It’s the Saturday/Sunday of the new year I hate the most – I call it “Goodbye Weekend.” It always happens the first, full weekend after the New Year holiday.
Goodbye Weekend sneaks up on you; you barely notice it’s happening but there are signs:
That bowl that sits on your co-worker’s desk, you know, the bowl that has been filled with foil-wrapped chocolate kisses for the last three or four weeks? It’s gone…
- Even though days are getting longer now, it’s still dark as you drive home from work. Remember the street you loved to drive home on, the one where every house has a holiday light display and more Santa/Grinch/Snowglobe inflatables than a home improvement megastore? That street is dark now, illuminated only by street lights.
- You drop off your recycling, you know, at the big dumpster provided by the city and it’s filled with loads of empty champagne, beer and wine bottles. Usually you are happy just to see a few recycled laundry detergent jugs there, but now? All these empty bottles tug at your heart…
- Those hedges lining the streets? You know, the ones you “…don’t remember from before?” Well, good reason. Those are all “real” Christmas tree carcasses – fragrant and tinsel-covered last week, now dry, brittle and naked, cast out of family and living rooms.
- Your appointment calendar, which has been filled for the past month with this lunch or that dinner date, a party here or a performance of The Nutcracker there, now only has two entries for the entire month – an oil change/tire rotation and your twice-yearly dental check-up.
Yes, it is Goodbye Weekend, and it never gets any easier for me. You must understand, I LOVE Christmas! And – if it’s even possible – I am in love with the one person on the planet that loves Christmas more than me. And together, that person (my Martin) and I steadfastly cling to Christmas for as long as we can.
We leave our tree up until almost Valentine’s Day (no kidding!) We burn candles with names like Home for the Holidays and Christmas Evergreens until no soy wax is left. I even still have a GLEE! Christmas album in our car CD player.
Yet, none of that can prepare you for a sight like this:
Blister packs of bite-sized Red Velvet Cupcakes as well as tiny Red Velvet Cookies, just stacked carelessly by the check-outs, marked down to $.99 (they were $5 last week!). It all makes me a bit sad. I hate goodbyes, and I hate Goodbye Weekend.
I think I will go pour myself the last glass of rich, creamy custard-style holiday nog, pop-in our Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer DVD and cuddle with my beloved under our snowflake print blanket and forget about Goodbye Weekend.
Maybe I have the answer – instead of the typical “Christmas Calendar” that counts down the twenty-five days of December till the big day, I’ll invent one that starts counting down on 01 January each year…