Christmas is just around the corner. After a cancelled festive period last year and a miserable 2021, this is one holiday we are all looking forward to. Most families hold grand traditions over the festive period such as gift-giving, get-togethers and of course, dinner. However, sometimes the monotony of doing the same thing each year can set in, and you might want to do something a little different come December 25th. There are many easy and enjoyable alternate ways to spend Christmas this year with some thought and planning.
A UK Staycation
With the Covid-19 pandemic all but shutting down most of the world, 2020 and 2021 saw a 300% increase in Brits booking holidays at home. So as Christmas approaches, you could consider a short break over the festive period. There are many static holiday homes all over the nation, and seaside resorts are dotted all over the 8,000 miles of the British coastline. There are also many stunning lodges for sale at luxurious and picturesque locations all over the UK. You can earn money when you’re not there and make magical memories each year with one of these.
Go Out for Dinner
Millions of people look forward to their Christmas dinner each year. Turkey with all the trimmings, pigs in blankets, crispy roasties in goose fat and of course, Brussel’s sprouts. Yet, when all is said and done, is a Christmas dinner, not a glorified Sunday roast? For example, suppose you cook a Sunday dinner each week and like Christmas day off. In that case, consider going out for dinner on the special day. Many established restaurants such as Toby Carvery and local pubs offer Christmas dinners leading up to and on the day itself. An excellent way to take some of the pressure off, let you relax a little and enjoy your day.
Stay with a Relative
No one is suggesting you turn up unannounced, National Lampoon’s style. But you could perhaps arrange a stay with a relative during the holiday period. This way, you get to see family and friends, and you can help out in the kitchen, taking some pressure off your hosts. Some of the best times are surrounded by family, and the kids will never forget their time playing with their favourite aunts, uncles, and cousins. Perhaps this could become a great family tradition, and alternating the hosting makes it a fairer occasion all around.
With the rampant commercialism implied by this time of year, it’s easy to forget that Christmas is all about goodwill to all rather than who got the most expensive gift. Approximately £80 billion is spent during the festive period in the UK alone, and the figure increases year on year. However, at this point, most people already have what they need, and perhaps a more jovial approach is required. Instead of spending large amounts of money on others and them on you, consider making it a tradition to purchase joke gifts for each other. This relieves some of the pressure of deciding what to give, keeps costs down and is just plain fun.
Of course, the image of Christmas and the traditions involved vary considerably all over the world. Cultural differences permeate what the holiday looks like, means and tastes. For example, while we enjoy our Turkey roast in the UK, many African nations tuck into a suckling pig with yellow rice. And while we want the blinking of Christmas lights on a tree, the Philippines take it to another level with their traditional spinning lights lanterns. So consider making Christmas a little different this year by adopting the traditions of another culture.
Help the Needy
Through the pressure and excitement of the holidays, it’s easy to forget that there are those with nowhere to go. You can count yourself extremely lucky when surrounded by friends and family in a warm and loving environment. Unfortunately, for some, Christmas is an incredibly lonely time. The elderly, orphans, those without family and the homeless are prime examples. As a result, suicide attempts skyrocket during this period. However, you can easily help on behalf of charities. Homeless shelters and the Salvation Army desperately need volunteers during the festivities.
Volunteer with Animals
Further to helping the needy, animal shelters also require some extra help during the Christmas period. We are all aware of the horrendous stories of abandonment that follow the holidays. Additionally, the employees of pet’s homes also spend time with their families, so staff numbers are often down during this time. You can make a massive difference by volunteering some of your spare time on Christmas day helping a four-legged friend. And who knows? You might leave the shelter with a new family member!
The Great Outdoors
The cosiness of Christmas is legendary. Watching the snowfall through a frosty window while you stay warm next to an open fire wearing a silly jumper is part of the experience. And for many, it doesn’t get much better. Yet, you might want to break with tradition this year and perhaps start a new family tradition. So, gather your friends and close family for an outdoor adventure you will never forget. Although Christmas falls in winter, it isn’t too cold to go outside most of the time. So, beginning on a crisp and glorious morning, spend the day in the great outdoors, with plans for a hearty dinner when you return later on.
There are tons of things associated with Christmas. Cards, decorations, lights and of course, the tree. And then there’s the food. All of these can add up to a pretty penny when combined. Yet you can save a lot of money and start a new tradition by doing everything yourself. Cards can be printed or even drawn by the children, and it’s easy to make stunning Christmas decorations when you know-how. Additionally, pre-prepared food is sold at a premium. You can save around 50% on Christmas foods simply by peeling, chopping and cooking vegetables yourself.