One morning (or rather, day) I set an all-time record for the time I actually got out of bed. Noon! My husband thought it was a hangover, but I blamed it on the flannel sheets “Sissy” gave us for Christmas. Be warned, champagne or no champagne, if it’s freezing outside and you’re fortunate enough to be sleeping on flannel sheets, I sure wouldn’t commit yourself to milking cows the next morning. I never realized the ol' biscuit could feel SO good to the bone.
I received a T-shirt once from someone at Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, that reads “Everyone believes in something…I believe I’ll have another cookie.” During the Cusp, my sentiments eggs-zactly! Just be. And more importantly, whether it’s sleeping late, eating all the sugar, staying in your skivvies all day, enjoy every second as is. Like a blue moon or a honeymoon—it’s rare.
I always thought the best part about our house was the light running through it, especially the winter light. After Christmas, however, I find something else. There’s a silence this old house seems especially made for, even though the previous owners raised six children in it. Something healing in how the silence lays. Friday night, I built another fire outside under a blue moon and counted my lucky stars. Best part about the Cusp is “All IS calm.”