Well, now what? Christmas is over, and New Year’s Day is still a few days away. You might be one of the lucky ones who has gone on a vacation during this time, or traveled to visit relatives or friends. But what about the rest of us now that the build up to Christmas is over for yet another year? Some of you who work may have the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off, and others who work are already back working (and some folks might have even worked on Christmas Day).
I usually keep any Christmas decorations up until at least New Year’s Day, but this year I decided to move on quickly, and as soon as I woke up this morning (the day after Christmas) I took all of my Christmas decorations down (not that I had a lot out as where I am living right now is a very small space and there isn’t much room to put decorations out). However, I’m ready to move on to the New Year.
My stepmother (she died in 2011) told me years ago that she never kept the Christmas cards that she received after Christmas was over. I’ve been known to keep mine for years, but a few years back I got rid of them. Recently, I’ve kept them for a few months (however, I never looked at them again after I received them before Christmas arrived). This morning, the day after Christmas, I decided to take my stepmother’s advice and I threw away the cards I received this year (I did keep any photos I received in the cards). After all, as I mentioned above, I live in a very small space and you’d be amazed at just how much space even paper items can take up. And since I was in the mood to “move on” now that Christmas is over for another year, I went through a couple of suitcases I keep stuff in, too, and threw out a bunch of stuff I had in them. Might as well get rid of the clutter before the New Year starts, right?
In case you might be wondering what to do between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and you’re not one of the lucky ones who have taken off on some exotic vacation somewhere (come to think of it, I’ve never been on a exotic vacation anywhere at any time in any given year), I ran across an article published on December 27, 2017, titled, “5 Things You Should Get Rid of Between Christmas and New Year’s Day,” by Clint Davis, a contributor on SimpleMost.com. Here are his suggestions:
If there was ever a time to declutter, the week after Christmas is it. After the big holiday, chances are your house is even more packed with stuff than it has been all year—not to mention all those empty boxes, cards and decorations that are rapidly looking out of season.
If you have any free time in the week before New Year’s Day, spend some of it gathering up the stuff you don’t need anymore. You’ll thank yourself come springtime.
Here are a few items you can easily ditch after Christmas to free up some space for those lovely new things you’ve received. And the best part? Many of these old items can be donated for someone else to love! That’s what Christmas is all about.
1. Winter Coats
Check your coat closet and I guarantee you’ll find at least a couple winter coats that nobody in your family has worn in the past year. The typical rule for decluttering is to get rid of two items for every new one you get, so if everyone in the house got a brand new winter coat for Christmas, gather up all those unused ones and get rid of them.
2. Boots And Other Shoes
Another thing many people get for Christmas is new footwear. Sort through your closets and donate any old shoes you don’t wear anymore. Chances are, someone out there would love to have those 2013 boots!
If you have kids, they probably got a bunch of new toys for Christmas. That means it’s time to round up the ones they’ve outgrown or don’t play with anymore and donate them so that other kids can love them. Organizations like Toys for Tots and others specialize in toy donations.
If you’re a pack rat like me, you may think you need to keep all the boxes of the gifts you got this Christmas—but you probably don’t. I still have the box for a computer monitor I got in 2015 somewhere in my basement! Be sure to pull out any important paperwork and spare parts (after you’ve made sure the item works, of course) and toss those boxes in the trash.
5. Opened Wine
If you broke out the wine at your holiday party (which you should have!), you might have some half-finished bottles sitting around. Depending on the type of wine, and whether or not you re-corked it and stuck it in the refrigerator, you’ll have anywhere from two to five days for it to not taste nasty. Not gonna drink it? Either dump it out, make some cola-infused sangria or freeze it in an ice-cube tray for later cooking use.
In another article with almost the same title as the article above and published on December 22, 2017, titled, “5 Things You Should Do Between Christmas and New Year’s,” by Zoe Romanowsky, Lifestyle and Video Editor at Aleteia.org, she writes:
For starters, don’t take down the tree! This is a week for keeping the spirit alive…
The countdown to Christmas is on and there’s much to be done before the big day arrives. But besides collapsing in a heap with a glass of spiked eggnog the day after, what’s on your agenda between Christmas and New Year’s? Here are 5 things you should consider making part of your week…
Develop a Boxing Day tradition
The day after Christmas calls for a little down time, but it can also be a bit more special than that. In countries like England, Canada, Australia, and Ghana, the day after Christmas is a holiday called Boxing Day. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with punching anyone for getting you a bad gift. There are a number of stories that explain the tradition—one harkens back to when wealthier members of English society gave “Christmas boxes” containing gifts and money to servants and trades people as a reward for their service. Another story comes from the post-Christmas practice of churches collecting money in boxes to give to the poor. Regardless, Boxing Day can be a celebratory day in itself—visiting with relatives or neighbors, making a special lunch, caroling around the piano, a movie or games night—whatever you want. Even if you don’t want to call it Boxing Day, make the day after Christmas its own festive day.
Make some New Year’s resolutions
This is the week to make resolutions for the new year. If you’re all bah-humbug about the whole idea of resolutions because they’ve never worked in the past, try something new this year … try picking just one thing you want to accomplish or work on in 2018, or choose a theme, quote, or Scripture passage to guide your goals. This recent Aleteia article suggests you approach resolutions using the “snowball principle.” Whatever you do, let a brand new year be an opportunity for a fresh start.
Write thank-you cards (or for that matter, send your Christmas cards out!)
This week is usually a little slower than most so it’s a great time to sit down and write some thank-you cards for those lovely gifts you received — and to help your kids do the same. Keep it easy by buying note cards, or making some simple ones. There’s nothing like a hand-written thank-you that acknowledges a gift and wishes the recipient a happy new year!
Plan something special for New Year’s Day
Most people plan something for New Year’s Eve, and consider New Year’s Day a time of recovery. But New Year’s Day deserves its own place at the table. In the Christian calendar it’s a special day for celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary. So, it’s a perfect day for special foods, an outing, a visit or phone call to mom, or just time at home relaxing by the tree and enjoying the company of loved ones.
This is not the week to take down the tree, remove the decorations, and get back to life as usual. No, Christmas lasts more than one day! Depending on the calendar you follow, Christmas goes at least to Epiphany, which is Friday, January 6 this year. Plus, you’ve heard of the 12 days of Christmas, right? Even if you have to go right back to work after Christmas, and the rest of the world is quickly getting back to business as usual, hold on to the Christmas spirit by planning special meals and treats, playing Christmas music in the car, and holding a few gifts to open during Christmas week. Keep celebrating! (Quote source here.
A third article I found on the topic is titled, “5 Reasons Why The Week Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is the Best Part of the Whole Year,” by Danielle Campoamor, an editor and columnist at Romper.com, published on December 28, 2015. She writes:
Say what you will about spring and its bright optimism and romance, or fall with its vibrant colors and pumpkin spice everything, but the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is, by far, the best time of the year. Sure, summer has inviting warmth and long days, and winter has a [boat]load of holidays, but the last week of any year—when Christmas lights are still up and you’re still figuring out what to do on New Year’s Eve—is, without a doubt, the week of the year I look forward to the most.
Think about it: The stress of the holiday season is behind you. You are no longer mentally examining your “to-do” list and thinking about the gifts you have to wrap and the meals you have to prepare. You’re already used to the shorter days and the colder weather, so you’ve sufficiently equipped yourself with sweaters, scarves and warm (sometimes alcoholic) beverages. The parts of the year you would rather forget are dangerously close to being a distant memory, and the potential for a better year is just on the horizon.
And, believe it or not, it gets even better.
Here are just a few reasons why the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is the best week of the year, so enjoy it, you guys! It will (at least seem) far too long before we experience these magical 7 days again.
Your House Is A Mess And It’s Totally Acceptable
There are small pieces of wrapping paper still on the floor and you keep stepping on those tiny plastic twist things that held toys to cardboard, but it’s OK because gift-induced disaster is allowed to linger. The dishes can wait and the vacuuming can be put off because, hey, you made it through the holidays and the memories are totally worth the mess, right? Right. Take a load off, friend. You deserve it.
You Can Slack Off At Work And Not Feel Bad
Let’s face it, everyone is on vacation anyway. There’s no reason to kill yourself at your job because, well, no one will notice either way! Why waste your A-game on a week when no one is paying attention? You don’t have to feel bad about not being at the top of your game or working as hard as you usually would, as “real work” doesn’t really begin until the new year anyway. So, if you think about it and you are working during this week of magic, consider it a paid holiday of sorts. No, you’re not spending your time on a beach, but you’re not necessarily “working” either.
You’re Possibly Still Spending Time With Friends And Family
Family and/or friend time doesn’t end when Christmas does. Maybe you traveled back home and are still around parents and siblings for a few more days. Or, maybe family members visited you for the holidays and they plan on spending a little more time with you before they leave. Either way, there’s an extra pair of hands to do dishes, cook meals, and run errands, on top of the happy family fun time and non-stop lame-but-amazing dad jokes.
Your Schedule is Wide Open
There’s really nothing concrete and immovable on the agenda between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, which means you are totally justified in sitting on your couch sans pants and watching everything Netflix has to offer, day after splendidly lazy day. You’ll have plenty of time to be busy next year, so enjoy this schedule-free time while you can, I say.
You Don’t Have to Cook
One word: leftovers. Your fridge is now filled with container after container of whatever delicious meal you (or your family) made for Christmas dinner, and there’s enough food in there to last you for a week. Not to mention cookies and pie and fudge? If the zombie apocalypse happened right this second, you’d be set. So enjoy this marvelous week of unapologetic laziness, you guys. We’ve all earned it (kinda, whatever). (Quote source here.)
And while I was looking for articles to include in this blog post, I ran across a 35-minute sermon given on December 27, 2015, titled, “Christmas is Over Now What?” [click here for MP3 Audio download 48.8MB] given at Christ Street Fellowship, [the link is also available in their holidays message archives]. The sermon bulletin is available in PDF form at this link (802 KB). I listened to the 35-minute sermon and it is very good especially if you find yourself feeling a bit down right now or you don’t know what to do now that Christmas is over.
I hope you find these suggestions of what to do between Christmas and New Year’s Day entertaining, informative, and helpful, and the sermon at the end is excellent, too.
I’ll end this post with these words from an Irish blessing: May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again….
May God hold you . . .
In the palm . . .
Of His hand . . . .
YouTube Video: “Day After Christmas” by Matthew West: