I’ve got the post-Christmas blues. I get ‘em every year because there is so much going on over the holidays – parties to attend, relatives to visit, shopping, cards, trees. Tossed in is my birthday and my husband’s birthday just before Christmas, and then New Years. If I weren’t sick enough of being in stores buying birthday and Christmas presents, along comes my mother-in-law’s birthday and my daughter’s and one of my closest friends, all before mid-January.
What’s given me the blues, though, is the lack of activity, which is pretty crazy because during all the pre-holiday activity, all I can think about is just getting a few moments of peace and quiet. Then when January 2nd and 3rd come along and a little lull with nothing to look forward to except buying those other birthday presents and getting all the Christmas crap out of my house and back into the attic, I get sad.
Part of the sadness has to do with the stripping down of the house. When I put all my Christmas stuff up, I’m so excited – it’s been boxed up for 11 months and I forget how darned cute all those Santas and snowmen and nutcrackers are. When I put everything out it looks so warm and inviting. But after three weeks, I look at those things and start thinking, “clutter.” There’s a figurine or stuffed reindeer holding a Christmas tree on every surface of the house. A ceramic Christmas teddy bear sits in the kitchen waiting to be filled with cookies, along with assorted holiday towels and cutesy trays. It’s almost like a Santa whorehouse in here. Everything is red and sparkly and cheap looking. I’ve got some fake poinsettias sitting around collecting dust. The little villages everywhere have burned out lights that I fixed for the first couple of weeks but now I don’t care.
But the thought of collecting all this menagerie and trying to get it back into the Christmas tubs is really depressing. I won’t throw anything away, and I get a little bit of new stuff each year, so the laws of physics say those tubs aren’t going to hold everything. I have to rearrange and reposition ad infinitum.
I’ve probably made you sad, too, with my tales of woe. Good. Misery loves company, and I’m in no mood to be cheerful. My daughter and I pulled all the ornaments off the tree, getting pricked continually by needles so dry they felt like syringes. They broke off and fell to the floor in little green waterfalls. I tried to keep the tree wet but let a day go by without watering it, and when I got on my hands and knees the next day to pour water in, I discovered that the poor tree had sucked up every drop of water and the butt of the tree had sealed itself up so it couldn’t drink anymore. You have to keep a juicy tree butt if you want it to stay fresh. The tree stand has been full of water ever since because the tree hasn’t drank a drop.
My house looks like Thing 1 and Thing 2 swept through here with red paintbrushes and green confetti. I dragged the tee, upright and still in the container, through the living room to the sliding glass doors and forced it, crackling and snapping, through the doorway as far as it would go so I wouldn’t spill the water in the tree stand, then tilted it so the water ran out on the patio. There is a trail of faded dry needles six feet wide and eight feet long. Plus I prepared for the dismantling of the decorations by bringing in all the red tubs. There are plenty of them sprinkled throughout the living room.
And I’m going to bed. I’ve done enough and I couldn’t possibly get all this junk put away tonight. I got a late start because I had to get to the mall and buy gifts for all those birthday people.
Is it any wonder I’m sad? But one good thing is that there weren’t many people at the mall – their good sense meant I didn’t have any lines.
I guess even the Christmas blues have a silver lining.