Other years I have experienced a definite "post-Christmas letdown" (if you recognize this Peanuts cartoon). The frenzied preparations, secret-keeping, spending hours in the kitchen creating the perfect feast...and then it's all done in the span of a day, and not even the full 24 hours. It's just - gone. Over. And you're left standing there going "What just happened?"
And then there's the peaceful, beautiful side of the day; maybe you're standing outside looking at the snow-covered ground and feeling just a perfect calm. Maybe you're staring out the window, detaching a little while listening to your friends and family sing. Maybe you're listening to someone reading the Christmas gospel.
But then those feelings of peace and goodwill that Christmas brings kind of dissipate too, after the day itself is over. Not entirely, but some of the intensity is gone. It's the reason that anyone has ever said "Why can't it be Christmas all year long?" because it's not the gifts and the food and the chaos we miss, it's the feelings of love, and just-plain-happy.
There's a particular peace to Christmas Day that you just don't experience the rest of the year, despite all the excitement and noise. But maybe it's supposed to be that way. If we felt those same feelings, had those same experiences day after day, maybe they wouldn't be special anymore.
There's no post-Christmas letdown here, this year. I have a vague sense of something missing, now that it's over. I don't think there is any other day in the year that evokes such emotions. Because along with the "missing" feeling, there's also hope. Excited hope, in the resolve I have to work on Christmas gifts for next year already starting in January. Resolved hope, for the same - so I won't be frantically sewing something-or-other at 11 pm Christmas Eve. And then there's the - I don't know. Just hopeful hope, waiting for that particular peace to come back and surround everyone again. No other day does that.