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What on Earth is Romjul?!

And breathe!

Amidst all the frantic Christmas preparations why not look ahead to those few days just after Christmas. The days between Christmas and New Year. Norwegians call this time Romjul.

These days can often feel a bit like being in limbo. All the effort of preparing for Christmas is over. Whether or not you feel it was a success - whatever that means to you - it has been and gone and there is nothing more you can do. Whatever you are doing at New Year, it is still a few days away so there are now these few days in between.

Many people have this time off work, and of course children are on school holidays as well. For many families this is when the real Christmas holiday begins. The busyness of Christmas is over and there is time to enjoy together. So we’ve put together our Top Ten Things to do at Romjul:

1. Boxing Day events
Let’s start with Boxing Day, which for most people is very much part of the mainstream Christmas celebrations. You may well still have family staying so it’s nice to get out and about and do something together. Check out what is happening locally: you may well find that your area has some kind of Boxing Day tradition with an event that you can go along to support. For example in some areas you will find Mummers plays or Morris dancers whereas others have organised walks or even - for the brave! - Boxing Day swims.

2. Pyjama Day
For the rest of Romjul, make sure that you have at least one pyjama day. Preferably more! Those long lazy days when you only need to make it as far as the sofa, then can snuggle down with a blanket and your favourite movie or book. Forget about cooking too. Just pick at all the Christmas leftovers - there is bound to be something for everyone. But take the time to completely relax and recharge your batteries before the New Year.

3. Friends
It’s ironic that we can fill our diary with so many events in the run up to Christmas yet not see many of the people that we would really like to see. So during Romjul make sure that you get to spend quality time with people that you really love spending time with. This doesn’t have to mean more effort or entertaining for anyone, just getting together to do something very simple can mean more than all your Christmas parties put together.

4. Christmas Show or Activity
It’s not too late to catch some Christmas cheer if there are things that you didn’t manage to fit in before Christmas itself. There will still be a wide range of festive activities on offer such as ice skating, winter markets, and Winter Wonderlands - and the dreaded queues will all have died down a bit. Or how about a trip to your local pantomime? You may not think you want to but oh yes you do!

5. City Walk
If you live near a city then Romjul is a really good opportunity to explore it. Travelling into a city is also easier, for example the London Congestion Charge does not apply during Romjul. It’s amazing how often we can live near a place for years yet not do any of the things that we would do if we were visiting from afar.

So you might want to visit some of the tourist attractions, but even just walking around admiring the sights can be inspiring. Take the time to live in the moment and see the city through new eyes. Make sure you have a camera or phone available for some photography along the way. You may want to choose a theme, such as churches or historical houses or reputedly haunted spots. Then finish off your day by warming up in a cosy cafe or pub.

6. January Sales
OK, if you must! Many people have had quite enough of shopping by now but for those of us who love to shop the January sales are a must. If there is that coveted Christmas gift that no-one bought for you then now is the time to treat yourself.

Also if you have any home improvement plans for the year ahead then it can be a good time to start buying up anything that you need. But don’t wear yourself out trekking round shops. Try a morning of shopping then back to a pyjama day in the afternoon.

7. Museums and Heritage Sites
If you enjoy a bit of culture and don’t often get the chance to indulge then Romjul is the ideal time. Most museums have free admission, and are a wonderful way to spend a relaxed day. As well as the big city museums there are many local museums covering every possible area of interest. Check out this list of museums to get an idea of the range of fascinating places there are to visit!

There are also many stately homes and spectacular gardens across the UK - for example National Trust and English Heritage. Why not visit a place that you have always been meaning to go to but never got round to it? If you enjoy your day then consider getting a membership card - giving you full entry to the sites - to make it a regular treat for you and your family.

8. Great outdoors
There is a risk that during Romjul you may start to feel very cooped up and feel the onset of cabin fever. If you have not yet been out and about but don’t want to do anything too organised, then why not just get out for a bracing winter walk. Whether this is a local park, open countryside or even a beach just get out and enjoy the fresh air, the winter scenery and just being together with those you love.

You may want to take along a few provisions and have a bit of a picnic en route. Or if you are not that hardy then plan to end up in a pub or cafe for a spot of lunch!

...And if the outdoors is your thing then why not use the opportunity to take a family selfie and enter our Elfie Selfie competition - You and the family could win a trip to Lapland in December 2019 to meet THE Father Christmas!

9. Exercise
Staying on the active theme, Romjul is a great time to relaunch whatever fitness regime works for you. You have probably let things slide a bit in the run up to Christmas. But don’t hang on until the New Year to restart because everyone will be doing it then in the New Year Resolution frenzy. So get ahead of the game now, while you have the time to start establishing good habits. Whether it’s the gym, swimming, running, cycling or anything else: the time is now!

10. Reflection and Resolutions
Last but not least, try to spend some time reflecting on how this year has been for you and how you would like 2019 to be different. It’s easy to make a list of New Year Resolutions but unless they have some kind of solid basis they are likely to fail. So think about what you have learned this year, what you feel you have achieved and what has disappointed you. If there are things that you really want to do but haven’t, or things that you wish you had done differently, then build those into realistic resolutions and goals for 2019. Then this time next year, hopefully you will be able to look back and celebrate what you have achieved.

We hope that you have a wonderful time this Romjul, and are able to start 2019 relaxed and refreshed. Check back here soon for more lifestyle and photography tips from Venture Studios.

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