Going back as far as I can remember, New Year’s depresses me. I’m not sure why, but every year I slip into a small, almost imperceptible depression that starts the day after Christmas and ends January 2nd. This is something I’ve never bothered to discuss with anyone and no one – friend or family – has ever caught on to it. As a kid, Christmas Day is easily the best day of the year. Your birthday is pretty goddamn cool, but it’s totally lacking in all the magic and mythology that makes Christmas so amazing when you’re a kid. And when you’re young enough that Christmas Magic is real, time moves at a snail’s pace. Whole lives are lived between Halloween and Christmas – nations rise and fall in the seven-ish weeks between those two holidays – and the 12 Days Of Christmas are the longest, most agonizingly slow days of the year. And the most exciting. The build-up to Christmas is huge, the anticipation unbearable, and Christmas Day itself (assuming you’re fortunate enough to belong to the middle class or better) delivers a pay-off that no casino, no race track, no tax refund could ever even hope to match. Christmas Day – as a child – is a day of joy and satisfaction unlike any other.
And then there’s December 26th. Yeah, it just doesn’t hold a candle. How could it? And the week after Christmas goes by at the speed of light because it’s your last week of vacation and you have to go back to School when it’s over and you can’t even do anything good on New Year’s anyway. Your parents are moving around the house like zombies, asking you not to breathe so loudly, and cartoons, Tom Hatten, and Benny Hill have all been nixed for The Rose Parade.
Fuuuuuuuuuuck the Rose Parade.
The Rose Parade is the most over-rated horse shit ever and it airs all goddamn day long. Oh look! There goes another slow-ass float with the UNICEF logo! Holy crap! And it’s made of roses! Oh, the majesty, how can I take it all in?! Thank GOD Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards are here to explain it all to me! Jesus God, what a load of shit.
I guess if you’re into football, you’ve got the bowl games to entertain you. I’m not, and they didn’t. But the day after was okay. Even though I really, really, really didn’t want to go back to school, there was something sort of nice about finally being past the holidays (especially the previous week) and things returning to normal.
And that same pattern continues to this day even though the various reasons and motivations have completely changed. Sure, Christmas has lost some of its magic, and, yes, I fucking hate shopping for presents, but the holidays (Halloween to Christmas) are still the best time of the year, and my heart still fills with anticipation and excitement. And the week between Christmas and New Year’s still kinda bums me out.
This year was a bit different though, and I’d intended to write about it, but I was off the clock 20 minutes ago so…