Am I the only one who feels relieved when Christmas is over? I don’t know about you, but as soon as December 26 rolls around, I feel the immediate urge to take down every single Christmas decoration and shove it in the attic for the next year. The day after Christmas is like the day after a night of binge drinking. The fun is over and now you have to peel yourself out of bed, head pounding, and deal with the mess.
It’s not that I hate Christmas. In fact, I love it. I love the lights, the music, the ribbons and bows. I love the get-togethers with family and friends.
However, Christmas is like dealing with a really needy relative and it takes its toll. It often involves spending more money than we had planned, eating more than we should and committing to more social events than we can realistically manage.
The holidays also demand that we fake a cheerful spirit that we may not actually feel. Let’s face it, not every year is filled with joy and hope, despite what our Christmas cards proclaim. And now that Facebook allows us to watch every move that every family’s Elf on the Shelf makes, the constant exposure to everyone else’s cheerfulness (be it fake or real) gets old—and a bit depressing. Even the happiest Christmases seem to leave me wanting a bit.
It wasn’t always this way. As a child, Christmas was pure magic. The anticipation started to build around Thanksgiving and hit its climax with the long-awaited arrival of Santa Claus. Christmas Day is the highlight of the year when you’re young.
As an adult, however, December 25 always feels a bit anticlimactic to me. No matter how hard I try or how many decorations I display, I never quite feel the same magic I experienced as a child. And after a late night playing Santa Claus followed by an early morning amidst a flurry of wrapping paper, I spend the rest of the day gulping coffee and wondering if I can squeeze in a nap.
By evening, my Christmas spirit has definitely waned, so I suppose my urge to move on shouldn’t surprise me. Because of my daughter’s pleading, I’ve agreed to wait until New Year’s Eve to remove the Christmas attire donning our home, but deep down, I just want the shit put away.
I have a deep-seated need to start the New Year with a clean slate—and a clean house. (It should be clean at least one day of the year, after all.) All that holiday stuff belongs to the old year, and I can’t seem to move forward until it’s out of my sight.
So, dear Christmas, I’m sorry to say, it’s time to pack up and get the hell out of my house. You’ve come way too close to overstaying your welcome.
Of course, don’t forget to visit again next year. I’ll be waiting for you under the mistletoe, with bells on, holding a plate of cookies and likely singing “Jingle Bell Rock.”