It happens every year. I begin to get excited about the holiday season right after my birthday the beginning of November. First comes the joy that my family will have a four day weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday. This is quickly followed by the anticipation of Christmas: the making of the lists, the buying of the presents, the decorating of the house, the listening to of Christmas song after Christmas song after Christmas song.
Christmas Eve finally arrives and we all pile into the car to make the trek to Pennsylvania. Soon we find that a White Christmas in the Appalachians is really a muddy, gray affair with everything ending far, far too quickly. The fabulous meal still requires me to cut my children’s food and refill their milk glasses, and as night falls we all go to sleep filled with the anticipation of….December 26th?
Holiday letdown is incredibly common and can get to the best of us. Perhaps the trick is to leave immediately after Christmas for a one week vacation to some place warm and tropical? Surely that works for brides who have spent 18 months planning five hours of their life and are now faced with the reality of living as an adult. *shiver* Would a post-Christmas honeymoon be the cure for the Holiday Blues?
Perhaps the best way to stave off the winter break doldrums is to plan the week you have with your family. The last thing you want to do is wake up on New Year’s Day with the realization that the kids are headed back to school the next day and you’ve not done any of the thing you wanted to do. We’ve been anticipating the time together to organize the last little areas of our new home that have been neglected since our move mid-October. My children are also excited to set up the playroom in the basement as well as a play area in their new, much larger bedrooms. The days between Christmas and New Year are the perfect time to do this.
And who says that trimming the tree is the only festive time you get with your family? Make untrimming the tree just as much fun with upbeat holiday tunes, fun snacks, and hot chocolate. In fact, just because Christmas will be over by this time next week, that doesn’t mean that your home needs to go back to its pre-holiday state. We decorate as often as possible with snowmen so that the decorations can stay up until March. Are you planning extended holiday gatherings for this weekend? Don’t forget that there’s also joy in doing something special with just your spouse and kids. Find those local events – lights displays, special zoo nights – that continue during the week between Christmas and New Year’s and enjoy a special night out, minus the chaos of Santa and big meals.
The needles on my tree have already begun to fall. In just a few days, another Christmas will have come and gone. What will you be doing to beat this year’s holiday letdown?