Many of us will be heading back to work today, after nearly a month of fun, overeating, drinking too much and spending too much money.
To rub it in, the weather is slapping us in the face with winter's coldest temperatures so far.
January may be cold, but it isn't all cold-hearted. Here are some good things to look forward to this month:
1. Movies. Many of year's best movies are released late in December so they'll be fresh in the minds of Academy Awards voters. Take advantage of the post-holiday lull to sneak out to the movies in your spare time. Get showtimes here.
2. Winter sports. If you bundle up and keep moving, you'll find the outdoors invigorating rather than intimidating. Check local park districts, such as the Niles Park District and Park Ridge Park District, for indoor and outdoor ice skating. Skiing hills can be found at Wilmot Mountain, Alpine Valley and Four Lakes Village.
3. Sales. Remember all those frantic emails and ads you got before Christmas? Expect prices to be slashed even further on what didn't sell. This is the time of year you can saunter into those overpriced specialty stores and actually afford something.
4. Light. The days are getting longer; if it makes you feel better, you can check the weather forecast to see how the sun is setting later and later each day.
5. Sports. Once you get over the fact the Bears are out of things, you can enjoy the race to the Super Bowl Feb. 3. Basketball is in full swing, hockey is making noises about settling its strike and what about that Notre Dame-Alabama game? And the Cubs are in the best place of all--where you can dream about them without actually having to watch the heartbreak. For those who don't follow sports--see number 3.
Bonus good things about January: soup, hot chocolate, sledding, snowball fights, a day off from work and school Jan. 21 for Martin Luther King Day, fireplaces, winter sunlight, warm coats and boots. What else is good about January? Scroll down to the comments and tell us.