The 12 Days After Christmas

The partridges have stopped singing and the pear tree is rotting on the rug.   You've already pleasantly forgotten what day of the week it is, but that does not mean you should slumber away the rest of your break.

Here’s what to do the 12 days after the holiday glitter settles:

1. Write your damn Thank-You Notes. Get out your stationary and write a note to everyone you received a gift from this year.  By write, I mean scratch a pen on paper, not a compose a text.   It’s the polite and courteous thing to do.

2. Take a high school teacher out to coffee. Shoot an email at one of your favorite teachers from back in the day and take the time to sit down with them over a warm cup of java.  The holidays are the perfect time of year to show appreciation.

3. Back up your hard drive. God forbid you lose those hundreds of TNC photos you acquired this semester.  Take the time post-Holidays to back up your precious digital data.

4.  Get your palm read by a psychic. Grab a friend, go see Miranda the Mind Reader, and I guarantee you will be in giggles.  You don’t have to believe fervently in what the undoubtedly kooky women says, but it is nice to hear someone rant about your next ten years.  It’s a goofy way of putting things in perspective, but it reminds you that, in the end, you make it.

5.  Cook your Mom dinner. She deserves it.  Plan a three course meal, down to the napkin rings.

6. Cross something off your bucket list. Have you been reading Ellie Beckett’s Forum articles?  Girlfriend is jumping off bridges on the reg.  The year 2010 is almost over, but give it one last hurrah.   Whether that means getting a tattoo or telling your longtime crush you might be in love with them, go for it.  There’s no better time.

7. Re-tour your town. What makes your hometown famous?  Pretend you are a tourist, and remind yourself why you still love it here.  I don't care how many times I've seen it, the U.S. Capitol Building still gives me chills.

8. Read an entire book in one day. It’s the most wonderful time of the year: every major paper will be releasing its “Top 10 Books of 2010” List.   Relish in the extraordinary amount of free time you currently have in your possession.  Pick the one with the prettiest cover and try to finish it within 24 hours.

9.  Get nostalgic. We keep my great-grandfather's 1920 love letters to my great-grandmother in a cherry wooden cabinet in my living room.  Sometimes I lie belly on the carpet and pore over his pretty words.  Ask your grandparents to tell you a story or just take a look at your childhood halloween pictures.  Warm memories defeat the iciest of winter frost.

10. Do it better than Martha. Go to Martha Stewart’s website and check out her craft ideas.  Pick out one and complete it with one purpose – to one-up her.  You can even sort the crafts by the materials you have lying around in the basement.  Pipe cleaners, please and thank you.

11.  Get chubby. Indulge yourself in all your favorites.  If you were planing on making your New Years Resolution to lose weight, I don't want to hear it.  I want to hear about cheese rolls and carrot cake, not ellipticals and treadmills.  I hope you are all fattened up with all that love and goodness when I see you in January.

12. Rest. You’ve earned it, my dears.  Cheers to a marvelous fall semester, and here's for an even more lovely spring.