Ten things to do in the dead time between Christmas and New Year

It's such a boredom vortex

home alone

by Stevie Martin |
Published on

We spend a month looking forward to Christmas (alright, way longer) and then in a blaze of binge eating, present-based squealing and glad tidings, it's over. And you've got ages before New Year's Eve - so what the hell are you supposed to do with all those hours other than eat so much you can't move, repeatedly, every day?

Thankfully, heat have come up with ten things you can do in those vortex-like days to keep you sane and, more importantly, entertained.

Eat so much you can't move, repeatedly, every day

between xmas and new year

Look, we spent all summer trying to look excellent for That Holiday, and all winter working hard to be able to afford Christmas (aka the season of spending so much we cry at cash points), so why not let it go for a week or so? And by let it go, we mean let all pants that aren't elasticated go until after NYE, and get stuck into a culinary party for one.

This is the year you're not going to say "God we've got so much Christmas cake left over, again" because it will be in you. This is the year you're not going to throw away leftovers from Christmas dinner, because they'll be poking out of that huge deli sandwich you made that combined turkey, stuffing, peas, gravy and yorkshire pudding. No, we're not promoting unhealthy eating, we're just saying hey, you're too hard on yourself. Put your feet up and eat a tub of Roses once in a while (not the orange ones).

Go to a panto

between xmas and new year

Either wholeheartedly embrace a crap regional panto where someone who had a non-speaking role in Holby City plays Widow Twanky, or opt for a comedy panto piss-take. Depends how ironic you're feeling. Our favourite upcoming comedy panto is Ricky Whittington and his Cat (Charlotte Ritchie from Fresh Meat and Siblings is in it, along with Edinburgh comedy award winners past and present) on in London's New Diorama Theatre.

Have a Google around your area, and if there aren't any comedy pantos, and you're in the mood for a right larf then, erm, just go see some comedy? Nothing better to blow those post-Christmas blues away than some top laughing.

Go stock up on Christmas stuff for NEXT year

between xmas and new year

Oh god that might be the most depressing suggestion of all, and while we're terrified we've turned into our nans, it'll save you loads of money! And, you know, you won't have to worry next year. And, er, OK you're right, this is a really lame suggestion - but maybe one for when you're really, really desperate?

Organise a family games night

between xmas and new year

Dig out those boardgames you used to play before smartphones fried your ability to engage with real things you can feel with your hands, and organise a championship. Amid buffet-style food made entirely of leftovers, tournaments can be played simultaneously if you've only got loads of two player games (see: Battleships) or together if they're multiplayer (see: Articulate). If you're in odd numbers, then get the neighbours round - bonus points if you get them to eat that weird cake nobody touched all Christmas.

If you don't have any boardgames locked away, then just make it a parlour game evening. Think charades, celebrity heads (where you put post-it notes of famous people on everyone's forehead and they have to guess who they are) and the hat game (where you write loads of films and famous people on bits of paper, put them into a hat, and take turns to act out to your team as many as you can).

Another massive plus is you can package up all the crap presents you don't want and give them to the winner. Your dad will really appreciate that JML pedi-egg.

Learn how to do a headstand

between xmas and new year

No it's not fun, but passes the time, doesn't it?

Go to one of the many Winter Wonderlands bafflingly still open

between xmas and new year

Notice how oddly hollow it feels, while contemplating the transcience of existence. Then appreciate how you've come at a time where you can actually go on the rides, and get served mulled wine, without having to wait 40 minutes. Keep the festive spirit alive, because we all know it's not really over until Jan 1st right?

Do something dramatic to your hair, body, or general appearance

between xmas and new year

Dye your hair a bizarre colour. Get a fringe (most hairdressers will do this for free, if you ask nicely). Buy something you always say you can't wear because it makes your arms look weird, and go outside wearing it because you're a champion. Get your ears pierced again. Get a tattoo of a bauble. Do something interesting to see you into the new year and, more importantly, shock people speechless at the NYE party you're definitely going to because you're really cool. And not planning to stay in and have an early night. Nope. Not at all.

Binge watch an entire season of something in two days

between xmas and new year

If you've never known the joy of not leaving the sofa until you've found out what happens ten episodes later, then you're doing really well in life. Keep making great choices. However, if you've got a good few days with absolutely nothing on, and a full fridge, then you might as well see how long you can keep watching The Crown before you go cross-eyed and start calling everyone "Your highness".

Top tip: make sure you place the snacks in the next room so you have to walk to get them while each episode loads in order to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. Also, if you get restless leg syndrome (if you need an explanation as to what this is, then you've never had restless leg syndrome. OK fine, it's when you've been still for so long that suddenly you can't stop moving your legs and they get all restless), counter it by lying on your back with your legs vertically flat against a wall and your bum against the skirting board for fifteen minutes.

Sell the presents you hate on eBay

between xmas and new year

Phone cover in the shape of a pair of boobs? Cowboy hat? Sparkly jumper that a ten year old wouldn't wear? Don't put it in the bin or, even worse, leave it in the back of your cupboard forever. And don't say you'll eBay it after Christmas, because once normal life resumes, you won't have time to brush your hair in the morning, let alone tend to online sales.

The time for eBay is now. List them. Photograph them attractively against a blank background, with good lighting, then feel smug as you coin it in while everyone else is buying clothes they'll never wear in the sales. Alright, so you'll probably make £3, then end up browsing through eBay's miscellaneous categories and eventually dropping £100 on one really average mug, but it's the thought that counts.

Get a headstart on your new year's resolutions

between xmas and new year

Everyone always sits around moping and saying "On January 1st I'll go for a run" while eating tiffin (see above: "Eat so much you can't move, repeatedly, every day) so why not buck the trend and, like, go for a run? Sure, you can wait til Jan 1 (we do) but there's something incredibly satisfying about doing something healthy when you know literally every fibre in your being is telling you to lie face down on your bed.

And once you've been for a run, you'll immediately feel invigorated and want to start bullet-journalling or something. On the other hand, you could be so knackered all you want to do is lie face down on your bed. So it's win-win really.

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