Post Holiday Blues? Nonsense. This Is ‘January Joy’

Many people suffer from post-holiday letdown. It can be a sad time. The festivities are over. The family’s gone home, cookies eaten, decorations put away. Trees are boxed up or dragged to the curb. Another year’s gone by.

I feel just the opposite. Don’t get me wrong. I like a good holiday as much as the next person. It’s just that I like the “afters” better.

January is my favorite month. This year’s routine began a day late because New Year’s Day was on a Sunday. The first step is using the Rose Parade on TV as background while taking down my tree. The simple act of putting the ornaments back in the box makes me happy. I like the sense of order I get from “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

This unhurried process is my opportunity to examine each trinket closely, remembering its origin, deciding whether it’s usable again next year. Those that don’t pass muster get donated to the local thrift store for someone else to use next year.

Next, I rewrap in bubble paper all the Christmas doodads I say I won’t bother to display again but always do. Every holiday thing gets put away — except the live poinsettias. Those I enjoy until the last leaf hits the floor.

Tackle those closets

The next day it’s time for the closets. Being the frugal person I am, it’s the time of year I replenish my wardrobe. I critically scan my belongings, looking for items not worn since the previous holiday. My philosophy is if it hasn’t been worn in a year, it’s not going to be worn — ever. Out it goes — into a bag for the homeless shelter.

That bag is my justification for shopping, an activity I thoroughly enjoy but which is mostly unnecessary. Given my age and limited range of activities, there’s not a lot I need that I don’t already have. But I’m a sucker for pretty things. Items that were 50 percent off at pre-holiday sales often can be found for an additional 30 percent off on clearance in January. Bingo! Beautifully made Christmas angels and snowmen I have no problem avoiding before the holiday suddenly become attractive when labeled 75 percent off. Without fail, I come home with at least a couple to add to my collection.

And then there are the January white sales. Yes, it’s a chore to clean out my linen closet. But it’s the best incentive I know and again gives me permission to shop. Inevitably, I find towels in my cupboard purchased long ago when I’d planned to paint the bathroom but never did. They don’t match anything in my house and therefore never get used. Out they go!

There’s always one blanket that feels a little scratchy or a bottom sheet that’s difficult to stretch onto the mattress. They’ve migrated to the back of the shelf with little chance of seeing daylight again. They, too, go to the homeless shelter.

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Post-holiday shopping is unhurried

With donations made, I go back out to shop. Shopping after Christmas is a lot more fun than shopping before. The difference is in the other shoppers. No one’s stressed about finding the right item in a limited amount of time. Instead of being worried and hurried, these people are relaxed and happy. They’re in a store because they want to be there. They may be exchanging something they received as a gift for something they’d rather have. Or, like me, they’re looking for a deal. Finding one creates feelings of excitement and accomplishment. Smiles of true delight can be seen on many faces.

Far from post-holiday blues, I have January joy. Take a quick look in your closets. You may get inspired to join me at a store. And the homeless shelters can use your donations.

Christine Danella Lynch is retired and has lived in the South Shores area of San Pedro for more than a decade. Writing as Christine Danella, she is the author of “Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Memoir.”

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Source : http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20170110/post-holiday-blues-nonsense-this-is-january-joy

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