The ham has been eaten. The presents have been unwrapped. The overly-difficult-need a PhD-to-assemble toys have been assembled. All of your family has been visited. And then it happens. Every year…
The Big Christmas Letdown.
It’s like a drug addict going through withdrawal after being off of drugs for 24 hours. It’s like the feeling you have when your favorite sitcom just completed its series finale. It’s that feeling of finishing the box of fruit loops.
It can come as feelings of disappointment, discouragement, hopelessness, or even depression. And it happens at the end several life events – birthdays, vacations, holidays, etc. You’ve been planning for and building towards this big day for days, weeks, and months…and then it’s all over in an instant.
Oh sure you’re left with a full stomach, new socks and underwear, and more leftover cookies and candy than you can eat in a year. But, there’s this feeling – that often comes when you get back home from your trip or when you go back to work after a few days off – this feeling that your left empty. After all the work and excitement, it all comes to a rapid end…and you’re not sure how to feel about it all.
Ever felt that way?
I’m not sure if this is a normal thing that we should all feel. I’m not even sure there’s a way around it. But what I do know is that it doesn’t feel good. I made the goal in 2013 to enjoy every moment I could. And I did. But I don’t enjoy this feeling of emptiness that makes me feel like there should be more…
As with any issue we face in life, I think the first step is to name it. Can all agree that the Big Christmas (or Birthday, or Vacation, etc.) Letdown is a name we use for this feeling?
The second step is to not let it sneak up on us next time. So, as we spend time preparing for Arbor Day next year – we must make plans for what we’ll do once we’ve cut down that tree…or whatever you do to celebrate this holiday. Will you take time to journal about the event/holiday? Will you organize all of your pictures into an Instagram video? Will you find a way to keep the holiday going for a few more hours or days so that the detox is so sudden?
And then, finally, take control of the emotions you feel and choose a different path. Yes choose a different path. Choose to be happy and joyous. Choose to be hopeful about the days and weeks to come. Choose to celebrate the small things of life so that every day becomes a celebration. Just choose.
How about you? Have you ever experienced the Big Christmas Letdown? How do you get through it?