The HR Juggler

The Last Ritual

Posted on: January 3, 2011

Like so many others, I return to work tomorrow after a long Christmas break.  Whilst taking down the Christmas decorations earlier, it occurred to me that there are as many post-Christmas rituals as there are pre-Christmas ones, and whilst many of them will be personal and different for each of us, there are others that are common to us all.

For my family, our post-Christmas rituals include a seemingly endless string of visits to family and friends between Christmas and New Year, many of whom we see very infrequently.  It is a wonderful chance to catch up, share stories, wonder at how much our own and each others’ children have grown and eat far too much.  As well as celebrating New Year, we have the excitement and giddiness of my twin daughters’ birthday on the 2nd January, which this year included a party lunch and more presents than any 5 year old could dream of.  Today has been about thank you cards, taking down the Christmas decorations and buying a travelcard in preparation for work tomorrow.

Am I dreading the return to work? No. I will miss the lie-ins, time with my family and enjoyably slow and relaxed pace of life.  I also know that when I am in the office tomorrow, I will temporarily feel like I have forgotten everything I ever knew!  But I do feel refreshed and re-grounded.  And I also see this as the last communal ritual of post-Christmas; people pulling themselves out of the Christmas and New Year cocoon back into work, blinking from the bright light and sharing, albeit fleetingly much more of their ‘personal’ and ‘home’ self than they would ever usually do.

For all those returning to work tomorrow, whether it is physically commuting or simply reverting to what my Mum always cheerfully terms ‘back to the old routine’ …I wish you well!

3 Responses to "The Last Ritual"

Well put, Alison. Our post Christmas routine is very hectic too – catching up with more distant friends and family. I like those moments in the workplace when colleagues show a bit more of their ‘other’ selves – you get a much better sense of who they are.

I so agree, you’ve summed it up well. I feel grateful not to ‘dread’ going back to work, no matter how tough it has been to un-cocoon myself this morning!

Thanks both, I must admit I am just as slow (if not slower!) than expected today, but at least everyone else is too 🙂

Happy New Year to you

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