Jamie Johnson of hashtagmomfail.com
Today is the day. The first day of the Holiday Hangover.
You know, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The week where you sit in the aftermath of mountains of toys, wondering how the hell you gained ten pounds in four days and if there is any more fudge left in that tin in the kitchen.
There is always such a buildup. This year, it seemed like the Christmas trees were up the day after Halloween.
DID YOU FORGET ABOUT THANKSGIVING, CORPORATE AMERICA?
Let’s look at the three phases that lead to the Holiday Hangover.
The “I Love Christmas Music” Phase: This starts soon after Thanksgiving. The weather is chilly and if there is snow, it is beautiful and white. You actually sing some of the Christmas carols that come on the radio and download some form of a Pentatonix song on your Apple Music playlist. You start to get excited and even get out the damn Elf on the Shelf. This is when Christmas is fun. You put up your tree with the kids and high five yourself for finally getting shatterproof ornaments. You start ordering Christmas presents on Amazon and hide the boxes in your closet. You consider sending out Christmas cards, then decide against it for the 33rd year in a row even though you have two small children now and it seems mandatory.
The “OH SHIT, Christmas Is in a Week” Phase: The week before Christmas, you realize that Christmas is no longer two months away. The Elf on the Shelf is repeating his hiding places. It’s cold as shit and you’re sick of it. You probably have a cold or strep throat or both. You have to actually finish buying Christmas presents. You have to get wrapping paper, tape, bows and spend approximately nine hours wrapping presents. The Christmas tree needles will start to annoy you. And the glitter. WHY IS THERE GLITTER ALL OVER THE HOUSE? The Santa threats to your children get much more intense. “If you don’t go use the potty now, Mommy will text Santa herself and tell him that you only get coal for Christmas! Do you not see Groot the Elf watching you?”
The “Hooray, Christmas Is Here!” Phase: This usually hits me on Christmas Eve. I am finished with work and get to enjoy hanging out with my family. We dress up and go to church and attend parties. We get excited to play Santa for our kids. We drink too much and eat all the fudge. Christmas morning comes and excited babies fumble to unwrap their Christmas presents. It really is the best to be a parent at Christmas, as cliché as it sounds. You get to lay around and be lazy for a while, knowing that this is one of the days where you can literally hang out all day and not feel guilty about it. You visit family and continue eating and drinking.
This is where the actual Holiday Hangover begins. The last few hours of Christmas Day. You are full and absolutely exhausted. Your kids are running around on the highest of all sugar highs. There is candy cane residue in their hair and you don’t even care. It’s freezing outside and you have to climb out of your cozy chair, load up the car and somehow manage to get your screaming, overtired children in the car.
By the time you get home, you throw the kids in bed, look at the aftermath of the day, say screw it and go to sleep.
Then you wake up the next morning. You go downstairs and look at the piles of toys, bags full of gifts piled on the table and remember there is more in the car. The Christmas tree doesn’t have gifts under it anymore and loses its magic. Your head is slightly pounding, and you realize all the fudge is gone. The snow outside is brown and melting. You wonder what day it is and why do your sweat pants feel so tight? You look in the mirror to see a face swollen from far too many carbs and wine.
The next week creeps by. What day is it? Is it New Year’s yet? Why can’t I stop eating cheeseburgers? Why are there so many Legos in my house? Will my kids ever sleep again? When will I have the energy to take down the damn Christmas tree? Is there any wine left? Why do people only make me fudge at Christmas time? NO MORE MARIAH CAREY ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU!
Finally the new year comes around and you have to get your shit together. Make a New Year’s resolution. Actually take down the tree. Rearrange the toy room to fit the train table that you didn’t realize would be massive. Start working out again. Stop thinking about all the fudge.
And go back to the real world. The real world of work, schedules, the day-to-day grind.
And you might just miss having that Holiday Hangover just a little bit.
This post was originally posted on hashtagmomfail.com.
About the Author
Jamie Johnson is a full-time working mom that is married with two sons, Henry and Simon. She writes about parenting from a realistic point of view and addresses topics that others might find controversial. You can find her blog at HashtagMomfail.com. Jamie has been featured in HuffPost Parents, Motherly, PopSugar Moms and Today Parents. Follow Jamie on Facebook and Twitter.