How to Deal with the Post-Christmas Blues
It happens every year: at the end of January, your owner comes up to you and says grimly, “We need to talk.” You go into the living room and sit down next to the Christmas tree, lovingly caressing the now wilting branches along with your brothers and sisters, who are doing the same thing. Your owner sits down across from you and says, gently, “I know it may be hard for you to understand, but it’s time to let go.”
You start to tremble. No... no, it can’t be, your owner surely can’t mean—
“It’s time to take down the Christmas tree and the lights, put away all the Christmas cards, dump the wrapping paper, sell all of Great-Aunt Ermintrude’s presents, stop going to the Advent calendar every day in hopes of getting another prize, and start getting ready for Valentine’s Day.”
“Nooooo!” scream you and your siblings. It’s just too much to bear; the holiday season won’t come back for a whole year!
Ending the holiday season can be extremely traumatic for both Neopets and owners if you’re not prepared, but luckily for you, I’ve thought about several ways for the average Neopian to move on and get over the post-holiday blues.
1. Stop going to the Advent Calendar. Oh, come on, we all know you do it every day thinking that maybe, just maybe, it’ll give you a prize again. It’s not going to happen until Day One of the Month of Celebrating, y10, so stop deluding yourself. Every time you look at the Advent Calendar, you’re going to get some false hope that tomorrow it will be different. It won’t be. You’ll just be more disappointed than ever.
2. Take down the lights. Yes, take ’em down. Not only are they tacky and a waste of power, but every time you look at them they will bring back a rush of nostalgia. Note: If you are a human owner reading this article, you can have your pets help you do this, which gives them something useful to do that will help them forget about their post-Christmas woes.
3. Throw away all those stray bits of wrapping paper. They both make your Neohome look messy and remind you of Christmas whenever you stumble upon a piece.
4. Write thank-you cards. It will confirm that the little voice in your head which says that you’ve stopped getting presents is telling the truth. Unless your birthday or a visit from Great-Aunt Ermintrude is coming up, you’re not getting more gifts anytime soon.
5. Stop eating Christmas foods. Yep, it’s time to put away the Neggnog and start thinking of Easter Neggs instead. Since Christmas food isn’t very healthy at all, maybe it would be good to kick off the New Year by eating healthy foods.
6. Repaint your Christmas-colored pets. If your pets are still painted Christmas in May, they will be the laughingstock of the Neoschool, not to mention very, very hot. You don’t have to paint them anything fancy, but do at least change them to a basic color.
7. After you’ve taken down the lights, completely un-decorate your Neohome. Take down the mistletoe, the wreaths, and the bells and start putting up Valentine-themed decorations. This will get you and your pets’ minds off Christmas for a while.
8. Give your house a total overhaul. Build new rooms, garden in your garden, keep yourself and your pets busy moving on. Trust me, there is nothing like creating new to erase the old. Plus, you’ll go into overload playing games and restocking in order to replace all the money you’ll spend.
9. On the same note, adopt or create some new pets. It’s good to have a new responsibility to take up your time.
10. Still on the same note, take up a new, non-Christmas-related hobby.
11. Sell off all your unwanted Christmas presents. Come on, it’s not like Great-Aunt Ermintrude is really going to disown you if you sell her amazingly valuable but spectacularly ugly antique brass pince-nez that are a family heirloom and are of no use whatsoever. Gifts like this could get you a real profit and allow you to buy something you’ll actually use. Just tell her a Grarrl ate them; she’ll never know. This is also a good time to put your good presents to good use instead of just putting them on the mantelpiece to remind you of Christmas.
12. Start planning an unbelievable, mind-blowing, fantabulous New Year’s party a few days after Christmas is over. Go completely overboard—invite everyone you know, including Great-Aunt Ermintrude (I don’t care if she leaves her false teeth in the fondue—embrace your family!) and even some people you don’t know, such as everyone on your block. Decorate it absolutely anti-holiday. That’s right, no green OR red should be visible. And don’t forget the troupe of tap-dancing Baabaas, which no real New Year’s party is complete without.
13. (Warning: this one’s going to take every ounce of willpower you have.) Take down the tree. No matter how much you hate the idea, it has to happen sooner or later. Look at it this way: if you don’t take it down, you won’t have anything to put up and decorate again this Christmas. It has to go sometime, and that time is now. Ignore your pets’ wails (and don’t you dare wail yourself!) and un-decorate the tree the day after your unbelievable, mind-blowing, fantabulous New Year’s party. Then put it outside with the compost. Do it quick, like pulling off a band-aid. It hurts to think about, but it’s best when it’s over.
14. Last but not least, make a countdown. What you count down to is entirely your call. It can be new holidays, like Valentine’s Day and Easter, or it can just be to the next Christmas season (it starts the day after Thanksgiving, folks! Although you won't get any Advent gifts until December 1st). But no matter what you choose, it’s always great to have something to look forward to.
Even though moving out of the Christmas mindset can be painful, it is also necessary to enjoy other things. Just remember, there’s more to life than just Christmas, and there’s a whole world to explore out there. Now excuse me, I have to go hug my tree one last time before *sob* it is taken from me until next holiday season. Merry Christmas, and good luck with your post-Christmas blues. I know I need luck with mine.
Merry Christmas, everyone :) Neomailed comments are very welcome!