The Christmas Spirit

December 26th

A blessed day for all those who have ever worked in retail, or who suffer through family functions, or who happen to be a little–if unintentionally–“Scrooge-y” during the holiday season. Between the pressure of making the favorite famous dish to finding the perfect gift to place beneath the perfect tree, December 26th offers a great communal sigh of relieve.

To be honest, I think, December 26th is my favorite part of holiday season.

As a child, I always felt a little let down after Christmas. All this hype for just one day? But now as an adult, I can understand the merits that come with such a large sigh of relieve. We can still enjoy the holiday decorations as we dine on left-overs from that favorite famous dish. Or we can spend time with family, both near and far, without the forced festivities of the holiday.

Now for those who do not stress about buying gifts AND paying bills, read no further this paragraph. I’ve always found the holidays to be a little oppressive when it comes to giving gifts. I can’t afford the types of gifts I want to give when still paying student loans. I’ve always considered it such an odd tradition to parade around gifts given by others as if to suggest some hidden meaning that I cannot come to right now.

But December 26th offers so many possibilities. I’d almost like to image these last few days of December as the true holiday. Media and retail outlets hold December 25th tightly within their grasp, but these few days afterwards allow us to unwind, relax, don our Christmas Jammies and bake the rest of the Christmas cookies while snacking on price-reduced candy canes. The obligations of the holiday is over and now we can enjoy the company of loved ones with a blanket of snow.

My inspiration for this post developed earlier this week. In a last minute, mad-dash to decorate my home for Christmas dinner, I went to Dollar Tree to buy some cheap supplies to DIY up my home (totally Pinterest inspired, but not Pinterest worthy). There, standing in the check-out line before me was a young girl buying Christmas presents to give to her family (I knew this because she was buying an ice scraper, a completely practical but unlikely purchase for this non-driver). As she bought her gifts, I remembered how I proud I felt when I could first make those small, but meaningful purchases for my family. Many of these being small toys or trinkets from Dollar Tree or Wal-Mart. Regardless of their retail worth, these small gifts allowed me to give on Christmas morning.

And of course, aren’t the holidays all about giving and spending time with family?