It’s done. It’s over. Christmas Day 2017 is behind us. All the presents were eventually bought, given and received, hopefully with glee. Turkeys were roasted, some moist, some not. Puddings were lit, cakes cut, selection boxes opened, bottles poured, corks popped, board games played (and fought over), naps had, (some arguments also) and all the rest of the over the top extravaganza of consumption that is our beloved festival of Christmas.
So what now?
Well, I know that quite a lot of you are at the races today, and a large number of you are at the sales. I imagine there is also a great contingent up mountains and in forests intent on bracing walks to counteract indulgences.
I, however, am not. I am embracing The Nothing.
Whilst it’s lovely to see people at this time of year, I prefer the semi-hermit approach to the holidays. Once the big hurrah is over, it’s time to retire with the turkey sandwiches and a few rounds of Monopoly. It’s time to Power Down.
For me, without question, the very best thing about the Christmas holidays is the notion that we are allowed to do nothing for two weeks (I prefer to row in with the kids school holidays in terms of time frame). So that is what I do - absolutely nothing.
We all know the oft-cited benefits of dropping out from time to time and taking stock, well this is similarly beneficial. It’s not entirely an exercise in mindfulness, more an excuse to Netflix the Hell out of each day and ingest Cadburys Roses for all three main meals, but it seems to serve the same effect –a more chilled me. And it’s a more chilled me that I want to take into the New Year, so this approach is my chosen one.
There is a whole lot of performance pressure in these post -Christmassy days, whether it be to show up and take part in an activity, to talk to relatives you love dearly but you’re not terribly aligned with in terms of world view, or to post endless golden moments on social media – it’s all too much pressure, so I say pass!
Instead of carting your particular coterie of grumbling kids up hill and down dale, let them wallow in the games, books and electrical devices they have recently acquired and do the same yourself, because it’s good to indulge in the things you love, and a bit more screen time isn’t going to damage them irreparably. And consider this, isn’t it a blessing to be able to do it? Be thankful for your families, however odd and dysfunctional they may be, they’re still yours. There are plenty of people grieving, alone, fighting illnesses in hospitals, working to keep the country going and homeless in hotels as we’re reaching for the Roses, so just roll that perspective bomb around your brain and revel in what you have. And while Christmas isn’t really the ideal time to bring up old woes, it could be a time to mindfully talk together about the year just gone, to review what happened for you all, to celebrate little victories and see how far you’ve come.
No, granted, that may not be for everyone, but maybe ramping up the hashtag blessed vibes might, in fact, bring a nice sense of togetherness and purpose to the post-Christmas days and nights.
Or, of course, you could just go to the sales. No judgement here.