The Big Pause

family walking in the countryside

Having survived the festivities, this week Liz Dawes attempts to do something useful with those odd few days between Christmas and New Year

So that’s it for another year – and we survived!  We’ve celebrated, caroused and carolled; stuffed, slurped and scoffed.  All achieved whilst (more or less) avoiding bankruptcy, liver failure and the next big family feud.  Good job!

Next up is the last Hurrah – that bit where we force ourselves to have a joyous time because it’s New Year’s Eve.  There MUST be a tiny bit of magic left somewhere - if only we can drag our sorry selves off the sofa and into a spangly frock.

Until then, though, there’s this funny little pause.  Those few not-Christmas, not New-Year-either days.  It’s that odd little part between two far more interesting parts.  You’re supposed to enjoy them but in truth have no idea how.  I like to think of it as a sort of seasonal perineum.  Good mental image?  You’re welcome.

Despite the fact that it’s several days long, it’s tough to make this slot productive.  Under normal circumstances most of us would kill for time to get stuff done, so I suspect it’s because we’re so punch-drunk from the turkey-booze-present-chocolate fest, that it really is impossible to engage one’s brain, much less body, in doing anything at all.

This year, however, I’m determined to buck the trend, so here are my top five things for the Crimbo-Limbo:

1.    Go shopping! 
I always avoid the sales (BEYOND awful), but regret it later when paying full price for something I knew I actually needed.  Online deals abound at the moment, so even if you’re feeling shopped out, it’s worth a look. From the safety of your sofa you can finally get that new TV/breadmaker/juicer you’ve been after at bargain prices (no no, those were random examples, not a list of things I’m coveting…)

2.    Go for a walk
My Christmases are so slothful that frankly the crawl from sofa to kitchen seems long.  This year I’m determined to stir my stumps and shake the apathy.  With age, weight seems easy-come, bloody-hard-go, so here goes some good walks (to the nearest gastro pub with roaring fire and vino).

3.    Tackle one stale list-item
I know, I know.  Could there be a more depressing suggestion?  Maybe it’s filing, maybe it’s old photographs, perhaps it’s dealing with a disputed bill or finally getting the dishwasher fixed.  Whatever’s going stale on YOUR list, just do it!  For me it’s the tax return.  We all know the end of January is coming, and as the clock ticks towards midnight on 31st, I’m usually found frantically searching for receipts. I’ll be smug and relieved if I get a bit ahead this year.

4.    Permission to read
I always feel a bit guilty sitting down with a book.  It feels like I’m ‘wasting’ time that should be used for something worthy.  Sod it.  I’m finding one I really like, then will read it, cover to cover, with not one soupcon of guilt.

5.    Do something fun
After all the family commitments, it’s fun-time for me.  With BF’s birthday between Christmas and New Year, I’ll find something nice for us to see/do together, then maybe dinner out.  It could be as simple as visiting a gallery, museum or the cinema - whatever takes your fancy.  It’ll be less crowded now, and you deserve a treat.

Enjoy your odd little middle bit, and I’ll see you all in the New Year!