The After-Christmas Meltdown



When you read the title of this article ‘After-Christmas Meltdown’, it probably isn’t what you think. You may think it means the kids are so tired from waking up early, eating Christmas treats, and being so excited to play with the new toys that they have a meltdown… but actually – I am the one who had the meltdown.

You see, I try to keep my house relatively free of clutter.  But I also don’t want to pester my kids all the time about the cleanliness of their rooms/my living room/the playroom, etc.  I want them to feel at home in their own home.  So in general, I find that as long as I am able to keep the common areas clean, I can close their bedrooms doors and “pretend” that I am not aware of the tornadoes that lie behind them… however, Christmas is a whole different story.

At Christmas, the spill-over from their rooms invades my living room. It seems to multiply and invades every inch of floor space. Plastic toys press forward and claim their territory.  Here you can imagine a stormtrooper fighting his way through the battle.  The toys take on a life of their own.  There is no escape. And it’s not just big toys either; it is all the little parts of all the toys – random puzzle pieces and LEGOs alike. A sea of chaos.

BUT being the cool mom that I am, I try to contain my frustration.  I let them keep bringing out the toys that have already taken over their rooms in addition to the new ones they got from Santa.  Boy, you would think Santa would know better – oh wait, that’s me.

Now, getting back to the meltdown… after a couple of days of trying my best to let them have their fun, I look around at my house – there is so much clutter that I start to feel my heart racing.  That’s when it happens – my after-Christmas meltdown.  I start rushing around the house picking up the mess I had been pretending not to see for the past 3 days.  I mutter under my breath as I get in a full work-out hustling about from room to room.  It is interesting how motivated to clean I get after Christmas when before Christmas I was stepping over the piles of toys to take a nap on the couch.

I am not proud to say that my after-Christmas meltdown isn’t pretty.  The boys usually start pitching in – mostly out of fear.  Once I can finally breathe again, we discuss how we are going to go through all their old toys and donate the ones we don’t need anymore.  We read Berenstain Bears’ Too Much Stuff and I seriously contemplate whether I am a good Santa. Then I vow that next year, we will invest in experiences instead of things. BUT then I remember the look on my boy’s faces when they come out on Christmas morning.  In the back of my head I know I am doomed – I am doomed to repeat the cycle of my after-Christmas meltdown again.  Maybe Santa will bring me a chill pill next year – probably not.

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Things Heather loves: blue skies, green grass, gravel roads and trees rustling in the wind. Heather is a country girl through and through. She grew up on 10 acres of rolling countryside in SE Iowa. Over the course of their marriage, Heather and her husband (Ted) have lived in 3 different states. But, in 2012, when they grew tired of the big, grey city, they moved to Rochester (Ted’s hometown) for some green Minnesota living. Fast forward a few short years and she now has three bustling boys – Everett (2015), Judah (2016) and Monroe (2019). Heather also loves food. Full disclosure - she eats ice cream every night! She is a registered dietitian and is passionate about how she feeds her family. She has had various jobs over the last few years but has recently decided to stay home with her boys full-time. Her goal is to offer her readers with practical tools so they may also feed their families well!