Friday, November 26, 2021

It's Boxing Day!

For our friends in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth, today is Boxing Day. It's a great time to box up the Christmas decorations for next year, put away this year's gifts, and clean up the leftovers from your holiday meal. It's also traditionally used for going out with friends, shopping the post-Christmas sales, or attending sporting events. 

Two other traditions are giving money to the people who serve you throughout the year (like the mail and newspaper deliverers) and supporting charitable organizations. I like those two especially, since they seem like good ways to counter the post-holiday letdown that often follows the holiday. Common sources for the After Blues include:

  • Perfectionism
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Family issues
  • Disappointment 
  • Emotional triggers
  • Grief for those who are missing
  • Guilt over what we "should have" done
Some wise person once said that we cannot feel disillusioned unless we have first ridden the crest of a great illusion. A strong first step for avoiding the after-holiday crash is to plan to do LESS rather than more, expect less, and let go of the sense that we need to achieve perfection in our holiday decor, menu, gifts, etc. After all, there is only one Martha Stewart, and you know she has hired help.

Another plan is to remember what triggered sad feelings at past Christmases and avoid those triggers--or, if we can't avoid them, prepare ourselves to accept and deal with them. That can also include planning for the grief or guilt that we know may follow. We can choose to focus on the positive, reminiscing over our best times. As Zig Ziglar put it, "One small positive thought can change your whole day." Yay for that kind of change!

Planning another event to follow shortly after Christmas--yes, even before New Year's Eve--can be another way of connecting with people we love and with whom we can enjoy reliving the high moments of the holiday and maybe extending the joy. 

Calling on the traditions of our British Commonwealth friends, we can lift ourselves out of the post-holiday blues by giving to others, especially if we've missed Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30. Two great organizations which I support and can heartily recommend are Choice Humanitarian and Operation Underground Railroad

Choice states its mission as the end of extreme poverty. I have seen where they work in Bolivia and in their newest project in the Navajo Nation, Arizona. I've also seen how Choice is making a difference.

O.U.R. has a different, but equally worthwhile, purpose. Like the original Underground Railroad, O.U.R. seeks to rescue people from a present, insidious form of slavery. Their mission is to rescue trafficked children and give them a second chance at a healthy life. 

If you're prone to the after-Christmas Blues, giving to others can help. Reminiscing the best times with friends can help. If all else fails, book your next vacation. As author Elbert Hubbard put it, "No [one] needs a vacation so much as the [person] who has just had one." Happy December 26th!

Susan Aylworth is the author of more than 20 novels. The third book in her Christmas Town series, Kisses and Kittens in Christmas Town, is on sale for 99c now through Dec. 1. Over the Rainbow, a prequel to the Rainbow Rock Romances, is available free to everyone who subscribes to her newsletter on her website: Contact her on her Facebook author page or via or join her on Twitter @Susan Aylworth. 

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