It’s almost December!! I can’t believe it’s come around so quickly. I do really enjoy this time of the year, it’s nice to take some time to enjoy the smaller things in life and spread a bit of joy, right? We can get so swept up in work through the year that taking some time out is ideal.
And this is the first time in aaaages that I’m not taking a big chunk of time off over Christmas (like when I was in Australia last Christmas, or Gran Canaria the one before that!). I’m only taking those 3 days in between Christmas and New Year. This means I’m basically trying to fit in loads of Christmas activities in December to get all of the festive feels!
So I thought I’d share 5 things which I’m doing (or have done!) this December to get you in the festive spirit..
1 Hit up those Christmas markets / Christmas lights
I mean, can anything make you feel more festive than wandering around a Christmas market? I’m talking fairy lights, a cup of mulled cider and being fully wrapped up a giant scarf and hat. I’ve already been to the Manchester Christmas markets on open day and I do think they are some of the best in the country.
Not only Christmas markets but even just heading out to see the Christmas lights sets off that little festive spirit in me. Quite a few gardens have light specials on but just head into the centre of town and have a look! I’ve not been into central yet to look at the lights but it’s definitely on the cards for December. I mean, Canary Wharf is basically a winter wonderland at the moment, there’s a Christmas tree no matter where you look!
2 Do some festive cooking
I aaaaalways want to get in the kitchen at this time of year. I recently went to an event with AEG and Currys* and we cooked loads of Christmas goodies! I made some mince pies for the first time ever and I have to say it’s way easier than I expected. I mean, it would probably be harder if I had to make pastry, but supermarkets honestly have such great pastry these days.
And once you have your pastry, then you just need to buy some mince and spice it up the way you want – add vanilla, nuts, chocolate, whatever you love in life, pop together in the oven (of which there were some SWISH AEG ones there) and you are set. We also made a deeeelish vegan vegetable wellingtons which would make a great Christmas starter. The team have an awesome blog post on top tips for cooking free-from Christmas dinners too which is so helpful for this time of year.
I always have Sam over for Christmas dinner so that will be happening in a couple weeks and I am going to do ALL of the festive treats. I’m craving trifle already not gonna lie.
3 Get a Christmas jumper and have Christmas jumper nights!
One of my fave things about Christmas in the UK is that I can wear ALL the Christmas jumpers! I want to wear them for basically the entirety of December. There are so many good ones out there on sale at the moment too – I picked up mine from Sainsburys for like £12 which is a bargain.
We are doing Christmas jumper day at work but I also rather enjoy Christmas jumper nights. Grab your family / friends together and mandate that a jumper must be worn. I even manage to get Paul in one in the run up to Christmas and it’s all the festive joy I need!
4 See a panto
Now, I haven’t seen a panto in yeeeears. Like since I was a kid. But I figured it was time to go to another one and see what it’s like! So I’ve booked us in to see Jack and the Beanstalk ’cause that just sounds far too festive. If you aren’t into Panto then I’m also very keen to try and get to some carols this season too.
When I was at school we would do a carol service every single year and I did actually really enjoy them. I am so tempted to go to the one at the Royal Albert Hall one year, the photos look totally dreamy.
5 Give back
I mean, we should focus on giving back all year but it becomes especially important at Christmas. There are lots of places for which you can volunteer your time for. There have been so many charity collections on my way to work and I dug out all of my old coats for Wrap up London.
One thing I’m also trying to do is to help the local food bank. Just google your borough and food bank and you’ll get information on where they collect food or you can check with the Trussel Trust which run many of them. There’s a bin at my local Sainsburys so I’ve been trying to buy a few things extra with each of my Christmas shops to donate.
I’m putting the tree up this weekend and then we will be 100% Christmas season, time to crack out all the Christmas music soon too!
Tell me, what do you do which makes you feel more festive at this kind of year?
*I was a guest of Currys + AEG but all festive loving is my own!