I think it is fair to say that most people look forward to Christmas. Even if it isn’t your favourite time of year, there is always something in it for everyone, whether you’re the type of person who lives and breathes Christmas or you’re solely there for the food and drinks. Maybe you’re just excited to have some time off work and spend time with your loved ones. Regardless of what it may be, Christmas is generally enjoyable for all.
With that being said, I am yet to figure out if I enjoy Christmas or not. I am sure I can’t be the only one in two minds about the whole concept. Don’t get me wrong, some years I’m so eager to start listening to the classic songs that we’ve all heard thousands of times before. I cannot wait to decorate the tree, and stock up on all the best snacks that are sold exclusively at this time of year, but sometimes I’m just not feeling it. I guess that is expected in adult life. Christmas does inevitably start to lose its magic, well for me it has anyway, and these “unprecedented times” (as our government would say) have certainly not helped the matter. As a result, it’s been more difficult than ever to get into the festive spirit this year.
However, not much else has gone on since March, and so Christmas is likely to be the highlight of my year, for the pure fact that I’ll get to see my family and live a day that seems semi normal. So, I have decided that I want to make a real conscious effort this year and enjoy the entire Christmas experience while it lasts, not just the day itself. This year has been so filled with uncertainty and anxiety; we deserve a bit of Christmas magic. We finally have something to look forward to and so of course, I want to make the most of it, as I am sure many of you do.
To make this Christmas as special as I would like it to be, I needed to make myself excited. I needed to make sure I was feeling festive. Yes, there are a lot of limits on what we can do this year. We can’t go to Winter Wonderland or go to the pub with our oldest pals. We can’t even Christmas shop as we usually would, but putting all of that aside, we can focus on the simple things that make Christmas a special time of year.
I have tried a lot of different things to uphold the festivities for my own happiness. If you’re wanting to do the same, here are my five ways to feel festive. I hope you enjoy!
- Making a Cheeseboard
Christmas is all about indulging in good foods and beverages, right? So, it seems to me that a cheeseboard is absolutely essential. Not only does it provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy food and wine, but it is also a great feature for a social gathering during the festive season. (I know that this isn’t necessarily possible at the moment, but if you live in shared house with friends or family it’s a great way to get everyone around you in the mood, as well as yourself.)
I personally live in a shared house with friends and so I haven’t been able to see much of my family, hence why this Christmas is super important to me. So, I decided that as a little bit of a pick me up, I would put together an extravagant cheeseboard for us all. I am extremely proud of the outcome of this, and quite frankly shocked by how well it went. I think it’s important that I point that out because to some (myself included), this idea may seem quite daunting. Not only are you putting together a cheeseboard, you’re essentially hosting the evening, but I can assure you that it is super fun and easy to do.
My cheeseboard was completely tailored the personal preferences and dietary requirements of my friends, so I included a variety of different cheeses, including vegan cheese. At this point, I do just want to give a shoutout to Sainsburys because I am thoroughly impressed by the amount of vegan cheese options they had, including vegan blue cheese and chilli cheese. If dairy free is your preference, they have got you covered!
As well as all the cheese you could possibly think off, I also added a few extra nibbles for more variety. We had the full works. Everything from pickles, olives, breadsticks, chutneys, jams, crackers, fruit… The list is endless. As I mentioned before, this was all based on personal preferences. It can be altered completely to suit you and your guests. There aren’t really any rules to what you can and can’t include in your cheeseboard so experiment with it!
I would highly recommend putting a date in the diary to do something like this with your friends/family. Have a drink together, enjoy each other’s company and have a good old time. You’ll soon start to feel festive and hopefully your company will too.
2. Secret Santa
As mentioned above, I live in a shared house of adults’ and I think we all mutually agree that we don’t receive as many gifts at Christmas time as we used to. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that and it is to be expected. However, it is still a nice feeling to be gifted something and to give a gift too.
Thus, I thought it would be a lovely idea for us all to do a Secret Santa this year, so everyone gets a little something. Unsurprisingly everyone was pretty up for it. We’re yet to do our gift opening, but again it’s just another thing to be excited about in the lead up to Christmas. We all need things to look forward to in a time like this, and I personally cannot wait to make a day/evening of it!
Secret Santa is a great and simple way to involve everyone. It assures that nobody gets left out and it is also something that can be inexpensive. There is no pressure to pull out all the stops or go above and beyond. It’s just a great opportunity to treat your friends and have it reciprocated. For instance, my friends and I have agreed on a £10 budget, so nothing too extravagant. However, there is room to push the boat out and up that budget if you wish. This again, can easily be altered to the suit everyone involved.
If like me, you’re missing the fun that comes with receiving and giving presents, give this a go!
3. Lighting the Fire
I am aware that not everyone has a fireplace in their home, but in the area that I live in it seems to be quite a common thing. Christmas is of course the perfect time to make good use of this advantage. The days are getting a little colder, a little shorter and a little darker, and I would argue lighting a fire is the perfect solution to all those things.
Having a fire lit on a cold and dark night will inevitably provide you with warmth and comfort, especially paired with a hot beverage and a cosey blanket. Not only does it make you feel super snug, it also instantly creates a festive atmosphere in the home. I can’t explain it, but we all know that Christmas and a lit fire go hand in hand. I don’t know, maybe my subconscious just associates the two because it is the most cliché setting in your average Christmas film. All I know, Is that this my first Christmas with a fireplace and it has definitely added to the Christmas atmosphere in my house.
4. Lighting a Christmas Candle
This is a great alternative if you don’t have a fireplace. Lighting a few Christmas scented candle will still give you that extra warmth but also make your entire house smell like all things Christmas. I personally have been loving the scent of cinnamon this year, which is odd because I’m not usually the biggest fan of it. Nevertheless, I’ve been burning my Cinnamon sparkle Christmas candle since the middle of November and I cannot get enough of it. It is pretty much a dupe of a Yankee candle. It burns just as well, and the scent is just as pungent. The only difference is, I got it for a fraction of the price.
So, if you are looking for a Christmas scented candle, mine was purchased from Aldi, which you’ll know if you’re from the UK. It was under £5 which just goes to show that these things don’t have to be expensive to be good quality. Equally, If you’re not someone who really likes to spend a lot on Christmas decorations, You can still invest in minor things like a scented candle to get your home feeling more festive.
5. Decorating the House
I’d argue that this is the most obvious and effective way to feel festive, and that’s because it is a widely celebrated tradition at this time of year. It is undeniable that decor instantly changes the vibe of a room. We see this with day to day décor/interior design and Christmas decorations are no different. They really do make a massive difference in my opinion.
One of the great things about decorating the house, is that it’s not just about the finished product, but also the process. A lot of families will see this as a bonding session, a time to get excited and prepared for Christmas together! And once they’re up, It does really make you feel like Christmas has arrived.
I personally prefer the minimal and simple look when it comes to decorations, so I have opted for some holly branches, a couple of basic figures, some gold lanterns, gold candle holder, warm fairy lights and lit candles to pull it all together. It isn’t anything too out there, but it still gives the house a Christmassy feel. If this is your vibe, you’ll be happy to know that I spent under £10 on these decorations and they were all purchases from Poundland bar the holly branches. The holly branches cost absolutely nothing as they were picked, yet they really complete the look that I wanted to achieve.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It just goes to show that a little goes a long way.
Why am I writing this post? Because I want to prolong the enjoyment of Christmas for as long as I possibly can, for myself and others. It is supposedly the most wonderful time of the year, so why not make the most of it? After all, we all deserve to enjoy what is left of this shit show of a year.
If you have any festive suggestions for me and others to try, comment below! I would love to hear your suggestions!
Lastly, I wish you all a very merry December! x