Today I’m feeling really meh. Somewhere between the third bottle of champagne and the second box of chocolates I just started feeling a bit down. This meh-ness is slightly at odds with what is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year but for some unbeknownst reason there are no Christmas songs that account for the general post-Christmas blues that is hanging around everyone right now.
I had such a busy and fun start to the month & for the introvert who needs a lie-down after a coffee with friends I did an impressive amount. I then had a magical Christmas (blog soon to follow!) full of eating, drinking and spending WAY too much money enjoying myself. But now? Yesterday’s feeling a ‘little off’ led to a full blown existential crisis as I was trying to fall asleep. AWESOME.
I think most of the existential crisis can be traced back to the fact that I am 27 and that is just what we do for fun these days. Seriously, don’t worry about that whole I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING WITH MY LIFE panic, everyone else is having it too and most of the time you are actually just hungry.
But the post-Christmas ‘down’ time is another matter entirely.
One of the most obvious causes for the holiday blues is the slowly dying Christmas tree in the corner that somehow manages provoke three emotions at once:
- Foreboding that much like the life of this tree the holiday will soon be over and you have to return to work;
- Ennui over the consumerism that is leading to the general death and destruction of mankind; and
- Confusion as to how the hell you are meant to get rid of a dead Christmas tree in London, because your Dad always took care of that back home.
Of course for any Doctor Who fans there is the added emotion of suspicion as I am pretty sure one of these Christmases the tree will come alive and take me directly to our Sycorax overlords. For anyone not into Doctor Who just ignore this horrifying fact.
I think part of the down-ness is because we put so much chocolate covered pressure on Christmas, even more so if you are an expat. In the great busyness of the last half of December there is this little movie reel in the back of your mind saying that your Christmas in London will be like Love Actually, Dickens and Downton Abby combined. You will overcome the fact that your family is on the other side of the world by carolling with your chums as you all learn some sort of invaluable life lesson over your first Yorkshire puddings. But then it turns out that Christmas in London is just, well… weird.
Yes it is a nice day but it is not the same as home, it’s just not. You can totally plan an awesome day and bad-ass your way through it, but it will never be the same as a family Christmas. For one it is a hell of a lot more exhausting because all that cooking and shopping that your parents normally do is now down to you and your friends. As it turns out the reason your Mum complained about spending all day in the kitchen is because to cook Christmas dinner for ten people you have to spend all fucking day in the kitchen! Oh these things you discover when you try to adult for the first time.
The good old rose tinted glasses come into play as well, Christmas is always best looked at with about 10 months breathing space. Go on, what can you actually remember about the last Christmas you had at home? I would bet you a flat white that it has actually reduced down to the happy glow of presents and family… so you are comparing your current Christmas to what is essentially a highlights reel. The bitter fact of being an expat at Christmas is you remember all the rosy good times, and not the ‘oh my god my sister just took the chocolate I wanted’ angry times.
There is also the small fact that what with being away from your parents and not having to drive anywhere, well you might have been drunk consistently for the last four days. I for one got up on Boxing Day planning to have a day without drinking and then saw I had some leftover champagne… there was only one logical conclusion. So feeling a little down is because this is the slowest built hangover of the year, four days of binge eating and drinking cocktails ‘to hydrate’ is finally taking its toll.
So why don’t you go through this in New Zealand? Back home you get gently eased back into reality like a kitten filling out a cardboard box. Everyone has time off work, the sun is shining and Christmas drinking just turns into Summer BBQ drinking – no harsh blues, just seemingly endless good times. I think even if you were an expat in New Zealand it must be a lot easier at Christmas time because of the general vibes of the entire ‘happy its sunny’ nation.
What to do about the miasma of meh? Firstly its time to utilise the unique post-Christmas benefits: all the chocolate and party trays are half price at the supermarket and it is totally acceptable to crack into the Baileys pre-lunchtime. Also you need to enjoy the fact that London seems oddly chill this time of year, like you can actually leave your house without wanting to punch a slow moving tourist kind of chill. The second approach is to just bloody revel in it, don’t try and fix the blues just know that it is a temporary thing that will pass with the New Year.
So how am I enjoying my post-Santa ‘down’ time? Well I have spent a rather splendid day catching up with those Kardashians. Not only is it junk food for the mind, but I feel a lot better about the dying Christmas tree in the corner when I compare it to the frightfully heated argument that Kim and Khris got into over Lamar. I mean, it’s Christmas so we really should be thinking about those less fortunate anyway.
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