Christmas Day is over, but there’s still a week til the New Year. Here are some suggestions for things to do in the time known as Twixmas!
The last present has been unwrapped, the crackers have all been pulled and the fridge is stuffed full of leftovers. But there’s still nearly a week to go until New Year’s Eve, so how can you make the most of the days after Christmas?
It’s a strange time, that’s not really Christmas and not quite New Year. In fact, it’s known as Twixmas because it’s ‘betwixt’ Christmas and New Year!
If you’re taking a few days off between Christmas and New Year, it might be tempting to just curl up under a blanket, watch TV and eat your way through your stash of goodies.
But these days are a great opportunity to revitalise, catch up or even get ahead with your to-do list. That way, you can start 2020 off on a positive note.
So here are nine suggestions for things to do between Christmas and New Year.
Go for a walk
If your days are full of turkey sandwiches and chocolate selection boxes, it’s a good idea to try to get out for some fresh air.
That might be a day by the coast to blow away the cobwebs, a few hours walking around the grounds of a stately home, or just a quick visit to the local park.
If one of your goals for the next year is to see more of the UK, then now is a great time to join an organisation like the National Trust or perhaps National Trust for Scotland. You could also consider joining English Heritage.
You’ll be able to visit historic sites and beautiful stately homes and gardens across the country throughout the year. And your membership will be helping to maintain and restore them for future generations to enjoy.
Stock up for next Christmas
You might feel like you can’t face any more Christmas shopping right now. But buying in the days after Christmas can be a great way to keep your costs down next year.
Whether you prefer to buy online or venture onto the High Street, you’ll be able to pick up Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorations at bargain prices in the sales after Christmas.
And you could pick up some great gifts as well, which you can either stash away for next Christmas or maybe use for occasions throughout the year. So take the opportunity to stock up while the prices are low.
But make sure you remember what you bought and where you put them so that you don’t end up buying it all again next December!
Schedule in some me-time
You may be feeling a bit frazzled after Christmas, especially if you were hosting and your house has been full of people.
So take a few minutes each day to look after your own needs. This will leave you feeling more relaxed and in a better place to look after your guests.
Here are some stress-busting ways to relax this winter. They might not all work for you – some people might prefer to go for a walk, others might enjoy a long soak in the bath.
Once you find the right recipe for your own relaxation, you’ll find it much easier to deal with any last minute preparations for New Year’s Eve.
Plan for New Year’s Eve
And talking of preparations for New Year’s Eve, this is the time to do your last minute checks for the big night.
If you’re planning to celebrate at home, do a quick stock check in your fridge, freezer and cupboards to make sure that you’ve got everything that you need.
Make a list of any extras that that you need to buy in, and remember that shops may close early on New Year’s Eve. Don’t forget to make sure you have some tempting alcohol-free drinks for the designated drivers.
If you’re going out for New Year’s Eve, it’s a good idea to double check taxi or hotel bookings to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Plan something nice for January
The January blues can hit hard once the festivities are over and everyone is back at school and work. Money is tight, the winter weather seems to be dragging on forever, and summer feels like a lifetime away.
So why not take a bit of time after Christmas to plan something fun to do in January. When my sons were younger, we always used to go to see a pantomime in January, to try and make the Christmas magic last a little longer.
It doesn’t have to be something extravagant, although a weekend away in January would be lovely. You might just plan to go out for a meal one of the weekends, or take a drive out to a country pub for lunch. Or maybe just plan a cosy night in with a film and a bucket of popcorn.
Whatever you decide to go for, having something to look forward to will make those cold January days feel a little less blue.
Store away the Decorations
Tradition says that your Christmas decorations need to come down by Twelfth Night, 5th January. But if you’re going away over New Year, you might prefer to take them down before you go.
Have a check through the decorations as you take them down, and wrap the ones that you’re going to reuse next year. Some of your decorations might only be fit for the bin, but others might be suitable to donate to your local charity shop.
If you want to replace some of your Christmas decorations for next year, you might be able to pick up some bargains in the sales.
It’s also worth having a final check of the bulbs on your Christmas tree lights before you store them away. Buying any replacement bulbs now will cut down on frustration when the time comes to decorate the tree next Christmas.
And if you had a real Christmas tree this year, don’t forget to check your local council website for details of how to recycle it.
Recycle your Christmas cards
If you do decide to take your Christmas cards down before New Year, don’t just throw them in the bin.
According to Recycle Now, the majority of Christmas cards and their envelopes are paper based. So this means they can be recycled as normal in your household recycling collection, local recycling centre or at collection points in supermarket car parks.
You’ll need to remove any decorations that can’t be recycled, such as ribbons, sequins and glitter. Just tear that part of the card off and dispose of it in your household waste bin.
And if you have received any musical cards, you’ll need to remove the batteries before recycling the card. The batteries can be recycled separately.
The other option is to upcycle your cards into gift tags and decorations for next Christmas. If you tend to save your cards for sentimental reasons, you could display some of the prettiest ones in festive photo frames, or use them to make wreaths or tree decorations.
It’s both economical and eco-friendly!
Write your thank you notes
It’s quicker and easier to make a phone call or send a quick email, but hand-written thank you notes are much nicer to receive.
So why not put on a film or some music, get yourself a drink, and settle down to write some thank you notes.
You can pick up thank you cards or notepaper in supermarkets or in your local newsagents. And if you’re lucky enough to have a local stationery shop, it would be lovely to support them.
And just think how nice it will be for something other than a bill to turn up in the post!
Plan for the year ahead
The week between Christmas and New Year is the perfect time to take stock of what you’ve achieved over the last 12 months, and make plans for the coming year.
So what do you want to achieve in 2020? Are there places that you want to go? New skills you’d like to learn?
Now, I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. They always seem to just set me up to fail and feel bad about myself, so I prefer to make plans and set myself realistic targets.
And I absolutely love making my travel plans for the next 12 months!
So during these last few days of the year, take a few moments to look ahead. But don’t go overboard with making lists of resolutions – you should feel inspired, not under pressure.