It's that time of year again. The post-Christmas hangover. No, not the alcoholic type hangover, it’s the emotional and physical hangover that catches up with you on the day after Boxing Day. The day when you realise you don't have to quickly rush out to the shops for another roll of sticky tape, or wrap another present or make some ridiculous Christmas dessert or have an over the phone counselling session with a family member who is on the edge of a Christmas breakdown.
After going and going for weeks on end, it’s very easy to just crash. That's what I did post-Christmas. I spent the day after Boxing Day drawing pretty flowers and birds on a piece of paper. I put myself into a day of "me therapy." I ended up being in some weird, trance-like state drawing for about three hours that day. Did I mention I am a terrible drawer? But who cares? It just felt so good to do something creative and just sit still.
It also seems to be on this day each year that everyone gets all reflective and starts talking about what they'll do differently next year. Each year without fail, my husband and I usually discuss how next year we'll make it “simpler”, you know, just have a barbeque and no presents. Yet, 12 months later this discussion is always completely forgotten as we get caught up in the
commericalised frenzy, the
spirit of Christmas once more. Oh the joy!
Also on this day after Boxing Day, there is usually a phone call from various family members who debrief about different stressful incidents over Christmas and how they would also do things differently. Those words "simpler" and "less stressful" come up again. But as always it's forgotten. Just as women are wired to not fully remember the pain of labour, western civilisation must be wired to forget about what really goes on at Christmas until we hit December again the following year. We soon begin to race like frenzied rats around the shops, buying plastic presents and Christmas decorations made in China; we indulge in buying copious amounts of food we would never usually eat and then we emotionally invest everything into this one day once again.
Often, my husband and I walk away from Christmas gatherings and realise we didn’t get a chance to catch up with family members and distant relatives. This is partially because we have children to chase after but mainly because once the food is prepared, cooked, everything cleaned and presents exchanged, it’s time to go home again.
Right now, you may be thinking I am a little bah humbug-ish. The truth is I do love Christmas time despite all of its flaws. I love the chance to reflect on the birth of Jesus, sing carols that are centuries old, visit the Christmas lights with the kids, and watch their eyes light up at their presents on Christmas day. I even love meeting up with various family members at Christmas. Although Christmas Day is usually hectic and tiring, I love it because it’s tradition. It’s what we’ve done as a family for my entire life and it’s gives me a sense of belonging.
|My little family enjoyed visiting the Christmas lights|