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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager - Prince2 Qualified

£42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Horsham...

SEN Teacher

£110 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently seeking a ...

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

Training/Learning and Development Coordinator -London

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The daily catch-up: Joe on Vlad, banks of the Jordan and Blair's radicalism

John Rentoul
 

Believe me, I said, there’s nothing rural about this urban borough’s attempt at a country fair

John Walsh
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor