By Melissa Price
The most glorious of holidays has come and gone. The wrapping paper is packed away, ornaments are cushioned and stored, and there are no more meals to be made of leftover turkey or ham. With relief, it’s been the first week you didn’t have to make a dessert or finger food to take to another social function, your feet aren’t sore from mall shopping, and you have gone to bed at a decent hour for three nights in a row. Sounds like a really good ending to a previously very busy holiday season.
For several weeks fun and stress have simultaneously made their way into your life, but things are back to “normal” now. Yet somehow—without a full calendar, gifts to wrap, and little smokies in the slow cooker—you feel … lost.
Welcome to the post-holiday ho-hums. As crazy as it may seem, all the hype and fun and go, go, go of the holidays (beginning in October) often lets us down when the tree comes down and the last strand of tinsel is swept away. What’s a girl to do? How does one handle the after-holidays let-down?
Think about what it is that you truly miss. If you were volunteering your time, baking and sharing, or re-connecting spiritually via the Christmas story, keep on keeping on! Was it the joyful music or extra crafting time with your kids? You can find a way to continue.
Just because the season of giving is over doesn’t mean giving needs to stop. If you especially love baking, don’t just reserve that gift for once-a-year sharing; instead, make it a weekly or monthly way to continue to spread the season along the year. Baking a sweet treat for the mailman, your hairdresser, an elderly shut-in, or the church secretary will brighten their day and yours and chase the post-holiday ho-hum away.
Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army may be over for now, but there are other ways to volunteer your time with the family. Visit your local Salvation Army center or online at salvationarmyusa.org. Maybe there is a crisis pregnancy center or women’s shelter you could help at. Often, charities struggle after the holidays, but they are always in need of volunteers throughout the year too.
As you enjoyed all the nativities, church functions, and caroling in recent weeks, your heart and mind have been penetrated with Christ’s love. His story has filled you and now it’s time to make a plan to keep that spark glowing. Don’t neglect your prayer time, devotional and Bible reading. Those special, quiet, and meditative moments will carry Christmas with you all year long. Continuing the Story, the scripture, the study, or whatever you enjoyed during the holiday season can deepen your faith, revive you and provide support as the New Year greets you.
If you loved the special family bonding time that occurred as you traveled through the Advent season, continue it. Find a family devotional book or institute a weekly family game night.
Was it the joyful music that kept your spirits bright? No one says you have to put away the Christmas CDs. Although you might want to expand your collection with some classical music by Handle or Vivaldi that still has that Christmas feel.
A final way to keep the post-holiday blues at bay is to start something new. This isn’t the same as a New Year’s resolution. This something new is for you to keep the spirit of the holidays with you all year long. Send cards during the year (letter writing and card-sending are almost lost in today’s tech-world) rather than emailing for all communication. Bring a bouquet into the house, even if it’s a simple cedar and pine cone centerpiece. Be creative and discover ways to fill your home and life with opportunities and activities (or not) to chase the blues away. A daily nap may even be the ticket!
As another year closes and a new year begins, holiday ho-hum doesn’t have to get the best of you. Make your whole year holiday happy!
Melissa Price is a former public school teacher turned homeschool mother to her son and daughter. She loves all things fall, honey bees, and herbs. Living simply is a new priority in her life and it fits her best.