Got Post-Christmas Blahs?

26 Dec

There’s a funny “Day after Christmas” poem that might describe many homes in America:

‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurting — even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while
Upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an over-sized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said “U.S. POSTMAN.”

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox.
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:

“Now Dillard’s, now Broadway’s, now Penny’s and Sears;
Here’s Levitz’ and Target’s and Mervyn’s ~ all here!!
To the tip or your limit, every store, every mall,
Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!”

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,
“Enjoy what you got … YOU’LL BE PAYING ALL YEAR!” (1)

And then there are all the “returns” after Christmas.

Brian Bill dealt with this by quoting a poem by Dave Veerman called “Many Happy Returns” ~

“‘Twas the day after Christmas, And all through the room
Strewn wrappings were crying For use of a broom

The children were scattered, The friends’ gifts exploring,
Since now most of theirs Were broken or boring.

All tummies were stuffed From the fabulous feast;
Leftovers would serve For one month at least.

And mama and papa Were countryside ranging,
Those unwanted gifts Returned or exchanging.

Yes, Christmas is past With its bustle and noise,
Sales and carols, Santas and toys.

Decorations are packed, The Yule tree’s discarded.
The holiday’s over, Just as we got started….” (2)

It’s so true … if we’re not careful … all the post-Christmas bills and returns will get us down (unless, of course, we paid for it all with cash and chose perfect gifts).

Sometimes, as hard as we try, Christmas is disappointing. It’s like the child who opened all his gifts and then declared, “Is that all there is?” Or maybe there are some relationship problems. Or maybe there is so much activity and you run on adrenaline … and then you crash.  (I know it’s only the day after Christmas… it might take a bit to catch up with you!)

Here’s how I’ve always dealt with post-Christmas blues (or blahs or whatever you call them):

  1. Linger over Christmas. Who says you have to take down the tree for a while … or stop playing Christmas music?
  2. Pray over your Christmas cards. Take a basket of them to a place you enjoy, and look at them one by one. Read or re-read Christmas letters and take cues for prayer requests.
  3. Look through photos you took (Thanksgiving to Christmas) and thank God for all the people and activities you enjoyed. Maybe you can use one of them as a computer screensaver for a while.
  4. Plan something to look forward to ~ a big something like a vacation, or something small like meeting friends for coffee. Or spend some time encouraging someone who God touched over the holidays, maybe a new believer. Or think of a place that you can volunteer to help others.
  5. Start organizing to get organized for the new year … get the tools you’ll need (calendar, Daytimer, etc.) Find a “read-through-the-Bible” plan that looks do-able for you.

The point is, I don’t just sit there moping.

When your “fa-la-la-la-la” turns into a big “blah-blah-and-more-blah,” make the choice to move forward with anticipation, gratitude, and hope.  (And it’s not like there won’t be more holidays right around the corner!)

I only found the end of that poem, “Many Happy Returns,”  in Pastor Bill’s sermon:

“… Dear Jesus, please help us To stop and remember
That you came to earth Not just for December.    

But from birth in a manger To death on a cross
You gave up glory And counted it loss.

So now as we trust You – God’s only Son –
The real celebration Has only begun!” (3)

“Joy to the World, the Lord is come!” is not just a song for December.

Just look at these scriptures:

  • Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad ALL OUR DAYS. (Psalm 90:14, NIV, emphasis mine)
  • The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. (Psalm 126:3, NIV)
  • You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11, ESV)
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4, NIV)

As good as the holiday celebrations are, if you know Jesus, you can have a joyful adventure walking with Jesus every day of the year ~ not just at Christmas!

(1) Author Unknown – http://www.angelfire.com/tx2/christianpoetry/dayafter.html

(2) Rev. Brian Bill, “Dealing with the Post-Christmas Blahs,” 12-30-07, http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/dealing-with-the-post-christmas-blahs-brian-bill-sermon-on-christmas-116407.asp

(3) Ibid., p. 7

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