Outside of the In-Crowd – Coming down from the Christmas crack-high

Courtney Enlow

Courtney Enlow

Well, my friends, another Christmas has come and gone. Cookies have been eaten, ham has been consumed and the now-annual feeling that I didn’t listen to nearly enough Christmas music has set in.

So what now?

As I’ve told you before, Christmas is a long process for me. A typically two month extravaganza of film, food and music prominently featuring the sounds of bells. However, this year’s holiday could not be enjoyed as much as I’d have liked. As I mentioned a few weeks back, I was recently alerted that my real-life job, the thing I do which gives my end-tag the “corporate shill” part, no longer exists. So my Christmas season consisted largely of panic-induced trips to CraigsList and Career Builder, desperately searching for anything that will save me from my near future as a financial assistant, a destiny that has caused countless nightmares and jolted sweat-dripping awakenings.

So you can gather that Santa didn’t exactly fill me with the magic he normally does.

Despite the circumstances that lead to my lessened holiday joy, the fact is that I am an addict. And nothing can change the fact that the crack of Christmas (to hence be referred to as “Christ-meth”) has lead to some pretty serious withdrawals already, leading nicely into the year-end nostalgies.

This Y.E.N. that I speak of is a very technical and scientific phenomenon, wherein one spends all of December thinking “Wow, this year sucked. Is it over yet?” and then upon watching/reading various year-end lists and specials, one realizes exactly how much good stuff happened in the past 12 months and does the classic “Aww. Good times.” One of the most common side effects of this condition is The Time Warp. Ex: “Wait, Britney only flipped out this past spring? Really? I could have sworn that was like a year ago. Huh.”

It’s true. I even had a party in her honor. A party I could have sworn was last year, but a quick trip to Facebook shows that the pictures are in fact from 2008. Good times.

Another post-Christmas/pre-New Year condition? Actual illness. Statistic I just made up but is probably totally factual: one in every four people will get some kind of severe cold or flu starting December 26th and lasting until December 30th. Truth. Last year it was a stomach situation that I don’t want to talk about, but let’s just say I lost six pounds. Good times. This year, it’s a sore throaty sniffly sneezy situation with some unrelated joint pain from sleeping on a twin bed at my parents’ house and some mild lactose intolerance flare-ups from the multiple cheese-based dishes at various Christmas soirĂ©es. Not as glamorous, but it got the job done nicely. I’ll give it a 7.

Of course the coming down period is not all sad nostalgia and frequent cramps and nausea. There’s some definite upsides. My personal favorite? TV marathons. The holiday season is a magical time during which television programmers go on vacay and just play marathons every day for a week. USA is pro at this, which is why I’ve been watching nothing but House and avoided the channel like the plague on Saturday (NCIS marathon-day. Luckily TLC was rocking What Not To Wear for eight straight hours, so I was covered.)

Another plus? New toys, obviously. As you get older, the number of presents decreases but the quality becomes magical. New DVDs, new books and, my personal favorite, new shit you don’t want and are totally returning the second Best Buy opens tomorrow. Magic.

I’ve got a theory that the unwanted present is like a more thoughtful gift card. I can’t decry such genius. My digital picture frame is about to become Doctor Who Season 4. Brilliance.

All in all? A fairly decent yule-time. Sure there are a few things I still want. A couple more pairs of Chuck Taylors, a new job, the uszhe. But I cleaned up pretty good, speaking gift-wise and comfort-and-joy-wise. I’ve got no complaints.

Except for the lactose intolerance. Yecch.

Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at courtney@hobotrashcan.com.

  1. CourtsDad December 29, 2008
  2. Matthew December 29, 2008
  3. Kelz December 31, 2008

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