You know the morning: you awake with a a mildly banging head, surrounded by your scattered, half-opened presents and pink paper crown. The famous day has come and gone, so you lie there; dazed and wondering what to do with yourself. Sale shopping? Ice skating? Let's face it, no one really knows what to do on this weird limbo-like day (I mean, does anyone box stuff?). So, instead, here are five things not to do.
No, seriously, don't. Not Westfield (east or west), not Covent Garden and especially not *shudders* Oxford Street with its inexplicable queue outside Next. I'm pretty sure it's legally considered your own fault if you die in a party dress-related pile-up in Topshop on Boxing Day.
Other than physically going to Lapland, this is one of the most Christmas-y novelties you can do, meaning it's a favourite activity for killing the post-turkey sorrows. Don't fall into that trap: the smugness of hitting the ice at Somerset House, Tower of London or the National History Museum just 12 hours after doing Baileys shots with your mum will soon wear off when the loud music, club-esque lighting and volume of people induces a middle-of-the-rink panic attack.
Do any kind of exercise
It's a national holiday, which means that if you announce loudly in front of your disappointed family that you're going for a casual, frosty run up Primose Hill, around Hampstead Heath or through Victoria Park to shed that Christmas guilt, you're technically breaking the rules of bank holidays. It's practically still Christmas, and don't forget that in a week's time you're going to be shouting 'happy new year!' while throwing up champagne on the night tube, so put that woolly jumper back on and say hell yes to another chocolate log and BBC rerun.
Offer to take your niece or nephew to Winter Wonderland
It's all fun and games (or more specifically: circuses, hot chocolates, ferris wheels, overpriced bratwursts) until the child in question promptly decides they want to go home while you're suspended 60 metres in the air on the Star Flyer, and you're subsequently herded like cattle for an hour and a half to escape the prison of festivity, before tumbling out of the exit so disoriented by the lights that you can't find Hyde Park Corner tube station.
Underestimate the power of the Boxing Day musical
No one is above the Boxing Day musical. No one. No matter how successful, film-snobby or Shoreditch you are, when 'The Sound of Music', 'Annie', 'Grease' or 'Oliver!' appear on that telly, all singing and dancing, you must accept your fate; find a comfortable spot on the sofa next to grandma and enjoy every last clichéd chorus.