Thursday, December 30, 2004


Every since I was a kid I have experienced PCD, or Post-Christmas Disorder for a few days after Christmas Day. It has gotten better in the last few years since the church we go to views Christmas Day as the first day of a twelve day event. But my mind still has a hard time catching up to that thought.

Here are some symptoms:

Christmas music withdrawal--Someone needs to produce a Christmas CD for the week after Christmas. One that has no references to Christmas Eve, Santa Claus, etc. It could include Joy to the World, O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, We Three Kings, things like that. Would make a good MP3 compilation.

Family and friends withdrawal--As busy as things were before Christmas I still didn't get to see as much of everybody we love as I wanted. John and I are lucky enough to have loving and very fun families. We have such a good time being with them. And the time before Christmas is full of ops to be with our friends. Now parties seem kind of scarce, though New Years will be lots of fun--a little "hair of the dog".

Christmas decoration teardown anxiety--For me decorating for the holidays is a little like over-eating--I love it while I'm doing it, but feel kind of lethargic and regretful about it later. I actually put out less this year. Next year I think I'm only going to decorate mostly with things that can be recylcled, rather than put away--greenery and bows for example. Except for the Christmas tree. That just has to take awhile because no matter how much of a pain they all might be to put away I love reflecting on what all of the ornaments mean to us-it feels like a religious ritual to me.

The "where do I put it" question--This year I'm much more conscious of how much consumer stuff is created at Christmas time, partly because John and I are cleaning out the basement this week and we are amazed by the amount of stuff we have. Don't get me wrong, I love to open presents and appreciate the thought and time that goes into the gifts I receive. But I'm starting to realize that a big pile of presents under the tree is not a "traditional" Christmas idea. I think the consumer 70s, 80s, and 90s are coming to an end for me. This year John's mom decided that each person coming for Christmas at her house would buy one present to be part of a bingo game--if you won you got to choose a present. After all the presents were open we played to steal other people's presents (because isn't that what Jesus would do?). It was a lot of fun, and there was little stress in shopping and very little to find a place for later. I think games are very good at family gatherings.

My mom was so stressed out from work that she wasn't able to shop much and actually felt bad about it. I told her she shouldn't and then told her what we'd done at John's mom's. She thought that was such a great idea that we are going to do the same at our house, too.

Another option we've discussed is pitching in to "buy" a cow or goat to donate through Heifer International. My friend Julie works for them. The ogranization creates sustainable solutions to the world hunger problem. We thought it would be fun to pick a country, donate an animal to it and then buy presents for our niece, Amelia, that have to do with that country or that animal.

Good Lord I'm fat and don't want to exercise-- Why is it that the only thing more powerful than my desire to eat at the holidays is my desire to sit around and do nothing? Again, the only thing saving me in this area is the fact that our basement clean-out is a five day job and that there was snow to shovel for Christmas.

Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for listening. I'll post more fun stuff soon and once January hits I'm trasitioning back into activist mode. In the meantime, I hope your Christmas and after-Christmas is merry and bright.


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