Monday, December 26, 2011

That After Christmas Let Down

When things go back to "normal" after Christmas I usually feel a combination of relief, exhaustion and disappointment.  

Relief that we made it through the craziness of the season and our regular ol' routine looks pretty appealing again.

Exhaustion because now we have to find new spots for the stuff and clean up all the decor.  The "fun" part is officially over.

Disappointment because this is the time of year I look forward to the most.  Now I have to wait another year for it and well, honestly, it's never quite as "magical" as I always hope for it to be.  :)

One thing struck me as I was pondering this "after Christmas let-down" that I inevitably seem to face.  It may not seem profound, but it rang true in a new way for me this season:  Christmas is a year-round celebration.  We don't even technically know when Jesus was born.  So... maybe today's the "real" Christmas... or tomorrow... or...who knows?

So you know what I'm doing today?  

Celebrating Christmas.

Not with lights or gifts or cookies.  Just celebrating the incarnation of Jesus.  The fact that he became flesh and dwelt among us is something to celebrate all year long.

I'm usually one of the first to say that after Christmas is over, it's over.  No more music.  No more "crafts."  Get the tree down.  Pack up the evidence.  But you know what?  I think I might just play with the Little People Nativity with the boys one last time before I pack it up.  I might even sing a few carols while we finish up our Truth in the Tinsel (even though we got a head start, we STILL managed to get behind.  :)

This year, instead of wishing Christmas a good riddance, I'm going to try to hang on to it all year long...

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  1. Love this. I am feeling the same way.

    A couple of thoughts:

    I attend a Catholic church, where Christmas is not just the one day, but one of the seasons of church. It lasts about 2 weeks. I like that a lot, because I can't understand why we would put so much time and effort into preparing for Christmas (physically and spiritually) to then only celebrate it on one day and one day only.

    That being said, I was feeling a bit disappointed in myself the other day, for not doing as much in Advent as I would have liked. But then it occurred to me that there is no "rule" that says I can only read the prophecies of Isaiah during Advent, or only ponder the mystery of God's son becoming fully human during Advent, or only give thanks that Jesus did indeed take on human flesh because He loves us that much. Because the reality is that while His death is what saved us, it couldn't have happened if He wasn't first alive. That He would become human and have to experience growing up, hunger, thirst, hot, cold, pain, fatigue - and do that all the while knowing that one day He would be put to death - that is something worth celebrating every day.

  2. Lovely post, Desire. I wrote about the same thing! I guess it's a struggle we all face at this time of year. Wishing you many blessings!

  3. This is why I like to keep the tree and other decorations up for a few more weeks. I try to stop each day and really think about one of the decorations. Ponder the fact that God sent his only son down to a cruel earth in a fragile baby form while looking at the nativity, or enjoy the twinkling lights on the tree...

  4. I do struggle with the after Christmas blues every year. Like you said, I so look forward to this time of year - actually, as soon as October rolls around, I seem to feel happier, it's just my "season" I guess! As soon as Christmas is over, and January is around the corner, I tend to feel a bit sad.
    I do find that letting the season linger a bit helps me - not to just "pack it all in a box" right away.

  5. I can totally identify with this post... I want to do more celebrating the REAL christmas all year long! :)

  6. Think of it not as a let-down, but as a longing. Christmas is just a taste of THE celebration to come for believers. When we feel the let-down (longing), it is normal and healthy because it puts our celebrations here on earth in perspective, which is a good thing. It helps us to move our focus to that real place called Heaven where we are meant to and will want to celebrate Christmas forever and where the let-down feeling will not even exist...the longing will cease. I have found this persepective is a great way to offset those after holiday blues and I love talking about it with my kids and trying to show them that Christmas is just a small picture of the best celebration yet to come!



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