Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year, no doubt. But the after all the festivities, the parties, and the merrymaking, many of us might face the so-called post-Christmas syndrome (also called post-holiday syndrome or Christmas blues). Basic signs of post-Christmas syndrome include feelings of loneliness and difficulty functioning after the holidays. Why is this so? Here, we list ten of the primary reasons why people get the Christmas blues. Check them out!
10. Taking Down the Decors
We Filipinos start Christmas quite early. We’d begin decorating the tree and wrapping presents as early as September with such high spirits, but we hardly have the energy to take the decors down thereafter. It’s such a chore taking down all the decors and very tempting to just leave some through until next Christmas.
9. Holiday Leftovers
It’s exciting at first to plan the menu for the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve dinner) and Media Noche (New Year’s Eve dinner), and we spend so much time and energy preparing all the food and the decorating the table. But clearing the table and washing the dishes are another story. Then there’s a bunch of leftovers, which the family would have to consume for the next couple of days. We all know how it feels eating the same thing every day. Leftovers get boring after a day or two, and get spoiled when not stored or reheated properly. Eating leftovers is dreadful, contracting digestion problems even more so.
8. Food Wastage
Christmas is a festive time for most Filipinos who celebrate it. There’s so much food. When supply exceeds demand, there’s leftovers. Unconsumed leftovers end up in the trash along with rotten veggies and fruits that we set on the table only for show. Food wasted is money wasted, and it’s reason enough for us to get the holiday blues.
7. Injuries & Accidents
Firecracker-related injuries and accidents aren’t the only things we should worry about during the holidays. There’s DUI, pick pocketing and robbery, fire risks due to Christmas lights and candles, not to mention bad weather. While we’re used to heavy rains and storms, it was awfully inconvenient and frightening when Super Typhoon Nina battered the country on Christmas Day.
6. Sky High Fares, Cancelled Trips
Christmas is exodus time for most Filipinos. There’s no place we’d rather be than home to spend the holidays with our families. Fare prices skyrocket during these times making it extra hard to go home, so we try to book flights and buy tickets weeks or months ahead. Still, there’s no guarantee for a smooth-sailing trip as airlines and shipping lines may cancel trips at the last minute due to bad weather and other reasons.
5. Weight Gain
When there’s party, there’s food. The more parties there are, the more food. That’s why we ditch dieting, enjoy the feast, and worry about slimming down later. And worrying we do! Most people find it easier to gain weight than lose it. After all, it’s easier to eat just about anything, than mind your diet and do routine exercise. However, there’s a remedy! Eating holiday leftovers seems to address the problem of food wastage (#8) and weight gain (#5). Scientists say it’s possible to bore yourself thin by eating the same thing every day.
Christmas is a season for giving, and sadly a season for needless or unmindful spending, too. We tend to spend more on virtually everything – from food to presents. Whatever money we receive during the holidays – bonuses, cash gifts, gift certificates, etc. – we tend to spend them all for the sake of having a festive time. When all the dust settles, we begin to feel the aftermath of our poor financial decisions over the holidays.
3. Credit Card Debts
Filipinos have the strongest family ties ever. Whatever little we have, we share with the rest of our overly extended family. During Christmas, we not only prepare a feast and wrap presents for our immediate family, but also for nieces and nephews, in-laws, and a long list of godchildren, not to mention those pitiful carolers who drop by the house every day. For all we know, we’ve already spent more than we ought to, and have maxed out our credit cards. This party-now-pay-later attitude can definitely get us into a personal finance trouble.
2. Separation Anxiety
Christmas is truly a ripe time for family reunions. OFWs, balikbayans, and loved ones from other parts of the country come home to celebrate Christmas with us (and vice versa). Giggles, chitchats, and songs from a cheerful crowd now fill lola’s seemingly eerie and desolate antique house, but not for very long. When the season ends, the crowd dissipates, and feelings of loneliness arise. Separation anxiety also happens when a loved one dies during the Christmas season and we lose the holiday spirit or the desire to celebrate.
1. Back to Reality (School or Work)
Two weeks of festivities and vacation during Christmas cap the year with a promise of hope and joy for everyone. For some people, this period is enough to recharge and face challenges that the New Year throws their way. But some get stuck in vacation mode and find it hard (or refuse) to get back to reality.
Either we don’t want the festive season to end or we don’t want it to begin. But like everything else in this world, things start and things end. What matters is that we do our best throughout the rest of the New Year and look forward to an even brighter, more merrier Christmas the next time around.
Feeling the Christmas blues? Do share your experiences with us and perhaps we can help cheer you up and brighten up your New Year.