I realized today as I took down my tree and decorations and put my living room back to normal...I'm sad Christmas and New Year's is over.

Somehow the normal living room scene just doesn't have the spark and magic of the Christmas lights and garland.  The room is missing that hopeful and comforting glow I've gotten used to over the last month.

This was the first Christmas in 12 years that I was not married and I approached it a little concerned about how my 7 year-old would handle that.  What would the two houses now establishing diverse traditions impact him (it seemed to go fine).  What should I carry over and would it be strange with some elements of our past mixed with new (that mix worked well).

I ended up connecting with Christmas far more this year than I have in many.  Having to decorate on my own when my former wife had always coordinated or done it was a new challenge.  It's still not my favorite thing in the world, but I felt this purpose to make our home feel comfy and warm.  It was a good thing for me to do and I was pleased with how it came out.

In the end, it was really a great Christmas.  Our custody arrangement meant that I would get the second-half of the day.  He started the morning with his mom, and her parents, and when I picked him up we went to the airport to get mine.  Santa found both houses just fine, and a week with him laughing, reading with, and just spending time with my parents was amazing.

It was a fantastic Christmas - one that seemed to fly right by - and one that I'll always remember.  It was the first of the "new" Christmases, and maybe that's why taking the tree down, pulling the garland, wrapping the ornaments, and putting away the gifts was so hard today.

I loved this Christmas.  I'm sad it's over.