The Day After
Few things puzzle me more than folks rushing to the mall the day after Christmas, whether it’s to return gifts or find the best bargains. Still, it is an incredibly popular thing to do on December 26. For me, shopping the last thing on my mind, and my wallet appreciates that.
Perhaps shopping for some is a way to avoid the post holiday blues. It’s common to feel letdown when Christmas is over. You put so much time and preparation into Christmas, and the day passes much too quickly. In fact, psychologist say the more you prepare and the more exciting the holiday is for you, the more you may feel letdown the day after. Our brains need to establish equilibrium, and the higher we are, the lower we must fall to settle back into that middle space.
The letdown may also be why many countries around the world celebrate Boxing Day, a day after Christmas tradition that started in England during the Victorian era when the wealthy would box up gifts they didn’t need and bring them to the poor. What a great thought. As a child, my mom and dad asked us to pick one of our gifts to give to baby Jesus. On Christmas night, we had to place that gift back under the tree and it was gone the next morning. I found out when I was older that those gifts actually went to less fortunate kids.
I enjoy the day after Christmas because it’s when my entire family gets together. With some of us living in different states and others with obligations elsewhere, it’s typically the only day of the year when all 16 immediate family members are in the same room.
Oddly, my post holiday blues start on January 1, the day I should embrace the new start that lies ahead. I’m usually a glass half full kind of person, but there’s something a little sad about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The holidays are officially over and the long winter sets in.
This year I am determined to focus on the positive and feel excited for what the new year has in store, so I will treat New Year’s Day with the respect it deserves. It’s won’t just be the day the decorations come down.