Belfast Telegraph

Nuala McKeever: I hope you’ve had a corking time this year

Well? How did y’get it over you? Christmas, that is. Isn’t that what everyone says as soon as daylight breaks on Boxing Day? How’d’y’get yer Christmas over y’?

As if it were some sort of endurance test..

Yeah. I hear ya.

If my pre-Christmas observations of people shopping are anything to go by, there’s a good chance you woke up today in a house smelling of cinammon, courtesy of all the Yankee Candles and scent diffusers and room scenters that were flyin’ off the shelves last week. Someone in a lab somewhere, several years ago decreed that cinammon is the smell of Christmas and we just have to like it or lump it.

I suppose a candle scented with turkey cooking smells and the whiff of disappointment at not getting the presents you wanted just wouldn’t be such a great seller but possibly a more real reflection of the time of year.

Today’s a strange day. The day after the day after. Not important enough to merit its own name, not part of the solid festive trio of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

A no-man’s land between excessive sloth and back to work. You’ve O.D’d on junk food and TV perhaps, but you’re still not quite ready to return to routine.

As you sit surrounded by yuletide detritus, wondering whether it’s just you who’s had a stack of Pringles, a handful of Celebrations and a list of excuses for breakfast, you congratulate yourself on the fact that you showed remarkable maturity and self -control by not also having that half glass of wine at the bottom of the bottle with your crisps and sweets.

See? You’re not a complete waster! But you worry that for a moment or two you were tempted.

You promise yourself you’ll get up earlier tomorrow and actually do something normal, like put on a wash, or hack the icicles off the car with the windscreen scraper and drive to see those friends you’ve been saying you’ll drive to see every Christmas for the past five years.

But it’s so cold and the water’s off ’cos the pipes are frozen and it’s such a hassle doing anything or going anywhere, so better just stay in your pjs for one more day and enjoy the fire and a couple of the DVDs you got. Not the ones you really wanted, ’cos they weren’t delivered in time because of the weather, but the ones you were given that were bought last minute, in an actual shop. Okay, so it’s not Mad Men, the box set, but maybe The Best of The Two Ronnies will be alright, if a tad less stylish.

This is the time you’ve looked forward to in the back of your head for weeks and weeks. Christmas! Getting off. Relaxing. So you might as well enjoy it.

In fact, if we’d any sense at all and weren’t hell bent on living at this ridiculously breakneck C21st speed, we’d be hibernating now for several months.

Why not let your inner bear out and enjoy the downtime. There’ll be plenty of action coming soon. Plumbers to phone, insurance companies to fight with, ceilings to repaint.

So throw another log on the fire and chill in the heat. Now, where’s that wine bottle?

Well no point leaving that wee drop, is there?

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