In my book, Christmas is not over until around Epiphany. Part of that is because I'm Catholic and part of it is because I refuse to buy into the way things are done in the popular culture.
Think about it. Christmas displays start going up around Halloween, and it seems much of the world dismantles Christmas trees, takes down decorations, and moves on as soon as December 25 is over. What a shame, when in reality the timing should be in reverse.
I find the best days of Christmas are those which follow December 25. Part of that is because I am a teacher and don't return to work until early January. I believe the rest of the world should take the week off as well. In leading up to the day, it is so stressful and busy and the pressure is on (mostly on women) to make everything perfect. At least in my house, Christmas simply wouldn't happen without me. It's a good thing Ed has four daughters too. If I'm ever unable to accomplish Christmas they no doubt would take charge.
While gift shopping and grocery shopping, I have to feel a bit sorry for those who have to work to make gift shopping and grocery shopping possible for me...cashiers, clerks, truck drivers making deliveries, etc. We all take it for granted. I ran to the grocery store for a few last minute things on Christmas Eve and told the young man who was cashier I hoped he didn't have to work all day...he said he did; at least he would have Christmas Day off.
I can't imagine having to go back to work a day or two after Christmas, not with the fatigue I always experience a couple of days after. It's a wonderful sort of fatigue...sitting in a chair reading, drifting off, somewhere between a deep sleep and a semi-wakefulness...a sort of drugged state of being.
I'm gearing up again though, as we are hosting Ed's family party this year. It will be fun. We are older. With the exception of two, the cousins are at least high school/college aged, so we parents aren't so exhausted. We will get to enjoy each other's company, eat and drink hearty, and play games. My meal will be simple and one which we can graze on throughout the day. I'm making Ed's mother's fabulous Italian Beef, which consists of slowly cooked roasts, sliced thin, and marinated in a mixture of broth, green peppers, oregano, and more (I'll post the recipe later). From that we'll make sandwiches au jus on hard rolls. That plus sides and desserts will make a meal.
We don't do a lot of gifts. The cousins still exchange through college, or opt in as they wish, through a drawing, but that's it. The focus is food, fun, and games. So, I'm gearing up a little and will do some baking this week, something I didn't get to enjoy as much the week before Christmas. For me, Christmas isn't over and I'm happy about that.