All the Christmas decorations are packed and put away for next year, and the kids are back in school. And yet, I’m still listening to Christmas music, hanging onto the last few vestiges of the holiday like a squirrel hoarding nuts. I just don’t want it to end.
I’ve been this way all my life. It has always bothered me that we put all this preparation into Christmas, and then boom, one day and it’s over. I’m jealous of other countries that just get started on Christmas Eve, celebrating well into the new year. It pains me to see trees chunked out to the curb on December 26, or worse, the night of the 25th. I want to savor it, revel in it, keep those sparkly feelings of peace and love and good will toward men all glittery and warm in my heart. I know the world must go on, and we have to get back to work and our lives and all, but I miss Christmas when it’s over. And so I fall into a January funk every year.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the holiday lead up. I did; in fact, I feel like I made more of the season this year that ever. I’m happy I got things done early, even if it meant throwing Christmas up quickly over Thanksgiving weekend, because we got to appreciate that work far longer than usual. I got most of the shopping done early as well, or at least in smaller bites with the help of the internet, so it never got too overwhelming. I even spread out the baking instead of forcing myself to bake all the cookies in the world on 1 given day. I hope I learned from this year and can carry that over into the next, striking a nice balance between preparation and enjoyment.
But the glum has come, and I look around what now looks like a bare house (that I still need to clean, because Christmas makes things dirty, y’all) and feel a little sad. I even miss the kids. I know, I’m not normal.
As the month goes on, and the holidays get the soft focus of memory, I’ll get back to appreciating the routine of everyday life. But for a little while, I’ll look back wistfully and drink the remainder of my eggnog. I can keep Christmas going just a bit longer.
(Note to my mother: please note my first sentence that the decorations are put away. I am no longer leaving them up until Valentine’s Day. Nor am I planning to follow in the footsteps of my friend’s mom, who decided to leave her tree up for 5 years, changing out seasonal ornaments. But I give her props.)