And now, dear reader, we come to that hazy sliver of time between Christmas and New Year’s. I have devoted nearly ten minutes of research to the topic and find that while the Norwegians have a word for this week — Romjul — those of us in English-speaking countries are bereft of a suitable term. There are suggestions on sites like Buzz Feed: Twixtmas, Food Week, a few others that I blush to include. The point is, we don’t know what to call this week, and many of us don’t quite know what to do with it either. It’s a sort of escrow period, suspended between the mad rush to Christmas and the last hurrah of the old year. I say, embrace it.
When my kids were growing up, I realized that in some ways I enjoyed this week more than Christmas itself. The boys were still out of school, and with all the holiday prep behind me I had time to watch them enjoy their new toys and games or curl up with them and watch a movie or two. As a teacher, I was off work and just as ready to play as the kids. The family business entered a welcome period of torpor, so Dad was around more too. Once in awhile we did what some other families did and took this week to go skiing or launch off on some other energetic-type adventure. But mostly, we spent this time hanging out. And that’s what I liked best.
I still treasure Lull Week. Houses and store windows remain sparkly and festive, but unless you work in retail or health care or for a company who thinks it’s too important to respect the rhythms of the year, most folks take a breather to one degree or another. We may look back on the Big Holiday with satisfaction, nostalgia, relief or regret, but it’s behind us. Even Boxing Day is in the rear view mirror. Yet it’s still December, still only days past the solstice when the northern hemisphere nestles in long, cold nights between brief and precious days. Nature is chilling out, and so, I believe, should we.
January will be upon us soon enough, with its astringent and demanding newness. Time enough for resolutions and goals and work plans and redemptive gym sessions. For these few blessedly purposeless days, how ’bout we all just slow down and relax?
How about you? How do you spend the few sweet days before the New Year?