“There’s nothing so over as Christmas.”

– the late Bill C. Cooksey

It’s done. Past. From now until at least October it’s going to be after Christmas.

That means that all the business, hurry, schedule-stretching, worrying and scurrying of the past few weeks has, by today, slowed to a slow, slow, very slow crawl. Sweep up the pine needles if you need to, take down the tree if that’s your style, haul the trash bags full of wrapping paper out to the Dumpster, but do any and all of it at your leisure, savoring the season’s afterglow as much as possible.

Now, back in the day, at the Cooksey household, Christmas wasn’t completely over until one of the young boys realized he’d lost the brand new pocket knife his uncle had given him and all nine or 10 of the trash sacks in the garage had been gone through by four or five family members. At last the knife would be found, and faith and Christmas spirit restored – more or less.

Maybe you’ll be among those out and about, taking first swipe at the after-Christmas sales, well that’s a good thing too. There’ll be some good ones, and it’s really a good thing to spend those dollars (or half dollars) at home. That helps all of us for a more prosperous 2010.

Of course we would be remiss, and someone will surely call us on the fact, that technically – in some faithful followers and by tradition – Christmas is not over. Why yesterday was only the first day of Christmas, and today, the second day. We’ve got 10 more to go before we’ve had all 12. Please note, we’re not expecting any more gifts here – especially of the bird or fowl species. French hens? Not unless they lay golden eggs – then we might consider.

The point here, in this space, is that while ordinarily we would suggest folks get out and participate in any of several activities on the community calendar, we can’t come up with any – or many – today.

Well, of course, we should mention, that if you do have a live tree, and you do plan to undecorate it and take it down today, please be an earth kind and friendly person and recycle the tree. Remember, please, trees must be free of lights, decorations, not in stands and not wrapped in plastic or netting of any kind.

Starting today, trees can be dropped off under the Austin Avenue Overpass, at Brady and Avenue A. Or if you prefer, and it’s easier and closer for you, take the trees to the Recycling Center, 6800 Farm-to-Market Road 45, South, a mile south of the National Guard Armory.

But for today, the very last Saturday of 2009, that’s just about all we’ve got to announce.

And before we go, we’d like to share a little known fact (we think),with credit going to Mary Elizabeth Taylor, choir director for the First United Methodist Church - Brownwood, who shared the information during church services on Sunday. The French word Noel, as generally written in the lyrics of Christmas carols, is the translation of an English contraction, “Nowell,” which means “Now all is well.”

May all be well with you and yours.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Mr. Cooksey quoted above is the father of this story’s writer.)