Anyone else think the week between Christmas and New Year is just a bit odd? An anti-climatic twilight zone of "what shall we do now?"
I mean - Christmas is over. We've had roast turkey, turkey sandwiches, turkey salad and of course, the turkey curry. My work here is done.
The decorations are annoying me now - the cards looks messy, the miscellaneous bits and pieces under the tree need to find a new home in the already crammed-to-bursting point bookshelves and children's toy cupboards - and the left-over green chocolate triangles from the Quality Street sit sad and lonely as we all look at them with disdain and walk on by.
It belatedly occurs to me to wonder how much all my festive Christmas lights will add to my electricity bill and I have a momentary bah-humbug session.
The shopping malls beg for my attention and cash, but it's December 29th. Who are these people that have spare cash at this time of the month and do they need any new friends to spend money on? I'm sure I could really use $400 off a sofa or a computer - I'd just need to come with the other $1000 first!
I will just about manage to keep the decorations up until New Year's Day - whereupon I will pounce on them with fevered determination and wrap up, re-box and re-basement them all again for another 340-ish days. None of this twelfth night rubbish. The used-once-a-year Santa gravy jug and the festive platter will be consigned to darkness and all remnants of the happy holidays will disappear from sight, save the left over beers, wine and huge bag of mixed nuts which will continue to be gorged for the remainder of January.
In fact the kitchen cupboards do still harbour a weird mix of foodstuffs that seemed like a good idea at the time - "just in case". Just in case what, exactly? Just in case anyone really wanted Cranberry with Orange Infusion as a side dish to the light fruit cake and mixed pickles? I fear we have some odd menu concoctions coming up in this household this week.
Christmas is definitely pushed as a family holiday. My thoughts go out to those who either do not have, no longer have or do not wish to see family members at this time. Sometimes they are sneaky good thoughts- you lucky buggers - and other times they are empathetic thoughts because many people do not feel lucky buggers at all.
Families are a funny old bunch at the best of times. My sympathies to those who have had to suffer awful obligation-driven gatherings - and a metaphorical kick up the bum to those who should appreciate certain members of the tribe while they still can.
I have thoughtfully appreciated my own group of four - plus the addition of another lovely British family who came over to join us for mountains of turkey and too many sprouts (thanks for turning the air green, guys!) on Christmas day.
But after that, what next? We have not received any other invitations for a drink, a supper, a go-for-a-walk, nothing at all from any Canadian friends. Or should I just classify them as acquaintances after all? I re-examine these relationships perhaps too closely. Of course, they have their own families and gatherings at this time of year. And I purposefully have not extended any invitations this year, just to see what would happen.
Diddly squat. So that told me then!!
If I were still living in the UK, this in-between week would likely be back-to-back entertaining, or being entertained. Now I live in Canada, we're still working on the 'friends' front. I find it hard and lonely at times - I think we both do - and I shy away from other, albeit lovely Brits, because I think we should be making more of an effort to integrate. But at what point do you just shrug "to heck with it" and then give up by surrounding yourself in a British enclave!?
It's not that we are unimaginative, but having partners who work shifts over the holiday break sometimes thwart the more interesting or lengthy excursions we might otherwise have embarked upon. Other families we know are heading off to cottages and apartments or hot beaches this week. But at least only one of us is working silly shifts this year, and not both.
In the meantime, the ski-slopes at Sunshine Village were busy but good fun yesterday, and who can pop out and do that in the middle of Surrey in England? Swings and roundabouts, innit?
As you can tell, a week off work gives me too much time to ponder the big stuff. Reading all that back, you'd think I didn't like Christmas! I really do - but once it's over, I want a clear, clean start to whatever comes next.
Happy In-Between Week !
PS: the Lindt chocolate balls are still tempting me ...