Hello, January.

Earlier this evening, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were still in the holiday spirit, while others were clearly ready to move on from Christmas.

The remains of sad, discarded Christmas trees littered the streets; branches had been de-tinseled, and every tiny ornament had likely been lovingly put away until next year, but the trees got the boot — banished to the cold night while families carried on inside warm homes.

Others still had their trees up and fully illuminated, framed by picture windows and with house lights proudly glowing (and thumbing their nose at January’s arrival).

I split the difference. Although I didn’t get around to de-treeing the living room today, I did take the seven strands of lights off the timer, and refrained from turning the white house lights on this evening). I figure a few more days of Christmas in the house won’t kill me.

In a weird way, I dread the coming of Christmas because the moment it starts, the clock is ticking and it will eventually have to come to an end. This time last year, I’m fairly confident I was going through a depression of sorts. I had a good two and a half weeks off of work, I was reveling in the decorating, the cooking and the music; I tried to cling to every last bit of Christmas until one weekend I knew I had to get a grip. Every last piece of wrapping paper and glitter speck was tossed out and vacuumed up and, just like that, the page was turned.

This year it felt like Christmas came and went far too quickly. The season snuck up on me and, likely because of working in between Christmas and the new year, its magic faded quickly, as well. I did stick with tradition and spend the better part of today in my jammies watching the Rose Parade, enjoying a few cups of coffee and flipping from movie to movie, but while I expected I’d not be ready to go back to work tomorrow, I suppose I am. Or rather, I’m not opposed to it.

Back to work, back to routine, back to structure. Back to full days where most of my minutes are planned out and accounted for, and back to looking forward to the rest and relaxation a weekend can bring after a long work week. While this is a short week and one in which I can ease back into the year slowly, I am looking forward to 2013 — and I am thankful for the anticipation that I have for this year that I didn’t have for 2012.

Here’s to a new year, full of adventure, full of promise and full of hope.

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