that the beautifully wrapped gifts have been ravaged, the luscious
desserts have been inhaled, and Santa has packed his peppermint-striped
Speedo for a vacation to Jamaica's Hedonism resort, many holiday revelers
find themselves experiencing the after-Christmas blues. Following
all of the frantic seasonal preparations, including at least fifteen
trips to Walmart for more almond bark, the abrupt conclusion of the
festivities can come as quite a shock-and not just to the digestive
I often suffer acutely from this type of post-holiday funk myself.
To me, the days and weeks following Christmas can be a real Old Yeller
death scene. With nothing to look forward to other than filing articles
of impeachment against my triglycerides, a personal reboot is always
in order. By following a few simple steps, I've learned how to overcome
the despair brought on by the prospect of having to go back to work
and put on pants before noon.
First, unless you're one of those cringey neighbors who leaves unsupervised
strings of Christmas lights loitering around your gutters until Memorial
Day, I suggest packing away your decorations as soon as possible.
Even so much as a half-eaten limited-edition snowman Marshmallow Peep
found under the couch cushions in late January can trigger a post-holiday
depression meltdown, so a thorough décor detox is an absolute necessity.
To make the process more tolerable, I recommend getting the whole
family involved. This year, I've enlisted my three teen daughters
by withholding all Starbucks privileges until the last tuft of artificial
snow is safely in the attic.
Once your delightfully tacky Yuletide accessories are in storage,
why not tackle a few home-improvement projects? With the remnants
of my Christmas vacation on life-support, I recently decided it was
time to deal with the biohazards partying on our bathroom sink drain
stoppers. But I was hardly prepared for the trauma about to be visited
upon my gag reflexes. And I won't even attempt to describe the interdimensional
ectoplasm that wound up lodged under my fingernails when I yanked
them out. (I'm now seriously considering installing an outhouse.)
Another effective strategy in smiting the after-Christmas blues involves
returning all of your unwanted gifts and using the refunds for things
you really need-like luxury underwear and Mexican food. I don't know
about you, but the older I get, the more I value a sleek and bracing
pair of boxer briefs with a forgiving waistband, no matter the cost.
Adorned with the latest in decadent unmentionables, I can proceed
in full confidence to the nearest Tex-Mex joint and order an endless
conveyor belt of chips, salsa and queso dip to cleanse my palate of
all that rich holiday fare. There really is something to be said for
getting back to the basics of clean eating.
Whatever method you choose to avoid wallowing in the dismal aftermath
of the holidays, it's important to move on and consider the bright
future before you. After all, a new year is dawning, promising more
bitter politics, juicy celebrity scandals, and new episodes of "The
And if none of that sounds appealing, you can always just leave your
Christmas lights up and head back to Walmart for more almond bark.