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Nursing a January hangover by Erjy Kolaskin

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Skating is a great leg workout
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January is the evil twin of December: school and work are back with a vengeance, your credit card is busted on stupid gifts and it is so damn cold outside that no one wants to leave the warmth of their fox hole.

But despair not, cure to the January hangover do exist. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about a literal hangover. That would be too easy to cure: just follow our instructions, and if they don't work, head to M:brgr or Schwartz for some good ol'greasy food.

The January hangover is that funky period right after all the holydays and vacations of December. If you want to make the best of it, here is how.

Get the party started

Yes, it's hard to get anyone to do go out or do just about anything in January. So just turn the table around: how about you organize a house party. Maybe your friends don't want to be dragged to clubs and bars and spend tons of money on booze. Going to a cozy house party should be a much easier endeavor for them, especially considering that they won't have to clean up after. Take the hit and throw that party yourself.

Do something out of the ordinary

It is easier to motivate people if they will be doing something new. If your usual activity is to pound-back one beer after another, then how about organizing a night at the museum instead. Wednesday night is half price at the Musee des beaux-arts. Or how about simply hitting a bar in another part of town, somewhere where you usually don't go. If you're always hanging around the St-Laurent area, you could spice things up by hitting Notre-Dame street in the South-West (place like Burgundy Lion, Joe Beef …).

Go all out, go crazy

Really, how about organizing a strip-poker night, or a drinking version of trivia pursuit. If you're an artist, if you paint or do photography, then just put up a show in your place and invite everyone to come see it. If you're an outdoors adventurer, maybe some winter camping could be fun (just make sure it is not too cold and you know what you are doing). Or a week-end of snowboarding and chilling at a cottage: if you split the cost with 10 people then it really doesn't come-up to very much for renting a nice cottage with a warm outdoors jacuzzi.

No one said that January had to be gloomy and it is up to you to make it otherwise. Get out there, open the bottles of red wine or try a fancy scotch in a new bar. And after a wild night of partying, nothing beats an early morning romantic skating or manly hockey game at the Jeanne-Mance park.

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