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The End-of-Year Anti-Bucket List

By Jennifer Weber

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season (almost) behind us, the very last thing you might be thinking about includes making more plans for the weeks ahead. Time for a rest, recoup and recovery session to start out the New Year!

Take a few moments of relaxation and check one of these items off your End of the Year (Anti) Bucket List, all which can be done without leaving your warm and cozy home.

Pamper Time! Go into the bathroom and pull out that stash of all things beauty supplies. You know the one with foot scrubs and bath salts and face masks and silky lotions? Dive right in and treat yourself! Take an extra long, hot shower and enjoy every minute. Soak your feet in a tub of Epsom salts. Enjoy a bubble bath surrounded by candles, a good book and a glass of wine. Consider this an organizational task to check off that perpetual to-do list and then reap the rewards of your efforts. Win-win.

Many people look at the first day of winter as the countdown to longer sunlight-filled days ahead and are dreaming of the beginning of spring and getting your hands dirty in the garden. If you’re one of these people, why not take a few hours of your time and move on from dreaming to planning your 2018 garden by paging through all those seed catalogs that have been coming in the mail and tossed to the side. All those glorious photos of planting possibilities await, along with the memory of last year’s failures wiped out of mind. It’s never too early to order—you’re guaranteed the very best selection early in the year and you can even start some seeds in potting soil indoors by the windowsill or under grow lights. Many herbs are indoor friendly and there’s nothing like adding them fresh into soups and stews and casseroles during the long months ahead.

Binge time! Find your favorite old-time television series and spend an afternoon getting through season after season while cozy with a blanket and bucket of fresh popped popcorn. You know you have the complete set of Golden Girls on DVD somewhere. Hidden right behind Taxi and M.A.S.H and next to Family Ties, right? And if you don’t, feel free to put that Amazon Prime streaming or Netflix or Hulu subscription to good use. The nostalgic trip back in time is worth a few less steps on your fitness tracker for the week.

Do you love to cook or bake? Do you have shelves full of cookbooks that you’ve paged through and earmarked recipes to try, someday? Or how about those of you with Pinterest boards a plenty with gourmet recipes saved that look too mouth-watering to be true? Go find one of those recipes you’ve always wanted to try. Head to the grocery store and buy every last ingredient on the list if you don’t have it in your pantry. Not having candied ginger is not permission to overlook that Lemon Ginger Pound Cake. Get out of your cooking and baking comfort zone and try something new.

Speaking of books, stop what you’re doing (well, after finishing reading this article of course). Carve out a few quiet hours of time and grab a book off the never-ending to-read pile and get lost for a while. Doesn’t matter what book. Whatever suits your mood. Even a re-read of an old favorite. Once you start, you know you can’t stop. Forget vacuuming, the dishes can wait—the pages are calling your name. Go to them and get lost.

The last suggestion is certainly not one of solitude and quiet, but filled with great joy and lasting memories. When’s the last time you picked up a board game or a card game and played with your family or friends? A classic game of Uno, Monopoly, Yahtzee, Connect Four or one of those new not-very-traditional-and-some-very-not-family-friendly games like Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens. If you’re not the game type of person, pick out a puzzle, grab a coloring book, a set of LEGOS anything you can do together with the ones you love.

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