Short days, chilly climes, grey skies and nothing of note happening... The beginning of the year is always a rather gloomy stretch. With the merry, manic festive period behind us, fairy lights disappear from windows, the fridge is no longer stocked with a brilliant array of cheese, and spiking your morning coffee with Irish cream becomes a little more questionable. January is a sluggish, nagging month to say the least.
To add to the usual dreariness, the past two years have greeted us with yet more grim world news, lockdowns and general feelings of quiet peril. Shut in our homes and buckled in for a tedious, troublesome ride, the strain on mental health has been particularly intense. We at The Dilettante have been ruminating on how to combat this and have decided it is time to invent a new holiday to perk up January... introducing St Sloth’s Day.
Landing on any Saturday of your choosing in January (or whenever you have a day to spend really), St Sloth’s Day is basically a second Christmas but free of its stressful demands. A day to revel in doing nothing and to savour your home comforts, it is your free day pass to avoid obligation and worry.
On the day itself, wake up whenever you fancy. Luxuriate over a long breakfast and think of all the times you have rushed to leave the house at the crack of dawn with only a boring piece of toast. The rest of the day can unfold as you wish. Today, you are basically a cat, and are allowed to nap, eat and potter at your leisure. Light that ridiculously overpriced candle that you fear using up. Watch movies that make you feel warm and happy. Curl up with a really good book. Don’t look at social media or the news. Take a bath. Stretch. Breathe.
The making of the tea is an important part of the day and should be treated as a precious ceremony. A teapot is advised, to get the most tea for the least effort, and as many biscuits to dunk as you damn well like. You may want to load up a tray of fruits, chocolate and other nibbly things to enjoy as you idle in bed. If you are assuming the guise of a rich nineteenth century dandy and lolling around as if it were your job, you’re doing this right.
We may have spent most of the past two years in our pyjamas watching the television, but St Sloth’s Day is a horse of a different colour. Perhaps we were hasty when we said the day held no obligations, for there is one small order: you must be mindful of the fortunes life has brought you. Marvel over your central heating. Taste your food. Thank your blankets. Spend a little time making a list about the things you are blessed with that make you happy. Enjoy the quiet, cosiness of your surroundings.