Here's how to get the most out the baffling time of year between Christmas and New Year

Twixtmas is here! We've had Christmas Day, we've had Boxing Day, and now we're in that weird void before New Year where time stands still and it's suddenly acceptable to spend the whole day in your pyjamas eating food you find in the folds of your clothes. Plus there's an even an extra bonus Apres-Twixtmas this year as a fair few of us are off until the 5th January. Wowsers! Here's our ultimate guide to this most special of holiday seasons...


Cheese dreams happen to the best of us. You wake up with a mouth like a lowly cowshed in Nazareth, shaking with the memories of a fevered, and surprisingly passionate dream about Carson from Downton Abbey and your devestating Samba in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. Even if your blood is 80% stilton, it is crucial that you and your trusty Biscuits for Cheese keep going until it all runs out and you’ve turned into a 23 stone version of Alex James that your extended family must carry aloft to the New Year's Eve party. 

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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Twixtmas is a marathon, not a sprint. In order to keep up with the gruelling regime of cold cuts, chutney and more cheese, you’re going to need a fitness plan. It’s hard work doing all that spreading, cutting, midnight stuffing and packet opening. Keep your strength up by running upstairs quickly to put on a pair of bigger trousers. Tone your arms by opening Tupperware boxes full of cake. And, if you can still see your feet, take them on a walk to the fridge several thousand times a day. 

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Shifting your focus

Twixtmas is all about finding ways to make it less about the children and more about you. You needn't spend your time lay on a Lego-strewn carpet trying to put together a Batman Transformer. Rouse everyone under the age of ten into a solid game of Hunt a Chocolate That Isn't Coffee Flavour. Steal Granny’s Tofiffee! Spike the Eggnog and, as a final resort, ask your mother about that time In 1992 when Janet didn't mention the vase. 

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Meal planning 

To get the most out of Twixtmas, you need to plan your diet meticulously. That means first breakfast (a fistful of ham and a Lindor), second breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack (more ham, cake, glass of wine), dinner (turkey with all the trimmings), and then a quick visit to the chip shop before getting acquainted with a large bowl of trifle. Oh, and if you have a spare moment at midnight, you’ll probably want to eat two slices of Christmas cake and an entire cheese board (see Cheese Dreams). 

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The judgements of others

While hunching over the fridge eating a pork pie sandwich (pork pie as the bread, pork pie as the filling), Aunt Margaret may say something disparaging about your waistline. But if two nephews poke your belly and ask if you're having a baby, style it out. It’ll all come off in January, won’t it? .

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Via Michael Coghlan / CC BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: mikecogh

Managing expectations

The kids hate sprouts. Gran is in a sherry and Toffifee coma. At some point you'll be asked to whip up a lunch out of abandoned cocktail sausages and a packet of stollen. You've got a vegetarian, a coeliac, a vegan, two Koshers and a cousin on the Paleo Diet. Provide a simple and nutritious meal by throwing a Toblerone into the living room and locking yourself in the bedroom with a bucket of Brie and cranberry bites. Eventually they'll all go home.