This is how Christmas goes:
Stage one. Anticipation. It happens earlier and earlier every year but usually from November, where excitement builds and brands release adverts and products to get people into the festive mood.
Stage two. The day itself. People do the Christmassy things they’ve dreamed about for the best part of two months.
Stage three. Betwixtmas, limbo, the festive perineum. Where you do nothing and wait for New Year’s Eve to provide another kick of joy before life returns to normal.
Betwixtmas can be a weird time and you’d be forgiven for feeling a bit stir crazy throughout. But with the right preparation, it can be a relaxing (ish) time.
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Here’s what to do during the period.
Use your turkey leftovers
Even the most ravenous of families will do well to put away even half of the food that is cooked up on Christmas day, meaning you will usually wake up on Boxing Day to the smell of congealing goose fat, brussel sprout farts, and a fridge bursting with turkey.
Food waste is a big no, but repeating increasingly stale versions of Christmas dinner ad infinitum is no fun either.
So cue the turkey sandwiches, turkey soups, turkey stews, turkey absolutely anything, until you start clucking.
And turkey won’t be the only thing on the menu. Yes, it is the one week of the year where it becomes socially acceptable and advisable (maybe) to eat chocolate oranges for breakfast, tree decorations for lunch, and chocolate coins for dinner.
Do a family activity
The best laid plans often go awry so unless your family is as Waspy as it gets, it’s unlikely you will manage to get down to the theatre, a gallery, or even for a walk during the festive lull but you will talk about it and think about it because that’s what the festive season is all about.
Hit the sales
Capitalists and consumerists, it is time to prepare for the Boxing Day sales in which people leg it down the high street looking for a cheap TV or a new pair of shoes, despite probably receiving gifts merely the day before.
Try not to fight with your family
Last year, families were torn apart and forced to spend Christmas separated as the Alpha variant of coronavirus ripped through the nation with vaccines not yet available.
So this year a rose-tinted glasses view of Christmas and family may be more prevalent than ever as people reunite. But realistically, just how long will that last?
We give it until the 28th, when your Dad has told one too many cracker jokes, and someone thinks it’s a good idea to bring up politics. Yeesh.
Do half a jigsaw puzzle
This Christmas period, you may be tempted to do something wholesome like a puzzle or a board game. Let’s face it though, analogue life will soon wear thin and it will be back to scrolling through Netflix before the day is out.
Go to the pub
Yeah, may as well go to the pub instead, drink beers and play cards with family and local friends - perhaps pausing to order a round of chips or something.
Look, we all know what we are all really going to do throughout the season - sit on the sofa, watch endless shows and films while fiddling with sticky Quality Street wrappers.
There’ll be loads of new bangers and comforting reruns throughout the week, but if you need some suggestions for the best festive specials from throughout the years, we’ve got you covered.
Until Christmas 2022, everyone.