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Those pesky After-Christmas Blues

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Hubby's fabulous light display

It happens every year. Once I get going and get my Christmas on, I don’t want it to end. I want to keep shopping and baking and wrapping and most of all, spending time with loved ones, far and near. I want to keep singing carols and wishing people a “Merry Christmas” with a big smile. I want to see the lights twinkling everywhere and hug my family.

And then I wake up on December 26th.

No carols on the radio.

The tree doesn’t look quite as sparkly.

The house is empty.

All that’s left of the cookies are crumbs.

I check social media and hear people say they’re so glad Christmas is over. Their tree is down, the lights packed away. They are ready to get back to their regularly scheduled life.

I am so not ready.

I don’t want to let go of this wonderful time of year. I want to keep the goodwill and laughter and warmth alive all year long.

That’s my challenge today, and maybe yours, too. To find ways to keep the wonder and joy and hope of Christ’s birth alive through this darkest season of the year.

Our lights and tree will stay lit until after January 1st. I still have my Christmas CDs in the car and on the stereo. The house still smells like pine-scented candles.

Hubby's fabulous light display

Hubby’s fabulous light display

 

But more important, I’m keeping the light of Christmas in my heart. I plan to smile at every store clerk and waitress, every time. I plan to hug my family, every chance I get.

And later today, I will start to look ahead to the New Year, to dream and think and pray about what’s next. Because that’s what hope does. It keeps looking forward.

Joy keeps singing. Love keeps giving.

Even when skies are gray, that makes me smile. And I get excited about today. And tomorrow.

Merry week-after-Christmas, everyone. How are you doing this in-between week?

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    The Conversation

  1. diane burke says:

    I agree with you 100%. I had a wonderful Christmas season this year, extra special because I traveled from one son’s home to the other spending several days with each of them and even had the opportunity to spend a few days with my brothers. You’d think I’d have jet lag traveling from state to state but it was so wonderful to be with family, so wonderful shopping, wrapping presents, sitting in front of the fire with family. Soooo wonderful!

    I wish you, your family, and all your readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Meanwhile, I’ll tuck the memories of this Christmas season in my heart, to pull out every now and then and savor, until next year, if God willing, we’ll find this joy and make new memories all over again.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Your whirlwind travel-and-hugs Christmas sounds absolutely wonderful, Diane! So glad you had that time to spend with family and make precious memories!

      Wishing you and your loved ones many more memories and all the very best for the New Year!

  2. R.E. Mullins says:

    Though I got to spend a very pleasant day with my sons but, unfortunately didn’t get to see my daughter.
    Next year we plan on going to her place. I’m hiding my post Christmas blues with a flurry of packing. I’m moving back to Missouri to help my mother who can no longer drive.
    R.E.

    • Connie Mann says:

      I was the kid who wanted every single person I loved to live on the same street so we could always be together. That feeling of wanting everyone close by adds to the after-Christmas blues, doesn’t it? I’m so sorry you didn’t get to see your daughter, but so glad you got to spend time with your sons. Here’s hoping the move goes smoothly and you’ll get to make some precious memories with your mother in the coming year…

  3. DeNise says:

    I hide my blues with manic road-map-making for the coming year. Lists and lists and more lists. I live very far away from all my family so travel is a luxury I can’t indulge in often. Happy New Year to all.

    • Connie Mann says:

      As a fellow list-maker, I totally get that. 🙂 My challenge is always to make sure I don’t let my list get in the way of relationships and divine detours. I hope all your planning gets you excited and looking forward to the coming year. Here’s hoping there is some travel in your 2014, too!

  4. I get those blues, too, though I’d get them even without Christmas. Darn SAD. On the plus side, I always have a belated holiday to look forward to, since I visit distant family over New Year’s week. By the time I get home, the daylight has lengthened perceptibly, a definite plus. Winter in New Hampshire can be long and hard, but with the light I can take it.

    • Connie Mann says:

      I dealt with SAD when I lived in Washington state for a few years. Made this time of year extra hard. I’m so glad you have that New Year’s trip to look forward to! Nothing like time with loved ones to help dispel the gloom! Happy travels!

  5. Mary Morgan says:

    Oh Connie…I truly understand. I worked in retail for fourteen years, and I vowed not to let it spoil my Christmas spirit. The holiday kicks in (for me) on the 24 of Dec, and I keep it going until Twelfth Night. Christmas cd’s are still in my car, since the music stations have stopped playing them, and I will dismantle the house very slowly. I’m delighted to see that the Hallmark station is still viewing the holiday movies. Yippee!! Those of us who wish to keep the “blues” away will have to band together, right?

    Merry Christmas!