Holidays are great. I get a nice little break in my routine, a chance to stop and see the extended family, an opportunity to stop and assess how I'm doing, and maybe even a little extra rest. Then I go back to my daily life, a little refreshed and with maybe a bit of extra perspective on things.
Or anyway, that's the way it's supposed to work. At least, I assume that the people who claim to really love the holidays have that sort of experience. I don't know, maybe they're just making the whole thing up.
But we just finished the last round of Christmas get-together and present-exchanging yesterday. Counting the family vacation (which started back on the 18th of December), we've been doing Christmas for a full three weeks and then some.
I am officially done with it. I mean yes, in terms of scheduling and finishing all the required activities, we're done. But emotionally, I'm done. I have had enough Christmas to last me the next three years.
That's not to say that it hasn't been enjoyable. A lot of it was completely awesome -- we got to do some really neat things, and had a lot of fun doing them. The boys have gotten to spend a lot of time with their cousins; they've visited other countries; they've seen a real, live magic show. They've been to a beach. Firstborn, who's been developing his Mad Origami Skills for several years, is now fascinated by the idea of folding towels into animal shapes. There were fancy meals and presents from Santa.
It's just that it was the sort of fun that takes a lot of work, and it just kept going. Even fun becomes a sort of ordeal if you don't get a chance to stop and rest. Plus, we could have used some of those vacation days to do other things -- cleaning up the house, for example, or writing, or in my wife's case creating syllabi for this semester's classes -- only it all got eaten up by family visits. Our sleep schedules are completely off; I wound up going to bed an hour and a half later than I'd planned last night, despite the fact that I have work today, because I couldn't get the boys to go to sleep. And that means that tomorrow, when they start school again and we have to get up hideously early, is going to be horrible.
That doesn't mean that I don't want to see the family or that I wish they weren't here. It's been great to see everyone, and watching the cousins play together has been awesome. But, ye gods am I worn out from it.