The Day After

Everyone knows. Christmas ends 6 minutes after it officially begins. It ends faster than the Thanksgiving meal. That’s why I try to get my lights and decorations up at a ridiculous rate. When the magic is over, it’s over.

It was over at our house by 3 p.m. on Chrismas day. Sometimes we could cool my mother’s Jets for another 18 hours, which meant that our tree wasn’t at the curb until 8 a.m. December 26. But that was all we could hope for unless she had plans.

We consoled ourselves with the toys. Avert your eyes away from the dead tree and ride that big wheel, Missy.

This year was tough all around. For everyone, not just for me. It was a year of character testing and refining and pain and growth and ultimately, joy. There are things you cannot go around. You have to go through. For this round, I think we are through the hardest stuff. We are looking back on it with a Yeesh emoji face, feeling relieved to still be on our feet. Feeling wiser, but only in the areas where we were tested. We’ll mess up again in a whole new category.

The magic of the season had taken a hiatus from the people and places we normally found it. So we took a hiatus, too. And we have found it in new places and activities. And though it is past 8 a.m. on December 26, I hope to prolong the magic for a couple more days.

This year’s magic:

  • Wandering the Time Square Walgreens for stocking stuffers on Christmas Eve while trying to avoid the girls who were in the store with me.
  • Matching hats and scarves that don’t make you sweat when you wear them. In fact, you’ll die if you don’t.
  • The New York public library. The Lions out front are wearing wreathes. This is my favorite building in the city.
  • The red and green light show put on by the empire State building.
  • Walking everywhere.
  • Talking the girls into not watching a real TV show on Christmas Eve and day. Instead, we watched 12 hours of the Yule Log on Hallmark, with classic music and baby animals.
  • Ice skating in view of the Rockefeller tree.
  • Wandering 5th Ave.
  • Listening to my kids snore.

There have been some unmagical things as well. Some might call these the dark arts. Black magic. But I’ll save those for another post, when I’m slightly more irritated with children. One of them has me locked out of the bathroom right now so I’m working on a post in my head.

Happy Holidays from me and my red hat. May your holiday cause you to puff out your chest even if you got nothing to show for anything. That is my wish for the world.