What to do when you are faced with a long weekend and you’ve got no one to spend with and it’s not long enough to go places

Disclaimer: Following are tried and tested methods. Reader discretion is not advised. 

The title is long, but not long enough to qualify as a winding paragraph by itself. Just like having a three or less than three holidays in a row. Long, but not that long. Average, neither here nor there. Like Indian seasons. Either blazing heat rays rain down on you or it’s just a possibility of heat in otherwise chill. But no spring.

24th to 26th December. Holiday time. Actually, it began on 23rd for most, what with it being fourth Saturday or just a day prior to Sunday, which is the true moniker for Saturday. Not the sixth day of the week, but the day before Sunday. Saturday has no existence by itself.


Today is Boxing Day. A holiday in many white countries across the world, and selectively distributed in India. It’s a day steeped in rich colonial history and has something to do with boxes.

But no matter the glamour of festivities, courtesy Home Alone 1 and 2 and The Polar Express, and other such feel-good Christmas movies,  I found myself boxed in my apartment, while the world hailed Christ and non-/Christians frolicked with their endless list of cousins, friends or travelling/wandering aimlessly all over. It is a restless sort of feeling, for come Tuesday or Monday, it’s back to a week after boring week of thankless labour and all you want to do is live it up in these few days, and be recharged enough to plan your next weekend well in advance. Unfortunately though, I had no means to have a jolly merry Christmas. Why?

  • Uh..how are we related?: Growing up in a nuclear family does that to you, and hence I belong to that few, who are clueless about the know-hows of their cousins and the family at large.
  • I want to go home! But you are already home: Most go home on such short duration leaves. But for me, the tree is in the same place as the money plant. And, getting tickets to anyplace during national holidays is as good as getting a Justin Beiber concert ticket for free.
  • Excuse me. Sorry. Could you kindly stop blocking the path by your being?: Crowded everything. On days like this you realize that you are not unique, for everyone thinks like you, regarding outings and get-together. Holing up in your home is better than being dug out to face the stampede of an ecstatic mankind.

So what do people like us do? Friends with their families in another city, massive rush everywhere you look, no matter what the size of the population of your country be, and travelling far and wide is just not an option.  What’s to be done?

The 5Gs in the grand time of sickeningly cheery good morning messages laced with cringing Christmas wishes, and gestating merriment are:

  • Get a grip: 24th morning and afternoon was spent in a feverish urgency of trying to be the HR in the lacklustre company of disinterested family and friends. Seeing my efforts crash into the black hole of rejections and flimsy excuses, I did the best that I could: bath. In the warmth of the water and the philosophical introspection which such quietude brings, I sternly told my self: get a grip on yourself and your rollerblading mind. Calm your horses, babe.
    Let’s see what we can do to keep ourselves happy.
  • Groove the kitchen: As mentioned earlier, I am no cook. Yet, just as thousands of years ago, unchartered terrains led to the discoveries of countries, continents and later colonization, the novelty of it found me baking, kneading the dough and cooking, all on the same day.
    Observation: creatively help around in the household by learning some survival skills along the way.

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  • Give yourself space: So what if you find yourself alone on a long holiday? It is not engraved in the Commandments that thou shalt expend energies in the mass hullabaloo of recreation. It’s okay to be introverted and spend time with your own beautiful company. If you are staying with your family, give them your time. Talk. Watch a movie together. Make meals together. Or long morning walks. Even if you spend time everyday, actively hanging out is not the same as passively getting on with bonding.

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  • Get your ass moving: You have been planning to do something for days but always procrastinated on the oft-flown wings of “no time”? Well, get your ass kicking and moving. You have 48 hours, 36 hours, 24 hours, few hours, one hour at your service. Do something. Get productive. Else face the week with a regretful smile of time blown, like the *insert festival* money spent before you are conscious of its existence.
  • Give yourself to the festival’s spirit: Be it Christmas or any other festival, the essence of it lies in giving yourself up to it. Losing yourself in the joys of it. Be your own Santa. Make yourself happy. Gift yourself gifts: tangible and intangible. Spread that joy and be someones else’s Santa. Visit the church, if not for carols, at least for a quiet word of “thank you”. Surprise your people with the surprise of a happier and better you.

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  • Yet another Christmas has come and gone. Boxing Day, symbolically a day of peaceful reflection over the merriment of the prior days, steadily slips into a siesta, soon to end, as the sun will descend to rise again the next day.

    Every festival, no matter where you are, no matter who you are, what you are, whether a believer, atheist, agnost, or however you choose to call your relation with God or the Universe, festivities are not meant to be holed into assumed captivity, but to make our holidays whole with self-love, and fill our fast depleting days with the happiness of being alive.

    Live. Enjoy. For Christ didn’t die for our sins for the heck of it, but for a chance to be better versions of what we are now.

    Preachy much?