Every year, I take a break for myself between Christmas and the new year. It's a sweet, precious space, perhaps appreciated so much because it falls after all the hustle and bustle leading up to the holidays.

This cozy time of year is something many of us enjoy in a variety of ways. How to use this time is personal. For some, it means sleeping in under an airy duvet. Others use this time to work on tasks they've put off and want to accomplish before the year's end. What do you like to do during the end of December?

As we're nearing the end of the calendar year, a common activity for some of us is to look back over the past several months. This can be done with respect to any aspect of life: business or career, relationships, health, personal goals, etc. It can also be something we do informally. While writing in your journal, you might jot down a few lessons you’ve learned or describe specific memories.

The gap between Christmas and New Year's Eve is also a popular time for low-key get-togethers. It's a wonderful time to meet up with a friend or relative over coffee and catch up. Some people host pajama parties and movie nights.  

Playing board games is a popular activity with friends and family during the holidays. I know many people who especially love Trivial Pursuit, which was invented here in Niagara!

We often have plenty of leftovers to get through, including desserts and cookie trays. This can be fun to enjoy with others on a snowy day with a hot beverage and a card game, crafts or simply talking. No pressure, no restrictions, just la dolce vita.

There's pleasure in having open space in your calendar to fill however you wish. This can make us feel more calm and patient, which helps us give anyone we're spending time with our full attention and presence.

Weather permitting, this can be a scenic time of year for taking a long walk. It's easy to walk through the neighbourhood, but it can also be fun to drive somewhere you usually don't go and walk from there. We have so many options in our region: along one of our lakes or rivers, the escarpment, or through one of the downtown districts or nature trails. The extra time is a good excuse to try something different and explore a bit.

Afterward, or when it's snowing softly outdoors, it can be pleasurable to sit by a window and observe the snowflakes. It's also perfect weather for finding a cozy corner to settle in with a good book. Perhaps something you've been eyeing for a while, or an old favourite. Even children's books. Or, you could take advantage of this time to read something longer than you normally would.

December 26, 2023 — Antoinette D'Angelo

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