Last year I wrote a festive to-do list to help make the most of the run up to Christmas, AKA my favourite time of year. On this list of suggested activities were things like inviting friends over for a delicious nut roast, going ice-skating, attending a local carol service… you see where I’m going with this. Doing those things in 2020 just isn’t going to be possible. Unless you’ve got your own skates and private ice rink in your back garden, in which case, go right ahead.
Now, the way I see it is this: We could let Covid thwart the merriment and festivities, or we could adapt. I feel like I’ve been adapting all year, so I may as well carry on the theme. I firmly believe that we can (and should!) enjoy the run up to Christmas. Perhaps more so than ever this year, since – as we all know – 2020 has been appalling, and it’s good to embrace the things that bring us joy.
So, this is my festive to-do list to make the most of December – from home.
- Have a Christmas Movie Weekend
There’s an abundance of festive films for you to choose from this year, from the classics like Miracle on 34th Street, to Netflix originals like The Christmas Prince. Bring the duvet downstairs, get your mince pies out of the cupboard, pour yourself a glass of wine/hot chocolate/almond Baileys, and settle in.
- Play games
Games don’t have to be reserved for Christmas Day! Dust off the Cluedo, round up your housemates, and let the arguments begin.
- Make some Christmas-scented candles
A few years ago Luke and I made candles for our friends and family for Christmas. They were very well received, and it was nice for us to do something a little bit different. We had some jars left over from our wedding favours, but everything else was bought from Supplies for Candles, who are a brilliant UK-based company. Some of their Christmas scents include White Chocolate Christmas Cookies, Mulled Pear & Cranberry Punch, and Festive Fig & Snowberry. Don’t they sound dreamy?
- Curl up with a book
There are so many great books out there, just waiting for you to curl up with them next to the fire. With the nights drawing in and the rain tapping at the window, getting lost in another world is one of my favourite ways to switch off and de-stress. Some of my favourites are: Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin by Catherine Ferguson, Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas, Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley, The Christmas Project by Maxine Morrey, and I’ll take New York by Miranda Dickinson.
- Have a virtual Strictly Come Dancing Party
Strictly Come Dancing is one of the hallmark features of the run-up to Christmas. The show-stopping dance numbers, the costumes, the music, the sequins, Claudia Winkleman being hilarious. It wouldn’t be the same without Strictly. Gather a friend or two on Zoom, and get ready to compare scores.
- Write some Christmas cards
If you’re not going to seeing people in person this year, send them a card. I haven’t sent cards in recent years because I’ve always been able to see everyone throughout December. This year, however, I’ll be settling down at the dining table with a Christmas candle (and probably a Christmas film in the background, let’s be honest), and writing some cards.
- Make a Christmas playlist
Is there any better way to shake off a bout of anxiety than with a kitchen dance party? I think not. And a Christmas dance party takes it to a whole new level. Pull up Spotify or Deezer and make your own Christmas playlist that you can listen to whenever you need a bit of a mood boost. I recommend Michael Buble’s Frosty the Snowman, The Ronettes’ Sleigh Ride, Aretha Franklin’s Joy to the World, Straight to Chaser’s Run Run Rudolph, and Sia’s Candy Cane Lane.
- Bake something tasty
One of the great joys of the festive season is the food, and seeing as we’re spending more time at home this year, it’s a good opportunity to get our baking hats on. Mince pies, gingerbread biscuits, spiced cookies. There are lots of ideas on BBC Good Food, if you fancy making something new!
Photo by Anna Peipina on Unsplash