The presents are unwrapped, the stockings are emptied, and radio stations playing Christmas music 24 hours a day have gone back to their regular format.

Once Christmas Day comes and goes, it’s not uncommon for the red and green color scheme of the season to give way to another color — blue.

Post-holiday doldrums are not an uncommon feeling for most people, according to psychologist Minor Gordon of Claremore.

“It’s always interesting,” Gordon said, “Around the first of December — certainly by the middle of the month — my phone stops ringing, and people start canceling their appointments.

“But after the holidays, though, there’s a flood of calls — people are avoiding their issues because they want to enjoy the holidays,” he said. “Their problems are still there, though, and can even feel worse after the Christmas because people have avoided them during the holiday.”

Gordon said oftentimes, the post-Christmas funk comes from high expectations of the holidays, which are rarely met.

“The (high) expectations versus the reality of what the holidays are tends to disappoint people,” he said. “They anticipate this wonderful, idealistic Christmas and, when it doesn’t happen the way they expect it to, they feel let down by it.

“It’s like if you were going to Disneyland and you were 10 years old — you wouldn't mind the hour-long wait to get on a five-minute ride so much because of the joy you'd feel during those five minutes — that anticipation is met, but when people as adults have got those kind of expectations about the holidays and they’re not met, they can feel let down, sad ... even angry because of it," Gordon said. "Keeping the expectations more down to Earth are a huge help in preventing that, but many people allow themselves to be unrealistic in what they’re expecting from the holidays anyway.”

Other factors contributing to “post-holiday blues” can be financial issues from overspending during Christmas, the sudden drop in activity or excitement, and even the shorter days/longer nights that accompany the cold winter season.

“In temperature extremes — hot or cold — people don’t get out nearly as much. As such, they don’t have as much interaction with other people,” he said. “When temperatures are more moderate however, people get out more, talk to other people more, and have more opportunity to express their feelings to one another — that’s a healthy way that we all express our feelings. Talking to another person can be tremendously cathartic, particularly when you're going through an emotionally troubling time.”

Ultimately, people experiencing “post-holiday blues” should keep in mind that the feeling is relatively common and should pass as life's routines return to normal, Gordon said.

“Generally, the dip in mood passes after the first of the New Year,” Gordon said. “For the most part, people can do something to take their minds off themselves — helping others is something I’d recommend, or expressing their feelings to a relative or close friend. If they continue to feel sad or restless, though, they shouldn’t be afraid to seek help from a professional (therapist) to understand their feelings.”