Call it the lost week.
The seven days between Christmas and New Years Day must surely be the most difficult week of all to get anything accomplished.
Lots of folks return to work the day or two after Christmas staggering under the weight of too much Christmas candy and too much travel to visit relatives.
Much of the time is spent chatting with colleagues about the holiday just past or talking about plans to celebrate the coming new year.
The pile of work on the desk or the work orders in the basket on the front desk look like something foreign to us.
It’s even worse for people with school-age children. Even though you’ve had to get up for work, the children are stuffed comfortably in bed with still six or seven hours left to sleep before they emerge from their holiday hibernation.
And for those of you who have a spouse with a more liberal holiday schedule, well, it just doesn’t get any worse.
So, if you’re one of those who had to trudge off to work this week while the rest of your family lounged around the house in their pajamas, here’s a little of what you should expect when you come home at the end of the day.
• Supper should be on the table. As you walk in the door, your spouse or one of the children should be pulling the main dish out of the oven to place in the center of an already-set table, drinks served and silverware set in its proper place, not on top of napkins placed in the center of your eating plate. The meal should include a healthy dose of foods you really like and haven’t had in a long time.
• You should be able to see the living room floor. After a Christmas holiday filled with gift-unwrapping and little shards of wrapping paper and big balls of wrapping paper strewn all over the floor, there’s often no energy on Christmas Day to actually clean up that mess. People are too busy playing with their new toys (or watching NBA basketball games) to actually consider cleaning. So everyone goes to sleep on Christmas night with a living room that looks like a genuine disaster area. But you shouldn’t have to see that when you come home from a day of avoiding work at the office. No. The living room should be returned to some sense of normalcy (yes, the big ol’ Christmas tree is probably still looming over in the corner daring you to take it down, but otherwise...)
• That ugly sweater from Aunt Louise should be exchanged for something you really wanted. A person can only tolerate so many reindeer sweaters. You’ve already have to suffer through the ignominy of unwrapping that thing and smiling at Aunt Louise while you tell her how cute that is and how you can’t wait to wear it to next year’s office party. But since Aunt Louise doesn’t work with you, she’ll never know you traded it in for two tickets to Lincoln (or one-fifth of a ticket to see the Rolling Stones in concert). After all, your family has plenty of time to take care of such trivial matters for you since they’ve long grown disinterested in the gifts Santa left for them earlier in the week.
Good luck with all that. I’d love to hear from the lucky person who actually experiences anything like this.