It was the day before Twixtmas, and all through the house…..
Oh hang on, the day before Twixtmas is Christmas Day, and precisely nobody-except, I imagine, those who are profoundly lonely or whose family are a shower of b******s-spends Christmas Day ruminating on the joys of the next day. After all, we’re all too busy toasting our good fortune and glittering Christmas trees with cheap champagne and stuffing ourselves full of stuffing to think ahead to the cold turkey of Boxing Day and the following days of post-Christmas and pre-New Year lull, which will inevitably be spent in a catatonic nothing-slump of endless replays of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and leftover parsnips. Or are we? In recent years, I have grown to love the quiet shimmer of Romjul, as the Nordics (always good for a sit in front of the fire with some natty knits and a glass of something strong and bracing) call it, or Twixtmas, as I prefer to say, as surely the name needs to reflect the sheer volume of chocolate that is inevitably being eaten. Maybe it’s Instagram that has nurtured this love in me, and looking at the sepia-hued images of other people’s children obediently enjoying board games and extravagant hot chocolates, snugly holed up on the sofa after a day spent out enjoying the fresh December air. Or maybe I just love being off work. Who doesn’t? Anyway, if you are at a loose end this Twixtmas, here are some tips on how to fill the seemingly endless languid winter days. You’re welcome.
- Write your New Year’s Resolutions. Over the years mine have ranged from the Bridget Jones-esque “find a boyfriend” to the hopelessly vague “be more confident,” to the overly-ambitious “become a superstar blogger,” and almost all are still unfulfilled. This hasn’t stopped me though, and this year I have decided to “learn to drive.” Again. At least it has a clear success criteria.
- Take long walks in the countryside/forest/park. There is nothing that says “30th December” like a brisk walk through a country park, preferably one involving a half decent coffee.
- Go to the sales. Christmas decorations are now all half price, for those already contemplating next year’s theme (that would be me). Panic buy six hundred warm white lights in a bid to place a more convincing entry in next year’s Battle of The Outdoor Lights.
- Look at the stuff still under the tree (hello pot pourri and pine cones) for ten days without actually moving it, for fear of spoiling the magic of Christmas.
- Watch every kids’ film ever made and wonder why they’re on at 5pm when they’re all so violent. Consider that maybe a dose of realism, courtesy of the baddie-vanquishing scenes in Harry Potter, Back to the Future, etc, might be preparing Piglet, aged three, for the terrible world in which he is growing up and grow morose about the state of said world and end up feeling horribly depressed whilst googling “chances of World War 3 breaking out in 2018.”
- Make the best of the Christmas leftovers by eating self into cheese-induced coma many times over, experimenting with new cocktails involving sherry and Bailey’s and wondering if it is acceptable to use up the chestnut puree in the fridge by making another cake, when there is still a slowly decaying Christmas cake sat on the countertop that will doubtless be there until May.
- Spend hours puzzling over how to put together various Christmas presents including my very own leaf blower (successful maiden blowing and shredding mission accomplished just this morning! Hooray!) and Piglet’s train set (surely pointless to even try assembling in correct order due to his tendency to disassemble rapidly at every opportunity).
- Do all those little jobs that there is never normally time to do; put photos in frames, go to hairdresser…anything other than the usual standard weekend fare of sitting in cafes drinking coffee, for alas, the cafes are all closed.
- Spend the usual anxious hours trundling through the Guardian website, breathing a continuous sigh of relief that even though grim events are still happening, at least Donald Trump is on holiday, then realise that Twitter never sleeps, and Trump is always on holiday anyway.
- And finally, realise at least once each day that things are really pretty good, the family are around, we are all in good health (the occasional bout of flu excepted) and I’M STILL NOT BACK AT WORK. Happy Twixtmas, everyone.