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God rest ye merry gentleman
The West Australian Picture: Iain Gillespie

Boxing Day: you're still in a food coma after yesterday's big meal; your Spanx are dangerously distended (NOTE: when a pair of Spanx explode, you'll want to find a foxhole, and fast) and you have a distant memory of telling your mother-in-law that she is a control freak who's revered turkey cream cheese canapes are the culinary equivalent of grievous bodily harm.

There are, of course, those who don't subscribe to such cliches and manage to have a happy, fun Christmas Day filled with goodwill to all men, perfectly mannered children, brilliant food, cheery mothers-in-law and restaurant-standard canapes. We call this Vogue Entertaining World - a magical place where Christmas looks like one long Trenery photo shoot, where discord is banished and where everyone looks like they've just left the hairdresser.

Of course, none of us lives in Vogue Entertaining World; our lives are way too messy. Which is why, in this post-Christmas hiatus, Broadbrush is providing you with the tools to recover.

Do not exert yourself, you'll do yourself damage. Lie on the couch and watch the Boxing Day Test or the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Pace yourself with an icy-cold riesling at the dry, flinty and minerally end of the flavour spectrum.

Send the children to the beach with the au pair. If she is from Europe, tell her that it is an Australian Boxing Day tradition for children to spend all day at the beach and that it is bad luck to return home until the sun has set.

Arise from the sofa at about 1pm to make yourself a ham sarnie. You've already had a Berocca at this stage, so there's no need to add salad vegetables to your sandwich. Well-buttered white bread with thickly cut slices of ham will set you to rights. Add Keen's hot English mustard; it's searing, nasal-scouring heat is just what you need to wake up your lumbering inner athlete. Return to the sofa for a nap, keeping one eye on the cricket.

Stir yourself at about 5pm; remove the steaks from the fridge and leave covered on the kitchen bench to come to room temperature.

Return to the sofa.

At about 6pm, arise, shuffle out to the veranda and make sure the barbecue is cleaned, prepped and ready to fire. Pour a glass of wine and hand out gratuitous advice to those family members engaged in making salads and turkey fritters. Beat a hasty retreat to the veranda.

Remember to recycle: make a side dish of roasted chats and crisped, baked ham and plop big spoonfuls of the turkey fritter batter on the barbecue plate. When cooked, set aside to keep warm.

Now you've done your bit for sustainability, take it easy. Sit back, drink more good wine and be the charming host when your mates arrive for the Boxing Day barbecue.

Go to bed late because tomorrow, life returns to normal with a morning run or a 50km bike ride. And you won't be able to send the kids to the beach for a second day because the au pair is on to you: she has discovered that the only Boxing Day tradition in Australia is the whining of children who have broken their Christmas gifts and the loud clanking of bottles,lots of bottles, being tipped into the recycling bin.

Only 364 sleeps to go.