“Left-overs?  Don’t talk about the left-overs!  Are you kidding me?  Left-overs?”  I feel like Jim Mora and the playoffs!  The thing about the holidays is that there’s always left-overs when all is said and done.  And it ain’t just the food that hangs around too long! 

See, you can have left-over holiday guests that just won’t leave.  What?  Your sister Becky from Buffalo is here with her 5 kids under the age of 10 and there’s no flights back to New York because of the blizzarding?  It’s not like you don’t like her and it’s not like you weren’t happy to see her when she arrived 7 flipping days ago, but right now it’s feeling a little like Cousin Eddie and his tenement on wheels.  You’d rent pack mules, sled dogs, or a Roman chariot to get her kids back in their own beds and out of your TV room!

With house guests also come the proverbial left-over emotional baggage.  Oh yeah, I know it’s true.  Don’t tell me it hasn’t crossed your mind more than once that Aunt Ginny thought you could use a haircut and Grandma Rose thought your mashed potatoes were a little runny.  You know if you’d just cook more often for those kids of yours, they’d be a lot better off.  Spending all that time at your job and running around to soccer fields for games is no way to bring up a child.  Didn’t her daughter teach you any better?  Never mind the fact that you’ve been concerned about your sister, Tammy, since she was yanked out of your house but that trashy-ass-scumbag-moocher she calls a live-in boyfriend because he’s too damn lazy, poor, and mean to actually make her his wife.  And if you weren’t so damn thankful for that, you’d be even more pissed! But as it is, you just worry she might get knocked up before you can save her from herself.  Then again, I’m sure I’m completely off the mark.  This never happens in your family, right?  No left-over worries there, huh?  Well, goody-goody gumdrops for you, you lucky bastard!

Of course, the most obvious left-overs are food.  Now, some people like left-overs.  They eat ‘em up!  They love making fried ham and cheese sandwiches, ham loaf, ham balls (yes, I said “balls”), ham-stuffed turducken or even the ever-famous green eggs and ham.  But others – well, they just stare inside their fridge, shaking their heads, and pondering why they can’t see to the back of the fridge for the first time in months.  Why don’t they just give them to Uncle Steve, the bachelor who does the smell test but eats anything not an already-furry-green or moving?  Can’t answer that, other than to say it’s pure denial that they’re too spoiled to eat leftovers or too overwhelmed with the idea of finding a cover to microwave it for 30 seconds.  Instead, they’d rather leave them in a back corner of the fridge to mold, rot, and stink up the place till at some point there’s the annual chucking of Tupperware too despicable to even take to mom to salvage. 

Yet another leftover that comes with the food is the 10 extra pounds generated from heavy rotational grazing between holiday parties, the house fridge, and the excessive trays of candied products sitting on the tables at work.  Now I’m no rocket scientist, but I’m pretty sure ain’t nobody happy with those remaining pounds.  Seems like the squirrel cheeks blossom on Christmas day and hibernate in the lower rear quarters till mid-June.  Nothing good comes from this kind of leftover.

Or what about all the leftover gifts you really don’t want?  Pack up the kids, the gift receipts, the unwanted crap some of which you can’t even identify and head out into the retail beyond to stand in long lines yet again.  If it wasn’t bad enough before Christmas, there’s nothing like the after-Christmas bitterness trains. So you need to take the icky grandma-looking, gold and orange-red poinsettia sweater back to Bon Worth that Cousin Jane gave you, although you did ponder keeping it for the shear sake of winning next year’s staff ugly holiday sweater contest.  If this sucker wouldn’t win, there must be a whole new level of ugly the likes of which this world has never seen, nor would they want to.  And after Bon Worth, there’s the 4-in-1 butt trimmer/under-sack cleanser sponge/Swiss Army spork/coin purse Uncle Jim gave your husband that he was super-excited about but will obviously leave laying next to his chair or under the bed or in the bathroom next to the toothbrushes.  Not sure whether it would be worse for him to use it and leave it laying around or not use it.  Maybe it’s best it just goes back to the Sharper Image and you get the ridiculously over-priced $150 amount in your pocket instead.

And at the end of the season, I can only wonder why the good things are never leftover?  I mean why is there never leftover alcohol?  Oh, that’s right, because it took every ounce of Bailey’s hidden in your coffee to keep from killing Becky’s kids! 

And why is there never any leftover money?  Oh, was it because you just had to have that new periwinkle blue cashmere sweater that brings out the color of your eyes in hopes of distracting Uncle Jim from telling you that you looked like something his cat Clarence dragged in after a rough night of hunting and prowling for roadkill much like he did last year?  Damn those emotional leftovers!  They even cost money! 

And I guess we can deduce from the endless complaints that the leftover holiday spirit and good will went right out the same door slammed behind Becky’s ass, too! 

But don’t worry.  With all those leftovers looming over your head, at least you’ll have plenty of nagging thoughts to consider when making your New Year’s resolutions!