Posted by: GeekHiker | January 4, 2010

Putting Christmas Back In The Box

After a morning bike ride, I spent Sunday taking down the Christmas decorations, boxing them up, and putting them away.  It was surprising how long it took, cutting into the time I’d planned to spend reading that afternoon, though I did manage to finish “Dead Pool” by the end of the night anyway.

The work didn’t excite me too much; it even caused a bit of frustration.  I found myself unusually irritated at little things, like when the blinds decided to fall apart when taking down the lights from the front window, or when the box into which I’d stuffed all the lights fell apart just as I was putting it away.

I’m not perfect, and I’ll admit that watching those lights fall to the floor rubbed me the wrong way.  I ended up working my frustration out with a bit of swearing and slamming of cabinet doors.  Had anyone been in the room, they probably would have thought I’d lost it (and for a moment, perhaps I did).

Overall, though, I was pretty unenthused about the whole process.  This wasn’t the typical post-holiday letdown so many speak of.  Weeks before, I hadn’t been particularly enthusiastic about putting the decorations up to begin with.

For whatever reason, I just wasn’t all that into the holidays generally this year.  Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the time, or the trip up north to see The Parentage, but when it came to the trappings of the holiday season it just wasn’t there for me.

Putting up the lights around the windows in early December, setting up the Christmas tree, it all felt so much like I was just going through the motions.  I put up the lights because everyone else in the neighborhood was; I put up the Christmas tree because that’s just what one does at the holiday season.

Maybe it’s just a result of the corporatization of Christmas.  We all buy the same products, we all put up the same decorations; we all do the same damn thing, or at least so it seems.  I put up the decorations just like everybody else because, well, I’m a lemming.

Beyond that, of course, is the “happy” rammed down everyone’s throats.  Everyone on T.V. is filled with the joy of the season, there’s the subtle message that if you’re not there’s something wrong with you and, handily enough, buying so-and-so product will fix it.

Meanwhile, you’re sitting in a mall parking lot, fuming about the whole thing.  And let’s not even talk about how happy people at airports are during the season.

Thing is, all that I just described is what leads to the post-holiday blues, which is exactly what I don’t have.  I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about the whole season about it when it started, but I wasn’t unhappy/frustrated/depressed about it either.

The end of the holiday season has left me feeling exactly the same.

I didn’t feel happy OR sad about taking the decorations down and putting them away, any more than I did about putting them up in the first place.  It was just something I did.

Whether that speaks to something deeper, I don’t know.  I over-thought about it a bit, trying to think if it was because I’m single, or because I have no siblings, or even some greater statement on my feelings on the current status of my life in general.

Then I stopped, figuring it wasn’t worth the energy to worry about.

Maybe I just wasn’t in the holiday mood.



  1. LOL!!! I like this post, esp. the “happy people at the airport” part coz I was one of those very “happy” people just a couple days ago! Trust me, I was VERRRRY HAPPPPPY.

    I think your lack of enthusiasm stems from the fact that you don’t have someone to share “the holiday stuff” with. The most mundane thing can be fun and sweet if it’s something you two do TOGETHER, or if it’s something you are doing for someone as a love gesture. Of course, losing it over trivial stuff is perfectly normal. My BF smashed a tape gun after having numerous problems with it during packing. It was a sight to behold 🙂 We all need some kind of outlet and it’s okay to lose it at one point or another.

    Anyway, a belated Happy New Year and hope your 2010 will be filled with peace, joy, and adventures! All we have is the present, but sometimes the present is the hardest to live with, isn’t it? Shake things up! Time leaves us whether we do something with it or not.

  2. Well, I was kinda like this putting the decorations UP. I am considering not taking them down just to avoid the headache!

  3. “Cause I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all”. I understand the numbness, if that’s what you are talking about. The season this year was all blah for me, and I don’t know about you but I would have gladly preferred to be sad or angry or something instead of just “I don’t care”.

    BTW my vote is that if you are not feeling the holidays you don’t put stuff up, period.

  4. I’m leaving the decorations up for awhile, since I was gone between Xmas and New Years and didn’t get to enjoy them as much as I wanted.

    Back in Cali in May…Bay to Breakers, baby!

  5. Are you a cyborg? Just kidding!

    I was frustrated taking down my decorations, too. It seemed like it took 5x as long to put them away as it did to get them out. I didn’t feel super sad, just like it had all passed by too fast.

    I’m impressed you even take the time to decorate. I think that can be rare for a bachelor.

  6. I really don’t understand why you are single. Maybe you have uncontrollable gas. That’s it, isn’t it? Uncontrollable farting. Tooting.

    In my family we joke that Christmas should only happen every other year. It’s very exhausting being so damned jolly isn’t it? I think life is stressful enough trying to feel slightly better-than-normal, and there’s a lot of pressure to be this super-human that does everything with a christmas carol to boot.

    So umm..yeah I like to talk about global warming too, but I totally thought you were talking about Deadpool, marvel comic character, and not the future of water in the west 🙂

  7. […] about WARM, I was reading Geekhiker’s blog again. I was soo disappointed to learn that he was reading Dead Pool, some smart book about global […]

  8. Christmas was a little muted around our house. All the indoor decorations are put away. The outdoor stuff, well let’s just say that the lights are frozen to the gutter … literally. Not 6to mention the balls that fell off my oak tree and are now buried in a couple feet of snow (this amount is increasing as I post).

    It may take awhile … like Spring.

  9. k made a good point about having someone to share the holidays with. i think you need to move to the east coast. seriously, i don’t know any single guys but plenty of single women. i hear it’s the opposite on the west coast. perhaps we can exchange apartments for a six-month trial and see what happens.

  10. To follow up on blakspring, EVERYBODY’s crabby ALL THE TIME (and no, I’m not in the least exaggerating) on the east coast—at least in the northeast.

    And New Yorkers are downright suspicious of happiness. So. . . there.

    Or you could just get that dog. Critters and ornaments go together oh-so-well.

    And nothing like a puppy to attract all kinds of people—including, I hear on good (um, my) authority, women!

  11. no no that’s not true – everybody is not crabby all the time on the east coast. suspicious of happiness? perhaps some of the jaded hipsters but i stay away from those. i do agree about dogs being chick magnets 🙂

  12. I don’t know. We’re a pretty crabby bunch over here. But not all the time. Somewhere in between. I’m kinda crabby today.

    I’ve also never particularly felt more attracted to someone because he had a dog. But it must be true to SOME extent, since there’s a movie called “Must Love Dogs”

  13. yeah, okay, I’m so not in your league … I read “Deadpool” and thought it was a Dirty Harry Book … LOL … I know, I’m a dork!

    I’m thinking I’m gonna leave the tree up. Such a pain the arse to take it down and put it up again. So nice that this tree is only 2-3 ft tall. Plus it has airplane ornaments on it … so .. you know, it could be a year round tree.

    • ha! my neighbor has one of those on her front porch; in the spring she decorates for easter, summer is patriotic-themed…you get the idea.

      I’m always eager to put up decorations, but remove them in stages. Overtly Xmas (tree, tinsel, mistletoe) comes down 1st, lights are last. After all the lights could be considered ambient, no? Wait a min… isn’t lunar new year just around the corner? That’s it. The lights are early decoration for the next holiday =)

  14. K – Yeah, sorry ‘bout your plane troubles. You may be right about the sharing thing, but I guess there’s no point in dwelling upon it. Thanks for the holiday wishes!

    Spleeness – Yeah, but they’d look kinda weird by July!

    Narami – I would describe the feeling less as “numbness” and closer to “boredom”, though neither term is really right. I do agree a little emotion would be nice. Maybe that’s why I did put stuff up anyway!

    Hebba – Hmmm, I wonder if I can be in SF by May?

    MelHeth – You’re not the first to ask. 😉 As for being a bachelor decorator, hm. Not sure what to say to that!

    MissMcCracken – As far as I know I don’t have that… and I gave up on being superhuman a long time ago!

    Homer-Dog – It has been a bit cold back there, eh? And you did put up your big balls! 😉

    BlakSpring – That is appealing since, given your situation, isn’t your rent super-discounted?

    AbsurdBeats – Get this: it’s harder to have a dog in L.A. than in NYC. Strange, but true.

    BlakSpring – I do have to say, the east coast reputation for crabbiness is well known… 😉

    MissMcCracken – LOL

    Dobegil – I’m assuming it’s a fake tree, and that you’re not planning to leave a dead tree in the living room!

  15. it would match the dead houseplants

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