Christmas is a magical time, but let’s face it – it can also wear you out. Between attending parties, hosting guests, running around buying last minutes gifts (and wrapping them), and always having to get ready and be ready for something, it’s hard to find any time for yourself.
Enter….the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The British refer to this time as Twixmas or Boxing Week, but it’s also known as Crimbo Limbo, the in between time, the hush, the lull, or Zwischen den Jahren, which literally translates to “between the years” in German. It’s the time when you are winding down after a long holiday season, which was the culmination of an even longer year, while you are simultaneously gearing up to ring in a new one.
Some in Britain use this time to do absolutely nothing – which is perfectly fine. But if you’re like me, doing nothing is good for a day max, before I become bored and feel the need to be productive.
While I agree that the time between the years is the perfect opportunity for a little down time, it’s also the chance to fully focus on what makes you happy, relaxed, recharged and ready to start the new year off right.
Not sure how to spend your time this Twixmas? Here are a few suggestions to consider:
14 Ways to Embrace Twixmas
1. Indulge in a Spa Treatment – How can you not be relaxed with a day at the spa? A massage, facial, mani/pedi combined with a little sauna time – it’s a sure-fire way to completely disengage from your everyday life for a few hours.
2. Plan a Movie Night – Whether you see the latest release in the theatre or stay at home to watch Netflix, you can’t go wrong with escaping reality through a movie while snacking on popcorn and candy.
3. Get Organized! This may sound like work and counterproductive to a week of me-time, but getting organized can help us destress in the long run. It’s easy to have paperwork, clutter, and other things pile up over the holidays, and all throughout the year, when you have no time to tend to them. But even a days worth of de-cluttering or organization during Twixmas can make you feel just a little happier and a little less anxious come January 1.
4. Have a Game Night – There are so many awesome games out right now that it’s hard not to find something that fits your personality. You could go old school with a classic card game like poker or spades, or go super trendy with games like What Do You Meme or Game of Phones.
5. Start a Journal – Journaling can be a great way to track your progress against your life goals, share your inner most hopes and dreams, or just capture the day-to-day and week-to-week things that happen for posterity’s sake.
6. Connect with Old Friends – Again, this may seem counterproductive if you’ve already had friends over or have hosted multiple holiday gatherings, but reaching out to friend you haven’t seen in a while can be quite meaningful and memorable – for both of you.
7. Try a New Class – The time in between Christmas and New Year’s is a great time to try a new group fitness glass at your local gym or private studio. If a fitness class is not your thing, there are plenty of schools and studios that host painting nights, paint your own pottery, cooking classes and more.
8. Become One with Winter – Having lived through cold and snowy Midwest winters my whole life, I can honestly say that if you are not engaging in outdoor activities this winter, then why not? Yes, it’s much easier to stay inside when it’s snowing and cold, but a bit of fresh air will do wonders for your physical and mental health. So if you are physically able, get outside for a little fun this winter. Depending on where you live, you could simply go for a crisp walk through a forest preserve or if it’s cold enough in your area, you could go ice skating, sledding, or skiing. And if you’re really adventurous, sign up for a pre-New Year’s 5K or polar bear plunge!
9. Bake Some Bread – It’s ironic that it took a global pandemic to remind people how much fun and soul-warming it is to enjoy freshly baked bread made in your own home. Whether you make a French baguette from scratch or create a pizza dough masterpiece from a bread machine, there’s something very satisfying about seeing (and smelling) the dough rise in your oven.
10. Take a Mini Break – Twixmas breaks are quite popular in Britain (google it, it’s a thing) and I can say first hand, that a mini break during Christmas and New Year’s (or even the first week of January) can be an amazing time to visit your favorite destinations or even a new one. If you’re short on time, a couple of nights in a nearby (ie. drivable) bigger city can do the trick. If you have more time, check out last-minute online flight and hotel deals to find a getaway that works with your interests and budget.
11. Visit a Museum or Traveling Exhibit – Taking a day trip to a local museum or exhibit can be an easy and affordable way to boost your cultural awareness. From museums that are very niche-specific (ie. The SPAM museum) to those that have a broader draw – like art museums or aquariums – you are sure to find something worthwhile.
12. Read a Book – It sounds so simple, right? But let’s be honest – how many books have you been collecting with the intention of reading one day but you’ve just never found the time? I’m probably up to 8 books that I haven’t started and another 2-3 that I have started but haven’t finished. They sit on my nightstand mocking me! Now, as we are in this between the years time – there’s no excuse to not finish at least one of those books. Time to grab your favorite blanket, your latte or tea and get reading!
13. Binge Watch a Show – Like games, there have been so many great television shows (in the U.S. and in Britain) that I’ve been meaning to watch all year long. From The Crown to the original Downton Abbey series, to the final season of Ted Lasso, now is the time to catch up on your favorites or find a few new ones!
14. Plan Your Next Trip – If taking a trip during this hush time is not in the cards, then planning a trip is the next best thing. And with access to so many online trip planning resources and destination reviews, planning a trip has never been easier. Pick your date and a single destination or your top 3 and start mapping out your plan. Roadtrip or a flight? How long will you stay? Where will you stay? What will you do while there? What ever destination you choose, tailor your trip to exactly what you (and your travel party) want to do and what makes you happy. This will give you something to work towards and look forward to all year.
Enjoy and Happy New Year My Friends!