The morning after

I've never much liked the 26th .

There's all this build-up to Christmas Eve/Day, all the churchy stuff, all the cooking, gathering, excitement of presents (if you still get excited about presents), maybe family coming in. Then, Eve/Day comes along, you have a great time, are happy and excited about everything going on. You eat too much and get "fat and happy" when someone hands you that second piece of rum cake. You go to bed warm and contented and feeling good.

Eight hours later, you wake up. Fat, achy, grumpy. Today is clean-up day and put away day. Get rid of the wrapping paper that looked so pretty under the tree and carry boxes out to the trash. (When I was little, I couldn't play with the new Christmas toys on the 26th until I cleaned my room. What a way to screw up the warm fuzzies.) Family goes home, leaving their trash with you. The worst part is the left-overs. It's true what they say, presentation is everything. All that food looked and smelled fabulous when you came to the table for Christmas dinner. Now, it's packed into tupperware containers and while it's still going to taste and smell just right, it's never going to be quite as visually appealing.

My mother would insert here that it's not the way Christmas looks or tastes that is the important part, it's the religious aspect of it and the joy of celebrating the baby in the manger. Well, yes, this is true and I won't discount that part. But even the first church service after Christmas is a bit of a let-down to me. My pastor (and lots of pastors I'm sure) is at his best Christmas Eve and Easter Morning. He's always very good, and I've never regularly worshipped with a better orator and his theology is top-notch. That doesn't change the fact this morning's sermon will not be his best offering. And heck, I don't blame him. He's tired. He just did 2 church services 36 hours ago and had his own family Christmas stuff going on. But somehow, this morning's service will be a let-down after the wonderment I beheld Christmas Eve.

Hell, maybe it's just me. I can put aside some of my cynicism for no more than about 72 hours at a time. Or maybe it's because today is the day we visit the side of the family that specializes in making others feel two inches tall. Seems that always takes place on the 26th, as well. What fun.
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