For most of us Christmas will be looking a little different this year. Even if the day itself isn’t going to change much for you, the days leading up to it will certainly feel different with most Christmas events cancelled and many people not being able to do their usual Christmas travels to see family. But that doesn’t mean that Christmas can’t be extra special this year. You may even find yourself with an abundance of time on your hands if your usual social calendar is heaving at this time of year. But many will be worried about the extra time at home and how to keep busy. So read on for our top tips on making Christmas at home extra special this year.
Camp out around the Christmas tree one night
Many of you will not have managed to go on holiday this year and may be suffering from holiday withdrawal symptoms. Going camping outdoors may not be everyone’s cup of tea, (especially in December!) but glamping in the comfort of your home means that you won’t get cold, you can use your own facilities, and most importantly… There’s no packing! So grab your pillows and blankets and set yourself up for a cosy night around the Christmas tree. And don’t forget the snacks and hot chocolate! You could even get an indoor marshmallow toasting kit!
Photos courtesy of @freepik
Take part in an alternative advent calendar
If you find yourself worrying about what you can do to fill up the time in the lead up to Christmas, why not set yourself or your family some advent activities. There are some brilliant alternative ideas out there that take up a little more time than eating a chocolate (not that we would ever say no to the chocolate!). You could do 25 acts of kindness, make a list in advance of acts of kindness that you want to achieve and choose one each day to accomplish. Alternatively you could set yourself the challenge of making a new decoration for the home each day. This is great one if you want activities for the kids as you could even make them a little advent calendar with the craft activities for each day. And in keeping with the theme of the year, we love this homemade calendar using toilet rolls from TasteMade and Frugal Living.
Start a new family tradition
You may be at home with the family for the first time this Christmas if you usually go to stay with relatives, so now is a great time to start a new family tradition! They don’t have to be costly or complicated, just something that the whole family can enjoy. Take a drive or a walk around your local area to see the Christmas lights (you may even find that people have gone bigger and better than ever this year!) Do some family baking. There are some wonderful Christmassy things to bake, but often we are just too busy to fit them in to the schedule, so why not spend some quality time making a gingerbread house. Or an old favourite which many families already do… Have a family Christmas Eve book reading. Our favourite Christmas Eve book to read is of course ‘The Night Before Christmas’.
Give homemade gifts
Now this one might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but if you enjoy getting your hands dirty then think about what you could make for presents this year… It can also be a great way to save a few pennies if things are looking a bit tight. You could sew some decorations, make some jam or have a go at knitting some scarves! You may even discover your have a hidden talent!
Arrange a virtual present unwrapping
Part of the fun of giving gifts is seeing the reactions of your family and friends as they open them. If you are missing the thought of spending Christmas with relatives this year then why not arrange to pre send gifts. Be sure to then set a time to have a video chat, either on Christmas day or another time. This way you can all unwrap your presents together like you usually would and you’ll still get the see the joy on their faces as they open another pair of socks (no really, we LOVE socks for Christmas!)
Start a present wrapping competition
This is a particularly great one to do within the household so that you don’t have to post the presents and ruin all of your hard work. Start a present wrapping competition… We’re talking beautiful papers, pleats, origami, ribbons, ornaments… Whatever you can think of! Check out the awesome ideas here from Crafty Prapty.
Decorate the tree as a family
For many households, decorating the tree has become a bit of a chore. You set up the tree, untangle the lights and quickly shove on some decorations as quickly as you can just to get it done. But decorating the tree for many of us is a wonderful time spent with the family. Talking about things as you decorate the tree. You may find that lots of your ornaments have stories… Some could be family heirlooms handed down through generations, others may just be you failed attempt at salt dough the year before, but whatever the story have a good chat and a giggle about them!
Have a movie night (with all the trimmings)
This doesn’t have to be a Christmas movie, although great if it is! Pick out a movie, or indeed a trilogy that you have been meaning to watch, and settle down for a good session in front of the box. But be sure to make this an extra special movie night. Put your Christmas tree lights on, pull out your favourite snacks and settle down with a festive drink… We love a hot chocolate, mulled wine or even a festive cocktail! And don’t forget, we have all sorts of glassware available for hire if you need anything special for the season… Our handled latte glasses are perfect for mulled wine!
Go all out with your table decoration
A centrepiece isn’t always easy to fit on a Christmas table when it’s laden with all those dishes of wonderful food, but if your going to be seating less people than usual at the table this Christmas then why not go all out… Foliage down the middle, perhaps some candles, and why not set up each place with beautiful chargers, plates and cutlery. Upgrade form the every day crockery with our Christmas hire packages, including chargers, crockery, cutlery, glassware and napkins. Take a look at our website for more information… (click here)
Cook your families favourite Christmas dinner
Let’s be honest, a roast Turkey is not everyone’s favourite meal. If your family love the tradition of a Turkey then go ahead and cook up the traditional roast, but if not then why not use this day to cook something you know your family will love. You may still want a traditional roast but with a different meat (or indeed vegetarian alternative) or you may prefer a lasagne! There are traditions, but there are no rules! Go ahead and cook what’s going to make you happy on Christmas day!
Play a virtual game with family or friends
Zoom, Portal, WhatsApp, Skype… Whatever your chosen platform, we have all become dab hands at video chats this year, and it can be a wonderful tool when it comes to seeing your family and friends during the Christmas season. So host a games night! Charades, Guess the Christmas Song and Christmas Quizzes are all games that work wonderfully over video chat. Just remember that you may need to do a little bit of prep work to make sure the games run smoothly.
Unplug from technology
Video chats are a great way to stay in touch with loved ones over the festive season, but be sure to take time to unplug as well. If you’re spending Christmas at home, perhaps on your own or with just your household, it can be far too easy to while away the day on your phone. You may even be tempted to check your work e-mails, but try to take a day off. Catch up on any important work calls the day before, set an out of office, stay off social media and have a gaming free day (unless of course a video game is your chosen Christmas day activity). Enjoy your meal, dust off the board games from the back of your cupboard and spend some quality time with your household.
Give the gift of gratitude
Many of you will already do this, but if not then think about writing thank you cards. We have all seen the benefits of snail mail this year, and having a thank you card drop on your doormat can be so exciting. So set some time aside after Christmas day to sit down with pen and paper and let your loved ones know how much their gifts meant to you. Don’t forget to get the kids involved… It’s never too early to learn the joy of letter writing.
Slow down and enjoy it
Perhaps the most important one. One of the huge benefits of a quieter Christmas is the gift of time. Many of us can feel quite frazzled by the time Christmas day comes around. We’ve queued in heaving shops, fought over the last turkey, frantically wrapped presents until the early hours and filled every moment with work parties, festive meals out and local Christmas events. But this year our social calendars may be looking a little empty… And that is certainly not a bad thing. Enjoy the time and who knows, you may even get to relax on Christmas day!
Whatever Christmas holds for you, we hope our tips will help you in making Christmas at home extra special this year. We have a huge array of equipment for hire if you need anything over the festive season, from crockery, cutlery, glassware and linens through to furniture and kitchen equipment. Take a look at our website or e-mail us at [email protected] for more details.