WE have now entered limbo, that period between Christmas and New Year, when people sit back and take a deep breath before carrying on carrying on.
The time when they relax with a quiet drink at home, a slice of turkey and a pickled onion, and watch all the television programmes they recorded while they were enjoying family fun playing charades and painting a moustache on Uncle Darren, while he was in a drunken slumber.
Except, of course, to watch the programmes you have already recorded means missing those that are currently being broadcast. Oh, the dilemmas of the festive period.
And who invented charades, anyway?
Probably the French in the 18th century. Then it was embraced by Victorians, became popular in America in the mid 20th century and can still raise a laugh at parties, particularly after Auntie Annie has had a few eggnogs.
This is also the time for taking back unwanted gifts and damaged toys (“it was like that when it came out of the box”) and wives to exchange the red lingerie, that was bought with such optimism, for practical cotton and warm winceyette.
When children are still interested in the presents they received and are content to sit back and play the video game or read the book or watch the complete eight-film DVD collection of Harry Potter films for the third time.
A stay-at-home period to conserve funds for the weekend to come, when meals are cold slices of ham or beef left over from Christmas, served with chips and mushy peas. Or re-heated sausage rolls smothered with baked beans. Or that packet of party kebabs that got left in the back of the fridge. Or is there anything finer than egg and chips? Almost anything will do, as long as you don’t attempt to curry the turkey. Please don’t tell me you curry the turkey.
This is a time for rest and recuperation and to reflect on the folly of elderly relatives and staid work colleagues of a certain age who, tempted by drink and goodwill, leapt on the dance floor with a shout of Geronimo to show the younger generation their version of the Shake, the Twist or the Mashed Potato.
And did Uncle Phil really stand under the mistletoe for 40 minutes in the hope someone would kiss him in the spirit of the season? Or even out of pity? Either would have done.
Ah yes, better by far to embrace limbo and slowly gird the loins for the weekend ahead.