Come on, you can admit it.
There is nothing more joyful and heartwarming than the holiday season. It starts with Thanksgiving, fast forwards to the different religious holidays in late December and culminates with the celebration of reflection and hope when we ring in the New Year.
For most, gathering with family and friends to share meals, good times and gifts creates memories that last a lifetime. It’s a time to reflect on those we have loved and lost, and a chance to look forward to the promise of the future.
But now it’s time to say, “Thank goodness that’s over.”
I don’t believe I’m a Bah Humbug when saying many people are happy the holidays are over so they can go back to their regular routines. Who thought that getting up, going to work, coming home, having dinner and going to bed at a decent hour was something to look forward to?
How is it that people who genuinely love the holidays are so sapped and drained by the time they are over? Friends and relatives who love this time of year couldn’t wait to take everything down and put their house back together.
This year, Christmas and New Year’s Day fell in the middle of the week, throwing most of us for a loop. When you consider that both holidays are preceded by overeating and late-night celebrations on their Eve, that essentially gives us four holidays over eight days. When celebrating multiple holidays with a weekend in between, you can lose track of what day it is.
At my age, New Year’s Day is no longer reserved for treating a hangover. It’s become a day to step back, take a breath and do nothing more than watch The Honeymooners marathon. Maybe we are suffering from a post-holiday depression, but it feels more like vacation jet lag.
During the holidays, you seem to be on a perpetual vacation. You stay up late for no reason and eat way too much. You are always on the go and traveling, cramming way too many activities into a short time.
When your vacation is over, your body is exhausted and just wants to crash. That’s what the first few days of January are like every year, the end of your month-long holiday vacation. Staying up late on New Year’s Eve isn’t what’s dragging your brain through the mud the next day, it’s your body finally raising the white flag to signal the end of the holidays.
We spent the better part of an entire weekend getting the inside of our house ready for Christmas. Many of you devoted an extra weekend to also decorate the outside of your home. Since most people don’t have a tree in their living room the other 11 months of the year, furniture most likely needed to be relocated. Boxes of decorations and trimmings needed to be excavated from the basement or garage.
Now that the holidays are over, everything must be reversed. Empty storage containers need to be refilled and returned to their place of origin. If you have a real tree, it needs to be disposed of. If you decorated the outside of your house, I’m quite sure it is a lot colder in January than it was back in early December when you put everything up. Take a good look at the faces of your neighbors undecorating in January. The joy you saw in their faces when setting up has been replaced with, well, you get the idea.
So, be honest. You can admit it. You love and cherish spending time with your friends and family, but you’re happy the holidays are over. You may not be looking forward to taking everything down and storing it away again, but you’re glad it’s over.
So, relax and take a deep breath. Thanksgiving is still 11 months away…
Paul DiSclafani, a Massapequa resident, is a 2018 Press Club of Long Island award-winning columnist and an Anton Media Group contributor since 2016.