Post-Christmas Reflection

I love the holiday season.

    It’s the only time of the year when more than four family members in one room doesn’t necessarily mean there’s going to be an intervention. Most everybody looks forward to taking several days off, but according to a recent article, there is a downside. It’s called post-holiday blues. Researchers claim that when you let go of stress during vacations or holidays, it’s even more difficult to handle when you’re confronted with it again. They brilliantly refer to it as “vacation hangover.” And you thought it was the eggnog.
    Now although the post-stress in your life is actually the same you were dealing with before the holidays, each new year does present new problems. We’re looking at yet another potential government shutdown in the middle of January. Everybody’s worried that the sequester could cause huge cuts in defense spending. Big deal. Frankly, I think the federal government’s defense is just fine. What they need to concentrate on is improving the offense. Their quarterback hasn’t had a very good year.
    But unfortunately, while trying to let go of stress, a number of adults still spend their holidays reflecting on Christmas past and revising their bucket list for the future. This can be equally stressful. However, there is one thing on my list that just doesn’t seem that appealing anymore. I’ve decided I’m only going to swim with the dolphins the day after they go barhopping with me.
    But rather than reminisce and get all melancholy, why not just forget all that for a while and reflect back on what the holidays are all about. For starters, I think it might help if I share some little known facts about the Yuletide season that you might find interesting, as well as uplifting.
    1) In the summer of 350 A.D., Pope Julius I proclaimed Dec. 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ. Within a week, the local Walmart and Target began displaying Christmas decorations.
    2) Jingle Bells, written in 1857 by James Pierpont, was originally intended for Thanksgiving. Following dinner, the head of the household would sing it over and over until the relatives finally left.
    3) Mistletoe is from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “little dung twig” because the plant spreads through bird droppings. But that’s not why some people won’t stand under it. They believe it’s a gateway drug to marriage.
    4) No one is entirely sure what “wassailing” means. However, some historians are convinced that it’s a forerunner of “twerking.”
    5) Humphrey Bogart and Sir Isaac Newton were both born on Christmas day. And despite what you may have heard, Newton actually discovered gravity at a bar in Casablanca. It was right after Bogie said, “Here’s looking at you, kid,” then accidentally dropped his Appletini on Sir Isaac’s head.
    6) In 1907, Oklahoma became the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.  They celebrated by having a giant Christmas tree lighting in the middle of Oklahoma City. The lights came on five years later when the state finally got electricity.
    Also, don’t forget that the holiday season is about giving, not only to your family, but also to others that affect your everyday life. That’s why I’ve provided a list of some of those people that you may have overlooked this year and may want to remember next year.
    They might include the mailman, the babysitter, the housekeeper, the full-time nanny, the country club staff, the personal trainer, the hairstylist, that new Pilates instructor, and the people that know about you and that new Pilates instructor. Especially that last group.
    Yes, when it comes to taking care of those who matter at Christmas, sometimes all you really need is $5 million.
    Have fun this post-holiday season and remember: Always wassail responsibly.