The week between Christmas and New Years means different things to different people. For me, the activities during this week have changed over the years.

You may have heard of this week as “Betwixtmas,” “Crimbo Limbo,” or “The Merrineum.” It’s considered a strange time of eating leftovers and sleeping until noon.

When I worked, I’d often request this time off to combine with the two book-end holidays for a longer vacation. Depending on where paid holidays landed during the week, I could luxuriate in eleven days off at the ‘cost’ of only three days of vacation. Sweet!

I’d use this time to sleep in, read trash novels, hang out with friends and/or boyfriend and perhaps cook, craft, and party. It was a fun week that felt like stolen time. The week between Christmas and New Years wouldn’t always be about play and goofing off throughout my life due to increasing responsibilities and chores. I thought I’d have children at some point. And we know parents hardly ever get vacation days with no responsibility. However, the children never materialized.

I never spent this time between the holidays at home or with family which felt like an obligation and not much fun. I’d check in with my folks but invariably mumble something about a bustling hubbub of previous commitments that I needed the time off to complete. I don’t know if they fell for it, but no one complained.

When retirement came, everything changed. It came as no surprise that weekends and holidays would blend with every other day off. If anything, I’d resent when working people would interfere with my usual activities in town because they’d taken those days off like I used to. Suddenly, grocery stores were packed, parking lots were full, and there were just more people out and about. “Go back to work, people. This is my space, my retirement space!”

Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate this week by staying at home. Staying at home is something most of us have gotten good at over the last two years. I’m prepared with food, books, crafts, and anything else I might need and don’t have to fight shoppers or people partying and doing all those things I used to do. These days I prefer being home.

What do you do during the time between Christmas and New Years? Do you have a standing tradition or do you mix it up from year to year?

I had fun noticing that people on Twitter share their fun experiences during this time, with more tweets here. In addition, if you’re looking for some ideas about what to do during these days, Living on the Cheap has some great suggestions.

Enjoy the holidays, whether created by your employer or by yourself, and be safe.