Like a Bad Sequel to a Good Movie

If Christmas is a cult-classic film with snappy dialogue and an all-star cast, December 26th is its terribly written, D-list sequel; something akin to Mean Girls and Mean Girls 2. Picture it this way: the 25th is Christmas and the 26th is Christmas 2: Return of the Ugly Sweaters Your Grandma Thought You'd Like. That being said, below are my personal guidelines for navigating the dreariness that follows the most festive day of the Christian calendar.

If you're going to venture out clutching your steering wheel in one hand and Macy's receipts in the other, I advise you to drive carefully, remember in which section of the parking lot you left your car, and take deep breaths as you push through the throngs of traffic both on the roads and in your local mall. Unfortunately, many people will only rest their credit card swiping arm on major holidays, so that means tomorrow those shoppers will be back at it again.* So in short my advice if you're planning on joining them: just don't. Those ill-fitting clothes and ugly knick-knacks will be just as unfortunate in 2014, so just wait until then. As long as you adhere to those return policies, you'll be fine.

Okay, so you really want to return those items tomorrow? You just want to get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of your winter break? Fine, fine, I hear you. I guess if you have to take your gifts back and use up the gift cards from your less inventive relatives on the 26th, listen up: be nice to retail employees. As one of them, I guarantee you will make our day exponentially better if you aren't difficult. We're people just like you, people who don't appreciate being yelled at when we explain store policies we have no jurisdiction over. Especially those of us just hired on for the holiday season. We're thrown into these jobs with limited knowledge just hoping to grab a paycheck while we're home from college. "But Lauren", I can hear you asking, "how do I tell the difference between seasonal employees and regular workers? How do I know which ones to be extra nice to?" Well, generally temporary employees are much more disheveled and sweaty, but if those sensory hints are apparent to you, just go with this rule of thumb: be extra nice to every retail employee. Can you tell I have a 9:00 pm-1:00 am shift tomorrow that I'm a little bitter about?

Anyway, if you're sane and don't want to shop just yet, with your head still reeling from the major damage the holidays did to your bank balance, I have ideas for you, too. Firstly, sleep in for as long as you possibly can. There's a chance you might've been too antsy to sleep in this morning, but the Christmas magic is dead now, at least for the next year, so there's nothing to look forward to! Sleep, for the love of God! Once you've finally risen, take a hot shower and put on makeup if you fancy. While you still can, use as much glitter eye shadow and red lipstick as your face can hold: once we ring in the New Year, you'll go from looking festive to looking like a jolly hooker, so y'know. Anyway, now that you're all doodied up for the day, see the people you wanted to hang out with yesterday but couldn't because of family obligations. Trust me, before my shift from Hell tomorrow, I'm spending some quality time with my friends; I imagine we'll spend a few hours comparing crazy relative stories and eating discounted Christmas candy. Oh! That reminds me! Go to your local CVS or grocery store and purchase discounted marshmallow Santas and chocolate Christmas trees. Your resolution to be healthy doesn't start until January, so you might as well live it up while you can...and then once we roll into March and going to the gym started to be "too hard", feel free to binge eat for the two months you were off the fatass wagon.

And thus concludes my guide for December 26th. I hope you all had wonderful Christmases, if you celebrate; otherwise I hope you had a nice average day. I'm excited to see where this project goes in the new year, and I hope you'll stick around to find out.

*Sidenote: if in some alternate universe the mall was open on Christmas Day, I guarantee people would turn up. I think this is a terrible idea and thus we should never test this hypothesis, but it certainly is an interesting thought to ponder.


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