I hate to break it to you, but it is over. Put down the Cava, step away from the smoked salmon and face up to facts: all good things have to come to an end.
After two weeks of intense festivities, the real world is calling. As a hardened Christmas addict, I find cutting the festive ties particularly painful. Once the decorations have been taken down, I find myself pacing the house wondering where all the magic has gone.
Life seems somehow flat and humdrum. I keep telling myself that Christmas officially lasts until twelfth night, but this first week in January always leaves me feeling blue. 2012 is the year I’m going to tackle my post-festive blues head on. Here are few simple adjustments that will help ease the transition from Christmas-mania to New Year normality.
Buffets are brilliant, especially when there is a cheese board; this means that cheese can be consumed as a main course, dessert or both! Every party host has a different buffet approach – the traditionalists with their baked ham and dinky sausages on sticks or the gourmets with their caviar topped blinis and gazpacho shots.
The problem is that I’m missing a “proper” meal that comes served on a ceramic plate and requires metal cutlery. As darling as mini hotdogs and pizzas are, I need something more substantial.
It is time to break the buffet cycle. Farewell sausage rolls, mini satay sticks and bite-sized Black Forest Gateaux. Hello non-miniature foodstuffs and vegetables not served with houmous.
Coping strategy: Stock up on reduced party snacks and freeze them. That way, the happy buffet feeling is no more than a microwave’s ping away.
Prosecco, Cava, Champagne, that bottle of Babycham that had been at the back of the cupboard since December 2008...
...I’ve been there and drank it all. For the past two weeks, booze has been an acceptable breakfast accompaniment. It has also been added to various foodstuffs with reckless abandon – a dash of brandy in the pate, half a bottle of sherry in the trifle and a can of Guinness to glaze the gammon joint.
The drunken stupor ends here.
Coping strategy: Elderflower Pressé – it is fizzy, it is fancy and it can be drunk from a pretty champagne flute.
Christmas “fashion” has two key looks: “ritzy glitter monster” and pyjamas. I have spent two weeks in a state of clothing confusion, often going straight from pyjamas and hoodie to a sequinned cocktail frock. The ultimate accessory has been a gold paper crown from a Christmas cracker- you’d be surprised how versatile and elegant it has been.
The prospect of returning to work has filled me with dread. I can’t wear my pyjamas and my paper crown will certainly raise a few eyebrows.
Coping strategy: Go cold turkey and embrace minimalism. The paper crown can be easily folded and stored in ones handbag in case of emergency/outfit boredom.
January isn’t a good party month. Everyone is broke, on a diet or still recovering from festive excess. This is annoying for those of us who have become accustomed to a rolling programme of soirees, candle lit suppers and wild house parties.
Coping strategy: Get a hobby or sign up for an evening class. Alternatively, invite all of your mates around and play board games.
Image via mrlerone’s flickr.