now the aspirin has kicked in and, as everyone returns to the post-holiday workaday routine, reality is beginning to ooze back into the social consciousness.
Boxing Day (or "Boxing Week") sales have left their impact on our pocketbooks and bank cards. End-of-year and New Year's Eve celebrations have run their course.
Christmas is once again something to look forward to months down the road.
All the revelry of the past week or so is getting lost in the need to get back at the daily grind and the inevitable cold January weather. All those comfortable thoughts of giving selflessly and joy-to-the-world warmth are beginning to melt under the hot realization that Santa has yet one more round of deliveries to make: the yuletide will soon wash your credit card statements into your mailbox, e or snail.
For many folks, the time to pay the piper is drawing nigh - and the price the piper is demanding may come as a bit (or perhaps a lot) of a shock. Many people will be working hard over the next weeks or months just to catch up with the bills they rang up over the final weeks (or months) of the past year.
The fallout from the upcoming season of bill-paying goes back to some of the selflessness so many of us felt during the preceding season of bill-making.
Many of the people who needed our help to keep the figurative lights shining through the literally darkest part of the year still need our help.
The destitute whom we helped lift out of the morass of economic and emotional need through December will quickly sink back down if we don't continue to help the local food banks and other relief organizations.
This is a cold time of year, not just because the days are short and our part of the Earth is tilted away from the sun.
We've got to try to keep the warmth of Christmas burning a little longer.
Giving will feel just as good today as it did one month ago.