It's no longer the 25 of December, and so begins the empty period after Christmas. This is the time you'll force your family to play the one game you'll ever play with your new Scrabble set, you'll seem to survive on rationed leftovers and hours are spent contemplating WHAT TO DO. After all, the holiday you looked forward to for weeks was gone in a day, and you're simply left remembering it through a copious amount of stocking fillers and the incessant playing of 'Merry Christmas Everyone' on radio stations. You may find yourself thinking, 'What do I look forward to now?'
The new year is here, but for me, it doesn't have the same feeling to it as Christmas. For me, Christmas conjures up images of spending quality time with the family, good tidings and presents. New Year's is associated with awkwardly looking for a kiss at midnight and my drunk uncle Sam. Safe to say this doesn't have the same sense of magic to it. But this year I was determined to do something with the event and had a party, something which I never do.
It was not a compulsory family gathering where I make small talk to a far-removed cousin about the bike he got for Christmas (despite not even knowing his name), and get told once again by my granny that I've "gotten awful tall" since she last saw me (which was five minutes earlier, before I left the room). Instead, I invited most of my friends, bought drinks and food and got balloons and the like for that celebratory touch. Why? I finally realized I've got to make the most of the free time I have.
Usually I would sit at home for hours on my XBox before realizing I'd spent a whole day screaming at virtual players on a TV screen, losing a bit of my sanity and a lot of my dignity in the process. With the end of the Christmas break drawing closer, I feel I should make up for my lack of activity during past holidays.
This mindset has undoubtedly altered my experience of the last few weeks. I've already enjoyed lasting memories with friends as a result of just making the effort to form plans and I've gained a foreign sense of fulfillment from volunteering in the city (which sounds clichéd, I know, but so are action movies -- doesn't make them any less enjoyable). I even found the inspiration and drive to write this article in my newfound productivity.
I often find myself humiliated when I'm asked, "What did you get up to over the holidays?," and I reply with an explanation of my varying sleeping patterns and a story about getting leg cramp from my desk chair. I guess I'll now be more interesting company during these conversations.
The problem today is that there are too many distractions to lead us away from our passions, like Facebook, Twitter and cat videos, to name a few. With school starting again soon, and then exams coming up soon after, we should all make an effort to make the most of our time free from burdensome work. If you love to read, aim to finish a certain number of books on your days off. If, like myself, writing is your passion, find some motivation to start writing and get your writing out there.
By making the most of time off you'll feel more ready to get back to work and hopefully avoid at least one type of awkward conversation (but trust me, there will always be another one to enjoy).