Now I struggle to see New Year in

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Well the presents have been opened, the turkey has been eaten and the relatives who are seen but once a year have all been visited.

You have eaten your way through turkey sandwiches, soups and the obligatory turkey curry and you have reached the point where quite frankly if you never see another turkey again it will be a blessing.

The tree has taken a distinct turn for the worse with once-perky branches now drooping heavily and wearily from being bombarded by the central heating.

What was once a sight to behold glimmering away in the corner is now a forlorn, pale imitation of itself.

Without presents under its weeping branches, the tree has taken on a certain melancholy look – reminding you that another year is over and it will be more than 300 days before you are able to get into the festive spirit again.

All you are left with is the piles upon piles of rubbish which seems to mount up at this time of year – mostly from the hastily discarded wrapping paper and the endless packaging every single gift seems destined to have these days.

However, the good news is there is still a party to look forward to, in the guise of the New Year before the dreaded work regime beckons once again.

If you are lucky, you have been able to work out your holiday entitlement to allow you the maximum time off over the festive period. With the dark mornings and even darker, long, cold nights, it is always a nice time of year to be at home.

There is nothing I like better than being able to curl up with a good book in front of a roaring real fire.

However, since the arrival of children in our lives, the most you get to read in front of the fire is the odd rendition of Going on a Bear Hunt, rather than some longed-for bodice-ripper.

The arrival of the offspring has also seen a massive dip in our socialising.

Once upon a time I looked forward to New Year more than Christmas itself. Even as a little girl coming from Scottish roots Hogmanay was the main celebration of the festive season. Christmas was a poor relation in comparison.

I remember staying with my grandparents and cousins when we were all really small and being woken by my somewhat merry uncle and grandfather at midnight in order to witness the old year being shown the door (literally) and the New Year being welcomed in.

If my bleary memory serves me correctly, I am sure a lump of coal was involved somewhere as my relatives rowdily opened and shut the front door, waving off the previous year.

Years later I would love the fact I had cousins north of the border as that allowed me to witness first hand the great celebrations in Edinburgh each New Year.

This became highly commercialised obviously just a few years later. But by that time I was into hosting my own celebrations.

Every year I would invite all my best friends, and whoever they were with at the time, to my parents’ house.

They very kindly gave me and my brother the run of the ground floor while they hosted a second party on the floor above.

I would spend hours cooking mountains of food and saving all my money to buy booze.

The evening’s highlight would be playing some drunken form of charades, which always seemed to result in howls of laughter as people tried to come up with the rudest ideas imaginable.

Even when it was our first child’s first Christmas season I was still up for having my New Year’s celebration.

We hooked up with other friends who also had very small children and we successfully partied the night away while taking turns minding the various offspring.

Sadly I couldn’t keep up my partying ways as I went on to have more children. Tiredness and exhaustion soon won out and now I can barely keep my eyes open as the clock counts its way down to midnight.

And I think this year will follow the same pattern, sadly.

The next time I feel like partying I think it will be with my offspring as they get to the age where they can stay up and appreciate it all.

But I do know one of the first things I will do in the New Year is recycle our Christmas tree as well as the stacks of packaging and wrappings which are already getting on my nerves.

Sheffield City Council and Veolia Environmental Services have this sorted with a special festive recycling service. For more information visit:

http://www.veoliaenvironmentalservices.co.uk/Sheffield/