Christmas every year is a whirlwind of activity from Thanksgiving (sometimes Halloween) through December 26th. My free time during this period is spent running around like a mad woman baking, planning, decorating, shopping, wrapping, mailing and budgeting.
Hence, I get the Christmas blues after the big day. Most people get a sense of relief. For me, I get a sense of relief and then despair. My blues come from the fact that I have to put everything away. The china needs to be stored in twenty feet of bubble wrap. The ornaments need to be cradled in their egg containers. The tree needs to be recycled.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not want to keep this stuff out all year. I just don’t want to think about taking the bloody things down.
One year, Lrudlrick suggested we just chuck the tree, lights and all, out our 6th floor window. You laugh but he was serious. He’s my little Oscar Madison. He calculated that it would land within 5 feet from the curb where recyclables are picked up. The idea of shards of glass or even broken branches hitting our neighbor’s window convinced him that it may be a bad idea.
We generally put away our Christmas decorations around January 7th. I have one week to psyche myself out.
Oh, just to let you know, I definitely recommend ordering a fresh tree. This is the first year, that I have not seen accumulations of pine needles on my rug. If you tug a branch now, the needles still stay in place and it still smells of pine.
Now that Christmas and after-Christmas shopping have passed, I’m ready to move on to New Years. We’re fuddy-duddy types and spend most of our New Years indoors. Sure, we could go out to Times Square or a black tie shindig but there is something about ringing in the New Years in your pjs and take out Chinese.
I just realized something, out of all the holidays, my mother actually used to go out for New Years. I guess that’s why I prefer to stay in. My mother and I are really polar opposites. No wonder we disagreed so much.
The other reason we don’t really go out is because we’re techno junkies and the last day of the calendar year is the best time to find deals. We spend our mornings and afternoons scouring the electronic stores for goodies.
We head home exhausted and sometimes happy at our finds. We flop into our pjs, play with our toys, order Chinese and watch Dick Clark. At midnight, we champagne toast, kiss and hug our dogs. Then we spend the next hour calling all our relatives and friends. The calls are usually short, sweet and consist of a lot of shouting.
pg: Happy New Year!
Mom: HAPPY NEW YEAR! WHO IS THIS?
pg: Pantrygirl. Your daughter.
Mom: WHO? I CAN’T HEAR YOU.
pg: Your daughter!
Mom: OH! WHAT’S GOING ON?
pg: We just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year!
Mom: WHAT? DID YOU CALL YOUR GRANDMOTHER?
pg: I’m about to.
The next day we eat like medieval warriors back from a crusade and watch The Honeymooners marathon.
See, I told you. We’re fuddy-duddies. At least my feet don’t swell in my fuzzy slippers.