What to do between Christmas and New Year

There’s no use ‘fighting through the hordes’ only to suffer the ignominy of having your card declined in front of other dead-eyed bargain-hunting animals

Share
Related Topics

Christmas is over. It’s done. The turkey’s empty, the crackers have blown their load, the carol singers have shut their sad little mouths. We’re through. We’re now into the difficult bit. Exhausted, full, and with the fumes of port still emanating from our holes, we now have to survive this awkward period. These few grave days between Christmas and New Year. The perineum.

There’s a certain deflation that hits on the 27th. A rudderlessness. After the euphoria of things like the 25th and the 26th, a gloom has descended. The only interaction we can have with Christmas now is to further consign it to the past. We can bin some more wrapping paper. We can wash up a pot. We can gawp at photos on our iPhones. Father miming Gravity in charades, grandma weeping in front of Strictly, mother punching a neighbour for criticising dinner. We can eat the last of the chocolates on the tree. The last vestiges of Christmas. It is crumbling around us.

As the perineum progresses, so the turkey-based dishes become less and less recognisable as the ‘roasted bird’ that perched on our Christmas table on Wednesday. Here a turkey curry, there a turkey and sprout omelette. Even now my mother is frying up the beak with some chocolate coins for a couple of aunts who still haven’t left. The smell is sweet and nasty. Father continues to clutch on to his Radio Times, circling The Archers and defacing Ant and Dec, but what he’s really clutching at is straws. Are straws, I mean. However you want to say it, it’s a bleak sight.

Of course, there are options in this period. Not having to work for a few more days can be turned into a positive. If you can prise yourself out of the depths of your armchair, there are possibilities. You can, for example, try out your new gloves on a long walk. Waddle past frozen lakes and other gutted humans and end up in some twee village pub for a rural mega-lash. You can find a pantomime and concentrate your pent-up rage into heckling Jet or some other 1990s icon. You can find a quiet corner and knock out some thank-you letters. Other people like to find a project for this empty period. You can build a wall, say. Or organise a rave.

Another popular option at this difficult time is to hit the sales. Polish up the debit card, don the armour and brave the streets. This is not without its problems, of course. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be stony-broke. I’ve just spent the past three weeks generously lavishing gifts on my loved ones – I must have dropped £60 into the venture. I also treated myself to one or two trinkets while Christmas shopping, so the well is dry. There’s no use ‘fighting through the hordes’ only to suffer the ignominy of having your card declined in front of other dead-eyed bargain-hunting animals.

One thought I did have, while devouring a four-inch-thick splice of Yule Log this morning, would be to shift Christmas Day back a few days. Cameron would never have the stones to do it, of course. But if Christmas Day was on the 30th, then we could all wait for the sales on the 26th, buy our loved ones loads of half-price stuff and have a proper Christmas/New Year’s joint blow-out. Cameron’s old school, though, so I expect it will stay where it is.

And so we’re stuck with this bloody gap. I’m sat here, leaning against the tree, my presents all around me, watching Christmas sail sadly into the distance, and squinting onward towards the New Year’s lash, which still seems an eternity away. I’m just surveying my haul again. Fergie’s autobiography. Some mittens.

I might put on the mittens and hold the book for a bit. Anything to kill a bit of time.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum