This time back in 2019, weeks away from Christmas, families were heading out to Christmas markets across the country, high streets were packed with shoppers, and pubs, restaurants, and function rooms were full of companies celebrating their office Christmas parties.
This year, well, to say nobody could have imagined we’d be where we are today this time last year would be the understatement of the century. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and there are signs of normality slowly returning but unfortunately we need to resign ourselves to the fact that Christmas in 2020 will be one largely spent at home.
I love this time of year, and while I do love a good Christmas market, there are also more than enough festive things to do at home to pass the time and make the most out of a Christmas which will largely be spent at home.
Okay, so we can’t go and enjoy a cup of warm mulled wine and a mince pie at a Christmas market this year, and we can’t get blotto and drink far too much at the staff Christmas outing, but we can still have a fantastic time at home.
Here are my se7en fab ways to make Christmas fun at home this year.
Hold a festive movie marathon
Whether you’re looking to relax at home by yourself, with friends, or with your family, one of the best ways of getting into the Christmas spirit at home is to hold Christmas movie marathon.
Ideal on a cold and blustery weekend, get the fire lit and the heating on, throw on your comfiest Christmas PJs, grab your favourite Christmas snacks (calories don’t count in December, we all know that) and sit down to enjoy your favourite festive classics.
The movies that you watch, and indeed in which order, are entirely down to you but if it was me personally, I’d go with: Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Jingle All the Way, and finish up with Die Hard. Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie, but please wait until the kids are asleep before you watch it.
Throw on some Christmas music and decorate the tree
If you’re struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, a guaranteed way of lifting your spirits and finding your Christmas mojo again is to decorate the tree.
Every time I’m struggling to feel festive, I’ll go ahead and grab the tree, lights, and decorations from the loft, turn on the Christmas songs, and soon enough I’ll be feeling more festive than ever.
Seriously, there’s no better way to feel all Christmassy than by putting baubles on the tree and hanging the lights in the window as ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ blares out of the speakers.
Make Christmas baubles
No tree would be complete without baubles, and if you want a fun and quirky thing to do this festive period, why not go ahead and get crafty by making Christmas baubles to hang on the tree?
Because there is such a market for homemade decorations, you can order homemade bauble kits and can fill them with what you like, or paint them however you like and hang them proudly on the tree.
Me personally, as I like a tipple at Xmas, I’m a fan of the homemade alcoholic baubles you can make, which are basically large baubles with a miniature bottle of booze inside, though you can also put other treats inside.
Find your own Yule log
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a winter’s walk in the countryside.
If you’re starting to get cabin fever because you’re spending too much time inside, why not head out for a walk, and go and find your own Yule log?
The custom of burning the Yule log dates back many centuries, as it was an ancient Pagan tradition to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Now, I won’t go into too much history here because I’m not actually sure and in truth neither are the history books.
Basically, though, the idea is that you walk in the countryside or find your nearest woodland and you find a fallen/dead log, you take it home, and you burn it to bring you luck and good fortune for the new year. Some traditions call for a small portion of the log to burnt each night during the twelve days of Christmas.
You don’t have to get too technical here, just head out into the woods, find a fallen log that appeals to you, take it home, and carefully burn it, either in your stove/open fire or in the garden if not.
Bake Christmas treats
The holidays are very much a time to get creative and what better way to get creative than by baking delicious treats that you can enjoy eating?
I’m not much of a baker, I’m far better at eating than baking, but I do enjoy it around Christmas time, particularly because I enjoy mince pies.
You can bake whatever you like of course, but I recommend mince pies, gingerbread, and perhaps some puff pastry Christmas trees filled with chocolate spread.
Make your own Christmas cocktails
This is very much an adults-only activity to do when the kids are tucked up fast asleep in bed.
Cocktail making can be almost as much fun as cocktail drinking, so why not invest in a cocktail making kit, pick up the necessary booze and ingredients and go ahead and mix up your own cocktails to enjoy at home.
The bars, pubs, and clubs might largely be closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favourite Christmas cocktail. Me personally? I’m a fan of the traditional Christmas Snowball made from Advocaat, lemonade, a squeeze of lime juice, and finished off with a glacier cherry.
Serve up a hot chocolate buffet
Looking for the perfect drink to enjoy as you settle down for your Christmas movie marathon? Why not create a hot chocolate buffet?
Simply go ahead and get a tray and fill it with small bowls filled with hot chocolate ingredients and toppings such as chocolate shavings, mini marshmallows, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar sprinkles, malted drink powder, and perhaps hot chocolate syrups and a series of cookies and snacks.
You could even have a warm pan of milk constantly on the go so you and the family can top yourselves up and customize your mugs of hot chocolate as you see fit.
I wish you a wonderful Christmas! Stay safe but don‘t forget to have fun!
Until next time stay safe, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!