Christmas Is Over. Now What?

Christmas Is Over. Now What?

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Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. It’s also a time of near-constant baking, decorating, throwing or attending parties, obsessing over perfect gifts and outfits, and a million other things that can lift your spirits or stress you out. For those who love to host and celebrate, Christmas’s end can be a sad time. For those who find it overwhelming, it’s a time to get everything back to normal. No matter what kind of person you are, the end of Christmas can leave you with a “now what?” feeling. What do you do now that Christmas is over?  

Post-Christmas Cleaning

Whether you’ve hosted a party or just attended them, chances are you’ve got a ton of stuff in your home and not a lot of ideas of what to do with them. Between presents and bags of candy from your office party, every area of your home is probably touched by the stuff you’ve acquired over the holiday season. It’s time to organize.

Start with your kitchen. Check out all the food in Tupperware containers. What’s past its expiration date? It might seem like a waste to toss out leftovers from your big dinner, but if it’s been in the fridge for too long, it’s gotta go. Round up all the treats you’ve acquired, from baked goods to candy. Are you going to eat it? Should you eat it? Are you starting your diet on January first? Is there someone you can pass the candy off to, or do you need to throw it out? Be critical during your assessment in order to get your kitchen back in control.

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Round up any trash that might be lying around. Bits of wrapping paper might have gotten wedged in odd places, or packaging from presents might still be on your coffee table. Bag it up and toss it out. Make sure not to throw away anything you might need, like cables or instruction manuals that might be lurking in boxes or packaging.

Put away the easy stuff until you’re left with the random gifts you picked up at the company white elephant or the token presents like stocking stuffers or random lotions and candles you were gifted by distant family members. How much of it do you really want to keep? Will it just sit around taking up space? Will someone in your family use it? Is it donatable? Can you save it for next year’s white elephant? If you have nothing to do with it, don’t feel bad about giving it away or donating it. You don’t want to get weighed down by stuff that has no purpose and will never get used.

Make sure you have the right tools for the job. Stubborn stains on floors or furniture that you acquired through the holidays might need a steam cleaner to get up. You can usually rent steam cleaners from your local hardware store. Definitely verify that your vacuum is the right one for your home. If you have pets, their fur can overwork a regular vacuum. Make sure you have a vacuum designed for pets, or whatever your floors need.

Keep the Good Times Going

If your favorite natural high is hosting a killer party, don’t let post-Christmas depression take you down — there’s plenty of celebrating to do after you put away the tree. New Year’s Eve is an excellent opportunity to attempt to top your Christmas blowout. January also offers up Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and of course February has Valentine’s Day as well as President’s Day. If none of those holidays entice you, some of the best parties happen just because. January tends to be a low-key month after New Year’s celebrations; your friends and family will probably welcome a little merriment.

If you’re going to keep the party train rolling, make sure you’ve got everything you need in your emergency hostess kit:

  • Have a resting place for someone who had a little too much to drink or someone who isn’t having a great time and needs some quiet.
  • Keep emergency games or activities on hand in case things are a little too quiet.
  • Stash back-up snacks for the picky eaters or people with dietary restrictions.
  • Have phone numbers on hand for any kind of emergency services, like plumbers. A plumbing disaster can ruin a party, but a hostess who is prepared for a plumbing disaster is legendary.

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Spend Some Time on Yourself

For some, the insanity of the holidays is a nightmare that only ends on January first. The beginning of the year is a great place to get back to normal — or even an improved normally. You can take the time at the beginning of the year to recenter yourself, look at your goals for the upcoming year, and make a plan for successful completion of your resolutions.

Tricks to keeping your resolutions:

  • Set attainable goals, with smaller sub-goals to help you chart your progress.
  • Have an “accountabilibuddy” to help you keep on track.
  • Choose an accountability system of your own to help keep you engaged and on track. If your goal is to lose weight, install a calorie-counting or exercise-monitoring app on your phone
  • Start with one small change. When that’s on the way to becoming a habit, add another small change. They all build up to a new you.
  • If you slip, forgive yourself and refocus.

For some, the peace after the holidays die down affords the perfect opportunity to travel. Traveling can open you up to new experiences and places, or can give you and your family the chance to connect while on the road and charting new territory. Traveling is a great way to expand your horizons while gaining experiences, perspective, and a kind of wisdom that can only come from seeing more of the world. It helps you become a more interesting person.

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Of course, the opportunities are endless. Your resolution might have to do with better financial security, reading more, learning to cook, or being the best pet parent to the puppy your family got for Christmas that you can be. The only thing that matters is that your goal for yourself be relevant, achievable, and meaningful. The best part of a new year is the chance to make yourself into a new you, to accept the responsibility of change and move towards living the life you’ve always wanted to live — to be the you that you’ve always wanted to be.

What are your thoughts?  Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.

Until next time, shine amongst the stars!

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Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. It’s also a time of near-constant baking, decorating, throwing or attending parties, obsessing over perfect gifts and outfits, and a million other things that can lift your spirits or stress you out. For those who love to host and celebrate, Christmas’s end can be a sad time.

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