If you’re reading this then you’ve survived the madness of the festive season and the hangover of Boxing Day, so well done you!
It’s no mean feat, especially if you got through it without doubling your body weight or quietly burying your extended family under the patio.
And now there’s that funny thing that happens in the middle. You’re over Christmas, but it isn’t the New Year. It’s that odd little part between two far more interesting parts, that everyone is supposed to enjoy but no one really knows what to do with. It sits there, winking at you, provoking a deep seated feeling that you are surely supposed to be doing something useful or fun with it, although you have not the first clue what that might be.
I like to think of it as the seasonal perineum.
It is a strange time of year. Everything goes into slow motion as we sit, waiting for the next big celebration to arrive. The anticipation is stupefying, but quite why is a mystery. I don’t mind a good Hogmanay, but do I find it so exciting that I simply cannot function for five days beforehand? Alas I do not.
So why is it so hard to make use of this time? It’s the perfect opportunity to get stuff done. At any other time of year you’d be delighted to have a few spare days. You’d fill them with chores and good deeds - the potential list is endless. Make curries and stews with the left-over meat. Clear out the kids’ bedrooms to make room for their newest presents. Write thank you letters. Complete your tax return. Dig up your extended family and apologise profusely. But somehow we cannot manage any of this. We are in a sweaty post-binging slumber; hardly the state in which to become tediously efficient.
I justify this slothful lounging every year by pretending that I am resting and recovering from the hectic whirlwind of December but this is of course nonsense. I’m just doing sod all because I can’t face leaving the house. Just one day of not going out and I suddenly feel like opening the front door is a mountainous task that I may never overcome. What energy I do have is being stored for New Year’s Eve. That final fling of forced zeal and desperate consumption before the reality of a sober and poverty-stricken January hits home. God how depressing. It’s no wonder I can’t bloody do anything.
And of course if you still need an excuse for wasting this valuable time, turn to the elements. The weather is a cold, grizzly affair and the most you’ll ever manage is to curl up on the sofa in your ill-advised Christmas Onesie with a box set of the new Sherlock Holmes and the left over chocolates. Go on. You know you want to.