Post-Christmas “What Just Happened?”

I don’t know about you, but the day after Christmas, for me personally, has always felt deflating. There is this huge build up of decorating, planning, time and mind-space investment in present and grocery shopping, cooking and baking, wrapping, cleaning, hosting, and rushing to fit in celebrating with as many friends and family that can fit into the holiday season space. It’s easy to get so caught up in the doing and what comes next that I forget about simply being and enjoying the moment.

Then on December 26, I wake up to looking around the house at everything that needs to be cleaned, taken down, packed up, and stored away. Didn’t I just spend an entire weekend putting it all up? What happened in this whirlwind of bustle and can I get that month back?

Rather than complaining and reveling in this state of exhaustion that doesn’t help anyone, I’ve asked myself how I can bag it, barter it or better it. (Martha’s 3 Bs)

For as much as I love my family’s appreciation for the extra special dinners I cook as well as seeing their excitement over receiving their gift I spent hours seeking, I’d much rather enjoy an activity and experience together that will make a more lasting memory. (Think energy-giving over energy-sucking.) Material things aren’t even half as exciting as experiences.

Not rushing from house to house to house, and instead posting up in one comfortable location that I don’t have to clean before or after. (HEAVEN!) Rather than giving and receiving gifts, I would remove any exchanges and have everyone put that budget and time toward that shared experience.

On my ideal Christmas, I’d stay in a hotel (or maybe a cruise ship?) with members from both sides of the family. I would spend the first few hours snuggled up with my husband, sipping coffee and watching the sun rise over some sort of nature scenery like the mountains or a beach. Family and friends would gather for a leisurely breakfast cooked by a fabulous chef at a tasty restaurant. We would then head out to an activity like hiking, zip-lining, kayaking, whale watching or the like. Lunch would again be served or taken with us (pre-prepped) to eat amongst the sounds of nature like birds chirping or waves crashing. In the afternoon, we’d play some games back at the hotel or sit and read in each other’s presence. Dinner would be another jovial meal (prepared by someone else) and filled with laughter, stories and a backdrop of nature. After dinner we’d each go our own ways back to our hotel rooms where we’d end the day much like we started…snuggled up looking out over a fire.

I’m going to start my nontraditional Christmas petition now! Who’s in?!

One thought on “Post-Christmas “What Just Happened?”

  1. We went on a cruise a couple years ago with most of our family. It was lovely, but still had some of the elements of the holiday bustle to it as we planned for the trip and packed a few presents for the kids. So this Christmas, I reframed the holidays. Thinking it might be my last one in this house, I went all out on decorating but did it earlier since Thanksgiving was early This gave me plenty of time to enjoy and distance between putting it up and taking it down. We decided to limit gifts this year, so less shopping. We focused on doing a few fun and easy activities together during the season for the limited time the boys were home. And today, I sit with a fire, warm blanket, and the tree lit with opened gifts under it, as I relax and give myself time to just bathe in the beauty and gratitude for this Christmas. Yes, there will be returns and un-decorating but that is something for another day to do mindfully as I connect with what is special about the season. Next year, it might be a whole new experience so I will enjoy this version of Christmas to its fullest.


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