It’s the most magical time of the year… And it’s over. Come and gone in one quick flash, it can feel like Christmas barely ever happened. Sure, there are still leftovers in the freezer and wrapping paper in the recycling, but the magic of Christmas feels like a distant memory. Family has left the building, and all the stuff we’ve gotten and gifted is already starting to break or lose its luster. People are back to being their grumpy selves, and retail workers are finally breathing a sigh of “thank goodness that’s over”. You might have even thought the same thing, even if you don’t work retail. Let’s face it: Christmas is great, but we wouldn’t want it year round. It’s special for one part of the year, and any longer than that we might start to kill each other with shortbread and tinsel. And it’s okay to admit that! No one says you have to want Christmas all year long. You’re far from being the only one. Totally relatable, these are fifteen thoughts we all have (whether we admit to them or not) after the Christmas season.
15. “Wait… What day is it?”
Christmas, aka the glittery time warp we can’t help but get lost in, is the worst time of the year for schedules. Most people take extra vacation time in the week between Christmas and New Years, which means they’re floating without a tether. At least in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you had work schedules and dinner parties to mark your calendar with. In this post-Christmas haze, though, there’s no distinguishing features from one day to the next. It’s a six-day turkey coma, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. As long as you aren’t missing any important dates or decisions, we see nothing wrong with taking some time to float. Just make sure you go and visit the outside world every once in a while. It’s a good way to reintroduce yourself to tick tock clock time before the New Year forces a new schedule down your throat.
14. “Of course we all loved your new boyfriend, Jen.”
Nothing is better than having a warm and welcoming house. Christmas is the time to invite people over, and to open your doors to those who might not otherwise be welcome; it is the season of love, after all. We want everyone to feel accepted and part of the family. This is even true of significant others! While we do not understand the trend of bringing significant others to meet everyone for the first time during Christmas festivities, some people like it. It is a time of year everyone is guaranteed to be happy, and what better way to introduce everyone than all at once? No doubt you spent hours on the phone after Christmas dinner with Jen, talking about how her new boyfriend TOTALLY fits in with the family, and yes, of course, his retelling of his big bar fight last weekend was definitely dinner table appropriate. Ah, you gotta love the holiday season!
13. “There’s STILL turkey left?!”
The most hilarious of all the thoughts, we’re still dealing with this one too. Open the fridge anytime in the week after Christmas and you’ll see a sea of margarine cartons filled with turkey. Turkey and gravy, turkey and stuffing, turkey and cranberry sauce, turkey and… More turkey. The foods that you’ve been looking forward to all month suddenly seem revolting. You can’t handle yet another hot turkey sandwich, and we don’t blame you! Pinterest has a ton of leftover ideas. Try to get creative with your turkey so you’re not stuck eating the same foods for a week. Disguising the turkey as chili, fajitas, or curry is a great way to use up all the leftovers without driving yourself mad. And remember: if you really can’t handle the roast, you can always find a hungry student to take it off your hands. Just make sure to get a smaller one next year!
12. “These photos are NOT office appropriate.”
You have heard some of our most embarrassing Christmas party experiences. Now you can relive your own! Photos, videos, and inappropriate text messages are just some of the joys you’ll discover over the next week. Your co-workers no doubt got tons of great footage of you shotgunning a beer over your boss’s lap, and soon the world will see it. It’s not the worst thing in the world! You cut loose and got wild, and let go of the past 11 months of stress and sadness. We’ve all made poor choices at parties before, and no one can fault you for taking advantage of the open bar. Watch your Facebook closely over the next couple weeks to ensure nothing permanently character destroying has popped up. If your co-workers are nice, they should be happy to take down the pictures and videos you request… It’s just a matter of catching them!
11. “One more Christmas movie won’t hurt…”
Yes, the withdrawal is bad. The shaking, the sweating, and the uncontrollable urge to carol will not go away without a little time. You might be tempted to relieve your Christmas crash by extending the season. DON’T! You are only causing yourself more long-term pain. The longer you extend the Christmas season the harder it is to get yourself through it. Watching Elf for the 15th time this week will not help you. While your body will no doubt love the shot of joy and love, it will just get more sad after when it realizes Christmas has come and past. There’s no such thing as weaning yourself off of Christmas. The only option is to go just like the excessive amount of leftovers in your fridge: cold turkey. Trust us. While it might seem like a good idea in the moment, you’ll be better off long term by not giving in.
10. “I swear these jeans fit before the holidays.”
While the calories do add up, it is unlikely you have gained more than a pound or two over the course of your indulgences. That’s the average for most holiday indulgers, and it’s almost incomparable in the grand scheme of weight loss and weight gain most of us go through in our lives. Don’t worry. The tightness of your jeans is probably just a little bit of holiday bloating and not real weight gain. Excessive salt, not drinking enough water, and too many carbs can all add to the mental effect of feeling like you’ve gained ten pounds. Don’t let this discourage you. Your bloat will recede when the food passes through your system, and your jeans will be back to normal in no time. That being said, no one will fault you if you decide to hit the gym a few times. Whatever makes you feel like your best you!
9. “The Tally Sheet”
Whether this is the form of who sent you Christmas cards that you didn’t send anything to, or if it’s a compare and contrast between your’s and your significant other’s Christmas presents, we’re all guilty of tallying up who pulled off the better Christmas experience. You brought artisan whipped butter to the table? Your mother in law hand churned her’s; she won the accolades and attention of everyone at Christmas dinner. You always say to yourself “I’ll do better next year”, but let’s be real. Your Becel margarine is just as good as her organic, spoon-churned, free range milk. And your’s didn’t cost you your sanity! Leave the comparisons out of your head this Post-Christmas season. It’s not about the gifts, butter, or butchering of sanity. It doesn’t matter if you or your partner spent more money on the other. And even if it does bother you, just make it up next year.
8. “Well… They’ve really changed.”
The holidays are a time when family comes together to celebrate being close, connected and… Judgemental? Sometimes the family dinner table can feel like a war zone, especially when there are young cousins, brothers, and nieces/nephews in the mix. Childhood and adolescence is a time of huge change for a lot of young people, and it is no surprise that they are different people than they were last year (After all, they are now a year older!). If you have spent much time avoiding your family, you might even be able to say that you do not recognize these changed faces! Be sure to review in the weeks after the holiday your “all grown up” 10-year-old niece, your “it is not a phase Mom” 13-year-old cousin and your “University has expanded my MIND, man” younger brother. You might be seeing them again next year… Or at least a version of them.
7. “What happened to my skin?”
Ah, yes. Sugar turns into a primary food group around the holidays… And we all know what that means for our skin. From candy canes to shortbread to sugary mixed party drinks, the sweetness doesn’t feel so sweet in the weeks after. Stomach aches and pimples are just a few of the symptoms we notice after a sugar overload. There’s a lot of discussion around whether sugar actually causes bad skin, or if it’s all in our heads. We think that the proof is on our chins: there’s no way this forest of bumps sprouted just because, though it might be a combination of reasons (and not just the sugar). Make sure you’re drinking enough water to start rejuvenating those cells. We’d also recommend tossing a few more veggies into your snack rotation instead of eating up the rest of the Christmas cookies, but hey! Christmas only comes for one month of the year!
6. “Wake up, Uncle Jim”
Do you ever get those relatives that just don’t seem to take the hint? Sometimes this happens during dinner after just a little too much scotch; sometimes people are just oblivious. Your family will use you mercilessly, especially if they’re from out of town. You might still have an Uncle Jim asleep on your couch, snoring away while you’re trying to keep the kids entertained or get some cleaning done. Holiday compassion can be overrated. If you’ve got a relentless family member who just won’t leave, the only option is to be direct. Tell him you need to take your space back, and that you’ve booked him a flight back to Ontario this evening. A little push goes a long way with nosy relations. And don’t worry: if you’re scared of backlash or hurt feelings, take comfort in the fact that the same thing will happen again next year; and the year after… And the year after…
5. “We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry… Oh no.”
It is the curse of the Ghost of Christmas Past. The carols and jingles that have been playing non-stop for the past six weeks are still alive and well in your brain, even if the radio stations and coffee shops have finally given them a rest (and so quickly too). It is no surprise. These carols were meant to get stuck in people’s heads, in order to keep passing them down from generation to generation. The tunes are simple, repetitive, and conveniently can be sung to any sort of beat; whether it is the pace of your walking or the ticking of the clock, everything can job your Christmas memory. Good luck getting these earworms out. We know people who are still singing “All I Want for Christmas” in July! Just be sure you are not singing them out loud. You do not want to infect the people around you.
4. “But you just got that toy.”
For the child-rearing among us, this thought probably struck on day 2 of post-Christmas fog. For kids, Christmas is a special kind of magic. Santa is still alive and well, and the elves work hard all year to make them their special lego robot nerf gun (or whatever the latest toy craze is). The expectations of Santa magic inevitably fall onto you, though, who does not have a workshop full of elves to help make and wrap all the presents. It is frustrating when you have spent time and money to get this hot new toy and the kids play with it for one day. And after that one day, it either breaks, or they get tired of it. The complaints start to rumble, and things started to get thrown around. Don’t worry; there’s only a week until the kids go back to school. You’ll get your peace and quiet back soon.
3. “Can I exchange this?”
The golden rule of Christmas is to never let the disappointment show on your face. Aunt June, Grandma, and Uncle Jim all got you the same weird, itchy sweater? Smile, model it, and say “Thank you very much!” If you are lucky they kept the tags on, and you can pop in to your nearest big box store and exchange it for something better. Books are also a good one for this, especially if you keep them unopened and unread. Any repeat stories can swiftly be taken back to the bookstores for you to subtly exchange for better writings. And the best part is that nobody needs to know! You do not need to tell the family that you have already got two copies of “Bee Season” at home. You can just take this new copy back to the bookstore and cash in on a free new read! It’s the best part!
2. “Never again.”
For the grinches and the scrooges, this thought has probably crossed your mind several times throughout the holiday season. From being jostled in the mall, to dealing with your terrible in-laws, this idea is purely wishful thinking. There will always be another Christmas, whether you like it or not… Sorry. Look on the bright side though! You survived the last six weeks with only a few bruises, and you managed to find a little joy in this past season. Right? Whether it was enjoying the magic of the Christmas lights, or watching your Grandma light up when she opened your homemade card, there’s good things about the holidays. While the emphasis on consumer goods and marketable products are a little sad, they don’t need to be the only focus. And even if it was too much to bear, you’ve got 360 days until the next Christmas! Prepare early, and remember: it only happens once a year.
1. “Only 360 sleeps until next Christmas!”
The presents have been opened, the trees are starting to brown, and all your holiday baking has been eaten. It is official! You are stuck in a world without Christmas now. Try to mention it and people will go “Haven’t you had enough?” or “Aren’t you tired of it yet?” Do not let the naysayers get you down. If you want to keep the spirit alive, do it. Christmas is supposed to be uplifting, and there is nothing wrong with having that last all year. Or wanting it to, at least. Let your Christmas spirit shine… But maybe just keep it inside, and drop the Santa hats and jingle bells. You can be excited all by yourself, and no one has a right to judge you for that. Keep those countdowns on your phone, and keep the lights up. Your favorite time of the year is right around the corner… Again.