Missing Christmas? A Reader’s Guide to Beat the After-Christmas Blues

If you are like me, you love the Christmas season. You love seeing the decorations popping up bit by bit all over town. You watch the weather reports almost obsessively to see if it will be a white Christmas, and you revel in the playing of Christmas music when nobody can frown upon it. Then, Christmas day comes. And then it is gone. All the build-up is over. The magic has passed. True, you’ll be trying to get the glitter from that tree ornament out of the carpet for months to come, but the true sparkle is only a memory. I love Christmas, but it only makes the after-Christmas letdown all the more painful. So, what do you do with that week between Christmas and New Years when you still need something fun, but relaxing enough to help you recover from the holiday crunch? You read, or course!


Nothing speaks of winter relaxation more than a good cup of hot chocolate, a warm blanket, and a good book. It really is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy a good book, or two, or three, or however many you can get your hands on. If you don’t already have a reading list, here are some ideas on how to utilize this time.

 
1- Read the books you got for Christmas. If you are an avid reader and others know this, chances are you got at least one book for Christmas. At least, hopefully, you did. Now is the perfect time to read it.

 
2- Organize a reading group. I guess it’s kind of like a book club. You and some friends all read the same book so you can talk about it.

 
3- Get some friends together for a read-a-thon. Everybody bring a pillow, a blanket,  a snack to share, and, of course, a book, and hang out together with your friends and your books. If you really feel competitive, you could always see who could read the most pages, but I think it is the most fun just to relax.

 
4- Find a friend or a group of friends, and pick books for each other. Give your friend your favorite book to read (assuming they haven’t already read it) and see what you friend enjoys.

 
5- Find an Indi Author to support. An Indi Author is somebody who is trying to independently publish their own work. Often these are found as kindle books on Amazon, but there are some other platforms too, like Barns and Noble, or the iStore. Some of them aren’t stellar quality, but you can find some serious gems. One of my very favorites is J.A. Andrews (She was kind enough to write a guest post for this blog. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s right here.) You can find her books, A Threat of Shadows, and Tomkin and the Dragon on Amazon. As somebody who is planning on publishing independently, this is an option I highly recommend. If you enjoy the book, don’t forget to leave them a stellar review. And speaking of reviews…

 
6- Update your Goodreads account. If you don’t have one, set one up. It’s fun. You keep track of all the books you’ve read and leave reviews for them. Don’t forget the review part. It really means a lot to the authors.

 
7- Check out a site like Wattpad. There are some sites that are there so people can post their work for others to read for free. As with anything you find on the Internet, there are some pieces on there that are junk, but there are some really fun things. I have a story that I am posting bit by bit on Wattpad. If you want to read it, or at least what is there so far, here is the link. I post a new chapter every Friday, so you can follow along and look forward to something new each week. I like to think it is one of the fun things out there and not the junk.

 
8- Find an ARC team to join. ARC means “advanced reader copy.” If you get an ARC, it means you get a copy of somebody’s book before it is officially released, usually for free. In exchange, you read through it and leave a review for them as soon as the book has been released to the public. They also greatly appreciate it if you tell other people about the book in places like Facebook or Twitter, or any other social media platform. I was hoping to have my book ready to send out to an ARC team by now, but due to an opportunity to have extra editing done (always a good plan), it isn’t quite there yet. Stay tuned, though, because I’m going to be looking for people to send ARCs to soon. I’d love you on my team then.

 
9- Volunteer for Librivox. Librivox is an organization that uses volunteers to record audio versions of books with expired copyrights. A lot of the great classics can be found on their website, and you can download them or just listen to them completely for free. It is completely volunteer, so the recordings aren’t usually super professional, but if you get the right narrator, it is really an awesome way to listen to books. Anyhow, if you like to read, you might as well read for a cause. Go here to volunteer to record something for them. Or, if you really don’t feel like recording, you can at least listen.

 
10- If all else fails, write your own book to read. You just can’t find the perfect book? Write it! Write what you want to read. Chances are if it is something you would want to read, there is somebody else out there who would like it too. Or, just write it for yourself. Let your imagination go wild. Need some inspiration? Here are a few of my favorite writing blogs and podcasts.

Ninja Writers
The Write Practice
Go Teen Writers
Writing Excuses

 
Hopefully one or more of these ideas will help chase away the after-holiday blues. With a list like this, you really should never be bored.

 

What kinds of things do you like to do to after Christmas? Are there any amazing reading activities I’ve missed? If you think of one, share in the comments! (It asks for an email, but people won’t see it on the page here.)

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