Surviving the “After Holiday Blues”

The jingle bells have stopped ringing, there is no mistletoe hanging, no icicle links twinkling…yep the doldrums of Winter begin at 12:01 am December 26. If you are like me, then the “after holiday blues” have started to set in. It can be a very dark (and cold) place. The anticipation of  Christmas and all that is associated builds up and then just like that it is over. It is so depressing!  Therefore, over the years I have created my own survival guide to easing into winter.

First, I leave my decorations up way longer than is appropriate. Typically my husband has to sneak out late at night to take our tree to the dumpster. There is no way he would be caught in daylight at the end of…er….middle of January taking out the tree! There is something about turning on the white lights that is soothing that I don’t want to give it up so quickly. Second, we plan lots of activities after December 25. I always feel so stretched thin during the month of December that it can become stressful. Therefore I plan for us to do a variety of different activities in the first few weeks of January.

These include ice skating (typically no crowds and some even offer discounts) or visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to see the Holiday lights. We enjoy driving around each night after Christmas until New Years to look at Christmas lights. We go to the Pink Pig. This is a tradition for us but we like to do it after Christmas when the line is not as long. When the weather is nice, we go to a new park or to Six Flags while the holiday lights are still up. We are fortunate enough to have season tickets so it does not cost extra and there are fewer crowds. (Do you sense a theme here? Fewer crowds=happy family!).

The last part of my survival guide is planning time to meet up with friends. Most of our friends are in the same stage of life that we are: work, kids, activities. As all the Mom’s out there can attest, there are not enough hours in the day and usually, they are spent doing things for other people. We tend to do this on many different levels. We like to make plans with our friends that have kids, date night with just couples and a girls night out. The girls night out tends to be a favorite as we find we can actually enjoy each other’s company. If we were to do this in the month of December, we would think about that one other present we forgot to go buy.

I absolutely love December, but it is often so busy and stressful trying to fit everything in that I don’t always enjoy it. I have learned if I try to plan some of the things that we would normally do in December shortly after Christmas, I am able to enjoy it more because I am not running a million miles a minute. It also helps ease into January a little easier and avoid the “After Holiday Blues!”