Everyone loves different things about Christmas. From long lie ins to crisp dawn bike rides, naughty Christmas food to ice skating in the park, and from all-night parties to snuggling under a blanket for a Christmas movie marathon, everyone has their own idea of a perfect Christmas moment. So just in case you're looking for inspiration this year, here are 12 ideas to spice up your Christmas!
1. Cook up some Christmas treats with the kids
There’s always a rainy day on the run up to Christmas when you’ve had just enough sleep to face a Christmas Bake Off with the kids! Here are some ideas for interesting treats to tackle.
And if a full on bake fest is too crazy to contemplate here are some cute and super-easy ideas to add Christmas sparkle up your lives without dedicating the day to baking (and then another day to cleaning the kitchen!)
If you're feeling super creative, these Christmas Penguin Cupcake Toppers are adorable and almost too cute to eat! We're sure the kids could get pretty creative with some fondant icing and even if their penguins don't look exactly like Jemma's you'll love them just as much!
2. Watch Elf
The best Christmas movie. Ever.
3. Make this Christmas about Random Acts of Kindness.
Set yourself a challenge to perform a random act of kindness each day in December. It’s so easy to get caught up in the Christmas madness of present buying, outfit hunting and food shopping that it’s easy to overlook the important bits. Challenging yourself to do an extra good deed a day is a great way to reconnect with what it’s really all about - it’s fun to get the kids involved too and help them draw up a Kindness Calendar where they can record all the lovely things they’ve done. It’s good for the soul.
4. Check out local free range meat options.
It’s the best meal of the year, why not make sure your family are eating the good stuff? Local farmers offer traceable meat from animals reared properly and they don’t cost the earth. Here’s a North Devon example of a genuine free range farm.
5. Make Christmas cocktails
There’s no time like Christmas for treating yourself to something special. Here are some great tried and tested recipes to add a little sparkle to your Xmas.
Don’t forget the kids! Here are some ideas for the smaller people, and all those having an alcohol free Christmas.
6. Find your nearest Christmas Market
Perfect for stocking fillers and delicious festive food, drink and treats, Christmas markets are the perfect way to get into the spirit of the season. They’re loads of fun, a great social occasion, and as there are usually fun activities such as bouncy castles they're perfect for kids. They're a brilliant way to support small local businesses too.
7. Have Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve
Controversial. It sounds crazy, but eating the traditional Christmas meal on the evening of Christmas Eve has loads of benefits. It gets Christmas for real started early, with everyone getting together on that magical evening to start the party early. It also means Christmas Eve is the day in the kitchen sweltering in front of a stove which frees up Christmas Day for present opening, Lego building and searching for batteries - everything is already cooked, you just need to eat it! (You also get two Christmas dinners - bonus!)
8. Set up your Christmas playlist in advance.
If there is a limit to the number of times you can listen to Mariah Carey belting out All I Want For Christmas, or if you’re more Fairytale of New York than Mistletoe and Wine, set up your Christmas playlist in advance so you can dance around the kitchen to the songs you really love.
9. Make your own mulled wine and cider.
Homemade mulled wine is so much nicer than the bottled stuff, and not much beats the smell of a pan warming on the stove. This one’s amazing and super simple to make.
Or if you’re a cider fan, this is a winner
Here's Jamie getting excited about his mulled cider recipe. Its so simple and looks mouthwatering - Christmas in a glass!
10. Build a Christmas Hamper
Fed up with the commercialism of Christmas? Reconnect with the spirit of the season this year by doing something that will make a huge difference to a family and donate a Christmas hamper to your local food bank. A good way to do it without overstretching your bank balance is to ask lots of friends for a small donation each, or to set it up at work and create a company project. If everyone donates one item from brussel sprouts to bubbly the hamper will soon fill and a family Christmas will be transformed.
11. Have a Christmas treasure hunt
If the kids have reached boiling point by Christmas Eve, hide chocolate coins around the house and launch a mega Christmas treasure hunt. Or if chocolate overload is a concern, hide Christmas decorations instead and when they’ve found them all award a couple of chocolate coins as a reward!
12. Bake Christmas fairy cakes with the kids.
Most kids don’t love the traditional fruit cake, so cooking up a big batch of Christmas fairy cakes always goes down well over the festive period (and if you get a vat of mulled wine on the go everyone can enjoy the baking fun, too!). Go mad with edible glitter and white chocolate, and a layer of marzipan adds that classic Christmas touch!