I always get a little disappointed with Christmas—oh, you thought this post was going to be uplifting? Sorry—you know, it’s the end of fall, the beginning of winter, and it’s just so hyped up. Every year around Thanksgiving begins the ascent into full-on festivities, the climb of a mountain that inevitably leads to the cliff of today, December 26th. (or maybe you have until January 1st.) All the Christmas spirit that helped you through those last days of work and school and family gathering hurtle you out over the edge, and you fall into the new year already a little bit disappointed and bruised, because Christmas doesn’t last forever and you are free falling back into the real world, back to the bottom of the mountain, down to the worst of the worst. January.
But but but—just yesterday it was Christmas, and you were young and happy and full of gingerbread and turkey and the holiday spirit. You need to hold onto it a little longer, go to those after-Christmas parties and see those after-Christmas friends, all the while knowing every after-Christmas present may be your last. Yesterday was full-fledged December, and you don’t want to look forward.
New Years is even worse. The night is a celebration of January, pulling it forward with drinking and counting and fireworks. It’s always felt a little fake-it-till-you-make-it to me. Like when a friend asks you how they look and the truth is a little bit brutal so you just make a bunch of happy noises and pretend everything is great and then count backwards from ten really loudly. (Ok the comparison petered out there, but you get the point.)
And then comes the 1st. If you’re lucky, you’re not hungover and can face reality with a clear head, although it will probably still be pounding with the cold hard truth. It’s January. It’s still cold and wintry, but it doesn’t feel exciting anymore. There’re no songs telling you that cold is great and snow is better, no lights or movies to remind us all that the real warmth isn’t in the weather, it’s in the love of family and friends. No, it’s January and now it’s just cold. Button up your coat, wrap up your scarf, and pull on your gloves and your hat, because shit is getting real.
Now that I’ve plunged you into some major seasonal depression (at least now we’re in it together!) let’s take a step back. Reevaluate. Remember that January doesn’t last forever (plus, you have a few more days left of December. You better damn well live in the moment.) Then there’s February (ok, still not great), then March (still fairly shitty), then April, which ok there it is, there’s the light at the end of dark frigid tunnel. April. Think of daffodils and pastels and rabbits, and know there’s only 95 days to go.