The best thing about an Irish Christmas is that special ‘down time’ after the Big Day. Those easy days when all the hype is over and the turkey bones are picked clean.
Unlike most of mainland Europe and our crazy American cousins, we don’t rush out to the Boxing Day Sales or hurry immediately to our tinselled offices to start working again.
No, we wisely, take some time out to reflect on the darkest days of the year, the comfort of a cosy duvet and who ate all the purple Quality Streets.
These are the wonderful days you dream of as you battle through the supermarket on Christmas Eve. These are the days you long for as you watching arguments over the last available selection boxes and avoid pitched battles for the lone battered Yule Log on the shelf. The days that you plan to do nothing on. And then, nothing stretches before you and the days seem longer than a year on planet Venus. A day on Venus is actually 20 times longer than a day on earth- just one of the sad facts you can acquaint yourself with on those dead days after Christmas.
You can avail of our great ideas of what to do on those ‘down days’ in the run up to the New Year.
The quiet days when all the good biscuits have been scoffed from the box and you just cannot face another mince pie, is the perfect time to immerse yourself in an epic box set. There are dozens on offer at Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky and even YouTube, to suit all tastes. Watching episodes back to back is the only way to go and these are the ideal days to get stuck in. Why not borrow the entire Game of Thrones box sets from that one nerdy friend and enter a world of pure fantasy? Tax returns and the purchasing of toilet rolls and cat food will be relegated to where those tasks ultimately belong – mundane life.
The big hit games of this season are Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty Black Ops 4. Hours will pass by like minutes. Plates and cups will pile up at your feet. Toddlers will grow up, leave home and get great jobs as you while away the hours at the controller with these games. Mix it up with a little Fifa or Assassins Creed Odyssey and before you know it, it will be January and time to shave off that Robinson Crusoe beard and head back to work.
Snuggle up with a good book. Find the inside story on the Trump White House with a selection of books themed on the most fictional real President ever. From ‘Fire and Fury’ to ‘God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State’, you can frighten the life out of yourself in the comfort of your own living room. If you want to be transported to other worlds, why not delve into, Tara Weldovers acclaimed coming of age book, ‘Educated’, or laugh out loud at Maeve Higgins ‘Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl from Somewhere Else’. Better still, tackle some of those unread books that you have been meaning to read all year. A good book, a roaring fire and a nice cup of tea. Bliss.
In the distant past when Lemon’s Season’s Greetings were the only sweets in town and the Afternoon Tea biscuits tin had no competition from the likes of the chocolate covered Mikado (the decadence), people set about visiting each other. With no mobile phones or manners, they just arrived at each other’s houses. Sometimes passing each other on the way. They ate each other’s food and drank tea and talked about whoever was not there. It’s a fine tradition to revive for these empty days after the main Christmas shin-dig. Of course, you will probably be interrupting the box set watching, the computer games and the quiet reading, but sure don’t let that deter you. Go on, surprise your unsuspecting neighbours and relations with an after Christmas visit.
Do the jobs you never get around to
The after Christmas lull is also the optimum time to tackle all those job that you never get to. The oven cleaning. The gutters on the house. Matching all those random socks. It’s the ideal time for a good computer clean up, or to file your photographs and sew a button on to coats. Of course it is also a great time for procrastination and while you might intend to do all those things, there are more than enough distractions to keep you away from them. A classic movie showing on TV and the chocolate Mikado’s just won’t finish themselves, so you might just want to sit back and doze in after Christmas smugness and put the list of jobs on the resolution list.
Why not? Think of it as a short hibernation (a very short hibernation)
Those nice sleepy days after the Christmas mayhem are yours to really enjoy. Walk the hills if you feel inclined. Rest, eat and spend time with friends. Have a holly jolly Christmas, but treasure those precious days afterwards and make the most of your well-earned down time.