It’s the “now what?” little bit of depression that comes with having successfully survived another holiday and the aftermath that follows. It’s drifting in and out of a turkey and frosting induced sleep and snuggled up with tissue paper, while dreams of having every last pine needle and wrapping paper scrap picked up and gone dance through your head. You spent so many weeks decking the halls, now you feel like the halls have decked you and you’re plum without a speck of holiday cheer.
This is the way it has always been. You even start to throw away entire cookie trays because they’ve somehow turned to crumbs overnight, as if to say, “OK, I’m done with all this sitting. I think I’ll just let myself crumble and everyone can get on with their lives.”
Of course there are also the toys that keep you busy for a day or two after Christmas. You know, the ones that come packaged more secure than the First Federal Bank of the Universe. And you slice open your fingers on sealed plastic sharper than a razor blade and have to search the house for Band-Aids and then wire cutters to clip the remaining ties.
And then they need batteries.
Four of them.
All D cell.
As a bonus, you have to find a screwdriver to open their coveted vault, and then tighten it back up before you realized you put one in the wrong way.
We also cannot forget the scale that seems to speak to you when you stand on it. “Did you really need that second helping of ham? And don’t think I didn’t see you eating cookies out of the jar every day. Tsk tsk.” You immediately try to justify the newly found and sadly astonishing numbers that stare back at you, thinking that the calories you consumed were all done with well intention because social gatherings and meals are part of what makes the holidays so special. Also, extra fat for winter warmth. Obviously.
We must also mention the decorations which looked so beautiful when you joyfully set them on every open ledge in every open corner of the house, and now they all glare at you with a thin film of dust and you are thinking that next year there is no way you’re putting up that many things because it’s just crazy.
Your family and friends, that you only see once or twice a year, ended up being a barrel of fun and you realize that even though you have the best of intentions of getting together, you won’t see them for another twelve long months.
These are the post Christmas doldrums. They are stinkier than a carton of eggnog and bluer than Elvis crooning about his Christmas without you. They stock your stockings with coal and make your spirit fall like needles on an unwatered Christmas tree.
But we do it all to ourselves. No one ever really says that after the holiday we all have to hunker down in the dark and cold winter, bah humbug-ing the world because our cheer is spent. No one says we can’t share a meal with friends and laugh and sing by the glow of tiny white lights. I could personally do without the huge amounts of shopping and batteries, but why oh why do we only eat Christmas cookies once a year? They are delicious. Friends are wonderful. Family is a treasure. Trees in our homes make us feel good. Doing deeds of kindness and generosity warm our hearts. Colors and good wishes to all are just really great things. Does it really have to end?
Merry January, everyone.