Friday, December 24, 2010

Sandra Boynton's Christmastime (Part Seven)

Coming Down From Christmas

"Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose, wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose, wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose, panda hippo gnu deer!"  --Sandra Boynton

Boynton wraps up the ever delightful Christmastime by discussing the hard fact that once Christmas has come and gone, we are all left with a little bit of emptiness in our hearts.  The season is such an immersive one that we are all bound to feel a little bit bereft when it has ended.  But as always, Boynton has the solution to the problem she presents.  She suggests that with careful planning, and a bit of thinking ahead, you can easily make Christmas a season to be enjoyed for the duration and remembered fondly when gone, without that pang of regret.  Be careful when making your plans, however, because she feels that being overly prepared is as much the cause of post-Christmas letdown as not being prepared enough.  She advises that the three most common training errors leading up to Christmas are as follows:

Overtraining: Be careful not to wear yourself out when making your preparations and plans for Christmastime.  This is very easy to do and can lead to diminished enjoyment of the season overall, and not just an overwhelming sense of disappointment once Christmas is done.

Overreaching:  Likewise, keep your expectations simple and as realistic as possible, especially if you are the person in charge of Christmas in your household.  Quite often people are disappointed after Christmas because they have set themselves up to be so.  Remember to enjoy each moment as you are in it, and try not to be constantly looking ahead to what is yet to come, just in case it doesn't.

Peaking Too Soon:  The earlier you start "celebrating" Christmas, the longer you have to keep up your spirits, and the harder it becomes to sustain those happy Christmastime feelings.  Especially in the face of everyone else you may have to deal with day in and day out.  Wait as long as you can (without making yourself insane) to start the decorating and the shopping and the celebration, and you'll have a better chance of enjoying the season more than you would if you try to stretch it out.  Getting just the right amount of holiday cheer is the best way to feel relaxed and at peace once it passes you by.

She also cautions that no matter how much you enjoy the season, even the best of us are likely to watch Christmastime pass with at least a smidgen of relief.  And that's okay.  It is a crazy season, as fun as it can be, and it is probably a very good thing that it only comes once a year.  If you're still feeling blue when the tinsel is cleared and the presents are put away, just remind yourself, that it does, in fact, come once a year, which means next year you get to do it all over again!

And that finishes off Sandra Boynton's Christmastime.  I hope you have enjoyed reading these posts as much as I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts on my favorite holiday book with you.  If you stumble across a copy, or feel like venturing onto Amazon's Marketplace, I highly recommend picking it up.  It is a quick read and one sure to strike a note with each member of your family.  As I can attest, it is also an excellent book to grow up with, keeping the true spirit of the season alive while capturing all of the ups and down that inevitably accompany it.  My daughter will definitely be growing up with this book as a part of her holiday tradition, I can tell you that.

And with that, I bid you a very very Merry Christmas, my friends!  I hope you have a truly wonderful holiday.  See you back on Monday!

P.S.  Don't forget to check out the new installment of Gronk here! It is the first of a run of a few weeks of guest strips, actually, because the artist/writer Katie Cook just made a new human this past week (huzzah to her!), but it is still pretty cute.  Enjoy.


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