Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Christmas Fade

Every year the same thing happens.

I'm convinced that someday, it won't happen this way, but inevitably it still does.

I'm talking about the Christmas Fade.

You see, with all other special occasions and holidays, there is a definitive "end." Once the Fourth of July is done, the next day is not the Fourth of July any more. Valentine's Day is done by the time February 15 arrives. Your birthday doesn't last for a week - it's done after the cake and gifts have been presented. Even Halloween - a holiday that seems to last for two months - ends abruptly at 12:00 a.m. on November 1.

But with Christmas, it's different. It has a very similar build-up like Halloween, but once Christmas is over...it really isn't over. People still listen to Christmas music after December 25. People still sing Christmas songs in church or around the home piano after December 25. All the decorations in the house stay up after December 25!

More importantly, Christmas sticks around longer because it's so close to the New Year. Since there's a glorious week between the two, people tend to take that whole week off. Thus, visits with relatives and friends last far beyond Christmas Day.

But inevitably, Christmas needs to finish. And for everyone, it's at a different time. Some people prefer to move on right after December 25. Some give it until the weekend after. Some people wait for January. Some wait for Epiphany (January 6) to come around, since that's the "Twelfth Day of Christmas." And others postpone it until someone mentions that they're "the weird people that still have their decorations up."

Because of Christmas' inconclusive end date, the wrap-up of the holiday feels more like a fade instead of turning the page to something new. And because of that, it's more depressing.

I love Christmas. I'm pretty sure it's my second favorite time of the year. (The end of the school year is my favorite.) So when I start seeing Christmas trees lining the streets, ready to be removed by the sanitation companies, I start feeling a bit down. When radio stations go back to their "normal" playlists - even if I don't listen to them because I don't like the kind of Christmas music they play - I feel a bit wistful. When my parents decide to take down the Christmas tree when I'm still hanging out at home, I can understand why they're doing it, but it doesn't mean that I like it.

Maybe I am disappointed because the "end" of the Christmas season lasts for so long. If everyone just decided that December 28 would be the deadline for Christmas activities to be over, it would be easier to handle. (Kind of like ripping off a Band-Aid quickly instead of the slow, painful pull.)

It also happens to me, as well. It was different this year because of Star Wars, but usually I am playing a ton of Christmas music from Black Friday all the way through New Year's Day. I don't listen to it at any other time, which makes it a treat to listen to for those 4-5 weeks. But eventually, when I look at my iPhone for what music to play, I will inevitably select my normal music mixes instead of the Christmas music mix. And I'll feel like it's time to move on from Christmas.

I guess, for me, that's my moment for Christmas to end. Once that happens, I can understand why people are removing decorations and going back to normal lives again.

It's still hard, though.



I am Claire Nat! I am a teacher and write for TouringPlans.com. I write about anything that interests me - mostly music, Olympics, and fandoms! Follow me @CeePipes or facebook.com/blurbmusings. 

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