Dear Kiss & Zutell—My wife is obsessed with the holidays. She starts decorating the house for Christmas about a month before Thanksgiving. Then she's in constant motion—gift buying, baking, cooking, wrapping, caroling. But the day after Christmas, she sinks into a funk. Frankly, I'm dreading it. We're empty nesters and the kids are all grown and married. She has a part time job, but it doesn't create enough of a distraction that the holiday blahs bring.
Ho w can I keep the mood jolly once the holidays end?
As Charles Dickens wrote, I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.
Yeah, right. Easier said than done.
There's always a bit of a letdown once the presents have been opened and the guests have left. I always hate seeing Christmas tree corpses lining the sidewalks just a day or two after the holidays. Those poor trees have been cut down in their prime, served their purpose and then we just discard them with the rest of the trash. I once had a friend keep his tree up for months after the holidays, just so he could get his money's worth. He actually calculated how much the tree cost per day. When he finally threw the remaining twigs into the garbage bin in April, the tree had cost him about 15 cents a day.
That's a little extreme. But there are ways to ease out of the holidays:.
- Don't get rid of your tree the next day. There's no reason to toss out a perfectly good evergreen just because it's December 26th. Keep it up for at least another week and when you decide to take it down, it's time to…
- Have a party! Take the decorations off with friends. As an extra bonus, buy a bunch of new decorations that will be practically free with all the after-holiday discounts. Give them as gifts to friends and family.
- Exchange presents on Little Christmas. Technically Christmas is supposed to last twelve days, but unless you're Russian Orthodox, most people have forgotten to celebrate the day the wise man arrived at the manger. So have a present in reserve to mark that day…and make it a good present (jewelry?).
- Plan an excursion or an overnight trip somewhere within the few days after the holidays. Hotels try to milk as much revenue out of the holidays as possible, so they'll still look festive and have special holiday offerings—massages, dinners, teas, etc. If you can't go overnight, make it a day trip.
- Invite the neighbors over and swap leftovers. Everyone has a favorite dish they made for the holidays and there's sure to be plenty left. What better way to keep the holidays alive?
- Do a count-down to next holiday. After all, on December 26th, there's only 364 days until Christmas! Get an early start to your holiday shopping.