Wrung-Out by Ringing-In the Holidays: Dealing with Post-Holiday Blues
“The Holidays,” generally defined as the period from Thanksgiving through New Years, can be an emotional roller coaster. We’re expected to be (and would like to be) filled with joy, cheer and love for all living beings 24 hours a day. Sorry. It’s just not possible.
In reality, the holidays can be, and frequently are, a difficult time. Expectations are often not met, loneliness is intensified in the absence of family and friends, stepfamilies must cook up complicated schedules, and relaxation is out of the question.
The Best-Laid Plans
I try to plan early. I buy gifts throughout the year so I’m a few steps ahead. But this year, a friend with a simple concern caught me off guard. Thus, my story begins:
It was mid-December. The countdown had begun. I knew the drill and I was in control. My living room was littered with wrapped, half-wrapped and unwrapped presents. I only had six people left to shop for. Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had been viewed by millions of expectant children. Stores and malls were jammed. I had parties to attend and plans for New Years. I was ready.
Suddenly, my organized approach to holiday preparation was thrown into a state of complete disarray when my friend Jessie called with a question I couldn’t answer.
“When,” she asked me, “do the holidays actually end?” She paused, then continued. “I mean, does a symbolic guillotine come crashing down on January 2nd? Are the holidays over when my Christmas tree dries up and its needles fall off in clumps? After I stop seeing champagne bottles in recycling bins?” She sighed into the phone. “What I really want to know is, when am I allowed to feel lousy again?”