Christmas Withdrawal!

Red and Wild, Copyright 2011 Denise Bellon West

Is anyone else suffering from Christmas withdrawal? My daughter pointed out to me on Wednesday that it’s the saddest day of the year for her – December 26, the day after Christmas.

All the magic stops. Cold Turkey.

Not everyone has a turkey painting they can pull up at a moment's notice!

The happy, fun, beautiful Christmas songs on the radio have come to a screeching halt.

No more Christmas music and jingling bells in the malls.

The happy holiday shoppers have been replaced with half-crazed bargain hunters.

The wrapping paper and pretty presents aren’t under the tree anymore.

The anticipation of having people open their gifts from you has been replaced with a pile of new things to be put away and the used wrapping paper and boxes.

The anticipation of all the fun Christmas/holiday events don’t hold the magical, fantasy feel that they did before December 25.

Magical Vail

We have always had so many fun, family holiday traditions, starting the day after Thanksgiving. For example:

1. Pulling out the pile of our favorite Christmas books to read before bed every night, ending with The Polar Express and Twas the Night before Christmas on Christmas Eve.

2. Watching our favorite Christmas movies, starting the day after Thanksgiving. (Our current favorites include The Family Man, The Santa Clause, Home Alone, and The Holiday. Sometimes we still watch the older, classic ones, like It’s a Wonderful Life and Scrooge and Miracle on 34th Street.)

3. Play games – family time. Ping-pong or playing Apples to Apples.

Do I know my daughter, or what?!! Tom Cruise it is!

How about implementing a set of After-Christmas traditions? Why should the fun end abruptly on December 25?!

Here are some ideas to milk the holidays for all they’re worth:

- Hide some little presents around the house to be discovered throughout the year.

- Stick one in your spouse’s lunch or briefcase, or stuffed down a sleeve, that will be found on that 1st day back at work.

- Stick a movie gift certificate or Red Box certificate in their wallet, so that it will be found the first time they buy something.

- Make a surprise entry on their calendar for a fun event or special date, which will be discovered later. If I found a little note tied to a favorite, warm throw, saying that we had a date to go see a Christmas-light or fireworks display on a certain date, that would make me smile.

Decorated Scrimshaw

- Stick a gift in a glove or tied to a snow-shovel handle – maybe an IOU for a cup of hot chocolate when they’ve finished shoveling next time. Or yummy smelling lip balm to keep them company out there – poor dears!

- Maybe a new, warmer hat inside that ratty old hat. Or new socks magically taking the place of old, holey ones, which they’ll find when they open the drawer at some later date. A little note on top will make them smile.

- Or how about just putting a bow on or tying a ribbon around random items throughout the year that let people know you were thinking of them when you got the item. The FlyLady at is fond of saying that nothing says I Love You like making sure you don’t run out of TP!! I know – TMI, right? Well, I’d be happiest if I was about to run out of Kleenex and saw a new, pretty box with a bow on top! That would definitely make me smile.

Please leave a comment and share your favorite holiday traditions and/or add to my After-Christmas ideas. Ho, ho, ho!


24 comments to Christmas Withdrawal!

  • Hillary

    SUCH great ideas!!! I’ve been trying to brainstorm new ideas for how to deal with the Post-Christmas depression… My husband’s holiday chocolate is already all gone, so, maybe the new Post-Christmas tradition in our house is making sure there is ALWAYS more chocolate that he (and I..) can keep finding!:) Uh oh…now what to do after this new Post-Christmas Season is over…..!

  • Micahl

    Very good! One of my favorite traditions is getting coffee and driving around with my family, looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights.

  • Gabrielle

    I grew up Jewish and my parents wouldn’t allow me to celebrate Christmas in school with all the other kids. I married a Catholic and we celebrate both. I love Christmas!!

  • Al

    Best memories: Loved cutting the Christmas tree on our property with the kids. Also, Christmas day was always relaxed, with opening of the presents, and enjoying coffee with coffee cake, taking MANY hours.

  • Thanks for all the comments, everybody! So happy to hear about your traditions. I’ll try out some of these next year. Hillary, I think you’ll have to be tucking some chocolate into hubby’s new socks. Micahl, make mine hot chocolate, and I’ll be in the car following you! Gabrielle, I met a lady who was Jehovah’s Witness and married a Mormon, and they loved celebrating Christmas–glad to know people can be flexible! Al, sounds like some wonderful traditions. Thanks for sharing.

    I have to take back my statement about the Christmas songs stopping, cold turkey (although it gave me a great reason to finally use my turkey painting!). When I got back home after the holidays, after New Year’s Day even, the grocery store was still playing Christmas music. It made me smile.

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