1) Taking Down The Christmas Tree (And Other Decorations): this is one of the saddest activities I have ever experienced. Seriously. It's rubbing your face in the fact that all the holiday happiness and cheer is over. Also, there's a mostly dead naked tree in your living room, reminding you that you took an innocent green life just to provide yourself with a few weeks of enjoyment. So very selfish. And then I have to tote everything back up to the attic which is a very dark and cold undertaking in my case since the attic does not have heat or electric. And don't even get me started on the grief caused by tossing the poor tree out to the curb. Or, even worse, driving it to the tree drop-off and abandoning it. When I was a child, my parents handled this depressing task. I would just wake up on New Year's Day and the Christmas tree would be gone. It was a seamless introduction back into the post-Christmas world. Now I have to personally deal with disheartening chore and it sucks.
2) Party Aftermath: whether you are attending a party or hosting a party, there is always some sort of cleanup involved. If you are hosting that party yourself, God help you. I've hosted one big party and one picnic so far in my years of home ownership and it was awful. I was too tried to deal with the mess before I went to bed, but waking up to find your property strewn with cups and plates and bottles and leftover food was not anywhere near worth the extra sleep I had awarded myself. But even if you go to someone else's party, there's still crap you've got to do when the part is over. Here, have an example. Chris and I spent New Year's Eve at party with our friends, as NYE ought to be spent. Unfortunately, I came down with a terrible migraine very earl on and ended up falling asleep on the floor before the ball dropped. When our designated driver (thanks Dustin!) woke me up to go home at 3:30 am, all I wanted to do was leave. Unfortunately, I first had to gather up the gifts we'd received that evening, dispose of the trash I had created before I had fallen asleep, pack up our crock pot, collect all of the other miscellaneous dishes we had brought along, and carry them all out to the car. Then, when we got home, I had to carry them back into the house, dump out the leftover food, and set the crock pot to soak in the sink before I could actually just go to sleep. I wanted to weep for the horror of it. When I was a child, I went to parties unladen. When it was time to leave, I simply put on my coat and got into the car. When we got home, I went to bed without a single thought for all the cleanup. Alternately, when we had parties, I just enjoyed them and then went to bed. When I got up the next morning, everything was as it had been, with no leftover party residue. It wasn't that I assumed it just took care of itself, it's just that I never even thought of it at all. Having to face the realities of parties is terrible. It takes almost all the fun out of them.
3) Going To Work Between Christmas And New Year's Day: when I was a child, we had Christmas (or, more politically correct, Winter) Break. You probably did too. That marvelous week off of school to enjoy the holidays while they were happening. As an adult, I don't have that. On the day after Christmas I have to get up and go back to work. It's a terrible shock, after all the nostalgic feelings of Christmas day, to be violently reminded in such a way that I am an adult now and all the happiness of childhood is behind me. And it's always such a terrible, busy week at work, too... Nothing like looming deadlines to kill whatever holiday cheer you have left.