I love this photo. I don't even drink, but this is exactly how I've felt every morning for the past week. We have never had such a lovely Christmas season as we did this year. Our friends from England came for two and a half weeks, and the day they flew out we packed up and drove to Virginia to ring in the New Year with Jeremy's family. We came home a week ago expecting to jump back into Real Life, and then arctic weather fronts shut down the city for several days, followed by a recurrence of the stomach flu at our house. And so we're a third of the way through the month and still recovering. Here are a few tips that have helped:
- Take Down Your Christmas Decorations. Take em' all down. And don't leave them in a heap by your basement stairs either. Get it into boxes and into storage, including the Christmas cds that are still in your car. It's January 10th. If I hear pleas from the backseat to listen to "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" one more time I'm throwing kids out of the car.
- Which is a nice segue into my next suggestion, which is to Spend Less Time With Your Kids. Okay, I don't mean to actually spend less time with them, but perhaps January isn't the best month to plan Saturday day-trips to museums or the mountains, or really anywhere that involves herding cats in public or spending a lot of time cooped up in the car together.
- Address the Vidiot Syndrome: My sister uses the term Video Game Idiots, or Vidiots, when her kids have spent too much time camped in front of screens and begin acting like electronically entitled monsters. We've had a little of the vidiot syndrome going on at our house since Christmas too. So, earlier this week I confiscated all electronics and told my girls to go play, or else I would sell their Christmas toys on Craig's List. After a few dramatic, tearful break downs, they retreated upstairs and played together. All day. And everyone was happy by dinner time.
- Get the Junk Out of Your House. Our friends brought a small suitcase of European chocolate to our house for Christmas. This, more than anything, is contributing to my holiday hangover. Now, there are several courses one might take in this situation. You can get rid of it. But I'm not putting European chocolate in the trash folks, so I took some of it to Virginia to set out for Jeremy's family, I stuck some of it in the freezer, and I ate the rest of it. As my sister in law said, It's way better to feel bad for only one day, than to spread it out over an entire month. It was amazing. No regrets. And I'm finally feeling ready to get back to other food groups.
- Get it Over With. I think part of what makes it hard to leave the holidays behind is habit, you get used to eating Cadbury caramels for breakfast and going to bed at one in the morning. But the other element is that often we get thrown back into real life feeling as though we left some unfinished business back in December. For example, a stubborn determination seized me back in November that at some point during the holidays I would get caught up on Downton Abbey. I hadn't watched past season 2 and had some serious work to do, but with our hectic holiday schedule it didn't happen. And so I have spent every night this week watching Downton Abbey, and now that I'm done I feel much more prepared to get on with life.
January always feels like a tug-o-war between what I ought to be doing (keeping a schedule, eating carrot sticks and exercising, tackling my New Year's goals, etc.) and what I feel like doing, which is eating the rest of the fudge and staying in my pajamas until three in the afternoon. I guess I'm doing a little of both, but the main thing is that this list is helping me to avoid the post holiday blues and transition into the New Year in my own way. I hope it inspires you to do it your way!