For as long as I can remember, I’ve always gone into a funk post-Xmas. I can still remember being about four or five years old, sitting on the stairs looking at the tree at the end of Christmas Day. My mom asked me what was wrong and all I could say was “it was a great day…and now it’s over.”
And it’s been that way ever since. I always mourn the end of the holiday season and the return to normalcy. I feel sad taking down the tree on New Year’s Day and dread the thought of returning back to work and the normal routine in January – not to mention the thought of two more months of short days and cold temperatures.
You’d think that’d fade as you get older, that you’d grow accustomed to the end of the season. That hasn’t been the case for me…and, in some ways, the end of the season has gotten even harder.
Up until the last few years, Christmas was always a big family celebration. Each year, my family would gather on or around Christmas Day to exchange gifts, eat copious amounts of food, and just enjoy each other’s company.
That’s no longer the case now. Between distance, work, and other family commitments, it’s no longer possible for all of us to get together for Christmas. While I’m grateful to see the family and old friends that I can for the holiday, I can’t help but think that it’s just not the same as it once was…and it never will be again.
And, to be honest, that scares me. I’ve always had a deep fear of being all alone for the holidays and I’m afraid that I’m starting to see that scenario playing out before my eyes. Eventually, and much sooner than I’d like, Christmas is going to evolve into something completely different from what it’s always been. And I have no idea what that’s going to be.
At some point, for my own peace of mind, I’m going to have to let go of the past and embrace the future, whatever that will be. I’m just not sure when I’m going to have the courage to do that.