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7 Depressing Things About the Post-Holiday Season

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The holidays are over. The endorphin rush has halted, and here we are, depleted of serotonin and crashing. And maybe we're even feeling a little depressed about it. We now go back to the normal, everyday grind. No more holiday music at the grocery store, no more wreaths strapped to the grills of semi-trucks, no more Salvation Army bells ringing or touching Folger’s coffee commercials. Yeah, it’s hard to make that sudden switch back to the sugarplum fairy-less world. Here are 7 things in particular that I find really sucks about the post-holiday time.

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1. Detoxing the Kids From Sugar

The holidays have turned my kids into sugar junkies. They’ve gotten a taste. OK, more than a taste. They have consumed a lot of sugar, in every form. Like, their bodies are made of sugar. They are walking pixie sticks. And they’re roaming around as I type, looking for their daily fix. I offered my son a banana and he snarled and then started clawing at the air. OK, he didn’t really claw at the air, but he’s definitely in withdrawal mode. And it ain’t pretty.

2. Taking Down the Tree

The gorgeous Tannenbaum that sparkled in the family room and delighted our nostrils for a month is now a washed up, saggy, lifeless pain in the ass—kind of like Gary Busey—and we just want it to get out of our faces, already. But getting it out of the house is a disaster, like Gary Busey. That once vibrant, smile-inducing symbol of joy is dry as hell, dropping buckets full of brittle, little needles at any hint of movement. There’s no getting around the hours you will spend cleaning up its trail to the dumpster. And those bags they sell you at the Christmas tree lot which are supposed to just pull up and over the tree for easy disposal are a joke. I buy one every year, and every year I feel like an asshole for falling for that trick once again.

3. Saying Goodbye to the Extended Family

Getting the kids used to just having two parents around instead of a small army of relatives and cousins to play with and for whom to perform is rough.

It’s like breaking in a wild bronco.

For the past week my kids were entertained and spoiled by their grandparents. They have been playing constantly with cousins and been adored by aunties and uncles. They have been in a state of mania, nonstop fun and amusement. They are like the marshals of the “spoiled children” parade. And now? Yeah, it’s just me and their dad. No hoopla, no fanfare, no overreactions to their played-out tricks. And they are feeling pretty depressed about it.

4. School

It’s such a weird concept. Hey kids, spend three weeks living in a world with bent rules and a completely altered sense of normalcy, in a state of nonstop merriment that includes Santa Claus, lots of gifts, toys, fun, and games and severe indulgence all around. And then, after almost a month of that, switch gears and go back to early mornings, inordinate amounts of homework, basketball and rugby practices, and days filled with school like it ain’t no thang. Yeah, right. It’s like breaking in a wild bronco. And by “wild bronco,” I mean me.

5. Holiday Weight Gain

I was right there with my kids eating inordinate amounts of sugar and fat in various forms. Toffee, caramel corn, pumpkin roll, cheesecake, gingersnaps ... it all got in my belly. And, it’s made my belly its home. I’m going to be working for the next three months to get it to leave.

6. No More Mulled Wine


7. No More Mall Hours

Being able to go to the mall after the baby was down for the night to shop was sweet. Truth be told, there was little holiday shopping done during those times. I was stoked to just go have some me-time, which translates into spending an embarrassing amount of time at the calendar kiosk flipping through cute puppy photos while casually eating a hot dog on a stick.

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Yeah, it’s always a bit sad when the holiday season comes to an end, and you have to take down all those decorations that you swore you just put up. It makes you realize how quickly time flies, how a year whizzes by and how quickly your kids are growing up. And that makes you realize that holidays—with their shining, awe-filled faces—are something truly special to be treasured. And that makes all the fuss, the muss and even the worst of all Gary Busey Christmas tree cleanups all worth it.

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