How to Handle The Post-Holiday Meltdown


Brace yourselves, the holidays are coming.

The day after Halloween this year was a train wreck. One where bystanders can see the desperate attempts of the train conductor trying to stop the hurtling force towards a car on the tracks, waving frantically and screaming as the driver of the car scrolls Instagram. Finally, she finds the cutest photo from last night to post, then BOOM. Enter the post-holiday meltdown.

That was me. I’m that driver, oblivious, about to be checked back to reality. Hard.

post-holiday meltdown so have a reset day insteadThe Post-Holiday Meltdown

My toddler is lying on the floor of a bespoke jewelry store, screaming at the top of his lungs, and everyone is staring.

Why didn’t I see the warning signs that the post-holiday meltdown was coming?! Could it have been the over-tired, glazed eyes when I picked him up from school, the requests for more Halloween candy immediately after getting buckled in the car, not to mention the fact that we went to bed two to three hours later than usual post-trick-or-treat.

Maybe I deserved it.

Maybe spending forty-five minutes getting a celebratory custom bracelet made (my mom just finished her last breast cancer radiation treatment!) was never going to work, regardless of the sugar crash the day after Halloween.

Either way. I have learned my lesson. Thus from now on, I declare every post-holiday day as… RESET DAY.

Reset Day will include the following:

  1. Extremely low expectations:
    No important shopping trips to be planned. Forget returns, or super sales, not happening.

  2. Preparation, and lots of explanation:
    “No it’s not Halloween anymore.”
    “Why? I don’t know.”
    “It IS sad.”
    “It’s okay to feel sad.”
    “There are 55 more days until Christmas.”
    “There are 364 more days until next Halloween”

  1. Grace:
    Grace for all the parents and caregivers who will be having these conversations, and working tirelessly to fend off the post-holiday meltdown. Grace, for the people working who have to figure out what to do when they witness these interactions, from toddler and grown-ups alike. All-around grace.

After all, I know I’m even a little bummed post-holiday magic. I just don’t get to scream, “THIS IS THE WORST DAY I’VE EVER HAD!” in public. But maybe we would all feel better if we could?! Let’s all remember to just breathe.