Tis the season! How is it already the 1st December? How time flies eh!
I really wasn’t in the mood for Christmas this year, in fact I was feeling downright Grinchy at the prospect of it. Then suddenly December is here and before I know it the excitement has crept in. Literally all I want to do is down mulled wine by the barrel load, don a ridiculous/hideous jumper and bellow IT’S CHHHHRRRIIIIISTMAAAASSS like that dude from Slade. It’s going to be a long month for my boyfriend I feel.
For those of you still struggling to get into the swing here’s a list of things you should do this winter to help bring a bit of holiday cheer! Fa la la la laaaaa, la la la la!
Buy a Yankee Candle
Because what says Christmas like the scent of candles burning. Cinnamon, fresh cut pine, candied fruits. Mmmmm. Yankee do a whole festive range. From Christmas Eve to Snow in Love and Christmas Memories.
Instead if burning your candle at both ends with all the Xmas parties, stay in and relax with Red Apple Wreath. Go on, you know it makes sense.
Donate to charity
The season of giving! And who better to give to then those less fortunate than ourselves. Like last year, I’ll be reserving a place for a homeless person with Crisis at Christmas, for just £21.62 (that’s like the price of 2 cocktails in London!) you can make sure a homeless person has somewhere warm to go at Christmas, have three meals (including Christmas dinner), clothes, a hot shower and support to help get them off the streets.
I’ve also recently, after a mass clear out of my room, donated old clothes, hats, scarves and beauty products to Refuge via my wonderful friend Kate. She’s been collecting every year for a few years on behalf of women and their children who’ve had to flee abusive partners and domestic violence, sometimes with nothing other than the clothes on their backs. If you want to donate anything you can find out where your local refuge is HERE. Alternatively you can buy a refuge parcel that will help these women and their children.
Drink hot spiced mulled wine
Because what says Christmas more than scented candles and charity…why hot alcoholic drinks of course! I mean, 1) you can drink gallons of the stuff and don’t seem to end up face down and fully clothed by the end of the night like you do on normal wine and 2) You can even brew your own concoction in your home, save heading out into those cold winter nights. I mean how delightful does that sound? A night in with a pot of hot mulled cider and your new Yankee candle. Happy bloody Christmas indeed.
Jamie Oliver has got a pretty full on recipe HERE (I mean does anyone just happen to have 2 star anise in their cupboard? Or even know what they are for that matter??) or you could can follow THIS RECIPE which will
probably definitely be cheaper and easier.
Go to the Nordic Yulefest
If you live in London, or even if you don’t, then the usual festive plan is to hit Winter Wonderland for some festive frolicks.
Seriously, save yourselves the stress and the money. Stay away from the hoards of people and kids hyped up on sugar and crap food and headache inducing Christmas tunes that some awful sap is warbling over a microphone.
Go here instead…
Yes, go to the Nordic Yulefest. Scandi chicness at it’s best with all the warmness the season of goodwill should bring. You may not save money with brunch at £55 a head and dinner at £75 but it will be much better spent here than Winter Wonderland. And for that cost you get a Christmas cocktail, 4-course Nordic feast from FIKA, games and treats, dancing and ‘unbridled tomfoolery’. If you don’t fancy the sit down dinner option you can also pay £20 to just join in the Yulefest fun – no fighting for the last bratwurst or being taken out on the ice-rink by an obnoxious 10 year old, just good, clean, grown up fun! It opens next weekend in Shoreditch and will run til every Saturday & Sunday til Christmas. God Jul!
Have a whole day of Christmas films
Duh! The easiest and probably cheapest way to get into the spirit of things is a duvet day with Christmas DVDs. You can pick up most for between £3 and £5 now. Obvious choices include: Elf, Love Actually, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone, The Santa Claus, Harry Potter…oh wait that’s not exactly a Christmas Film but when is it ever not a good idea to watch one of the HP films? You’re right, never. It’s never not a good time to watch one.
Be on trend in winter whites
We may not have a white Christmas this year in terms of snow but in terms of your wardrobe it certainly should be. The season is all about white on white on white, or cream on cream on cream. You get the idea. And I for one LOVE it – although I’m also horrendously worried because I’m what you call a ‘spiller’ (y’know how Chandler was a dropper in f.r.i.e.n.d.s. well yeah, I’m a spiller). As such I’m still deciding whether I can be trusted with this trend although I nearly totally gave in the other day when I tried on cream jeans and a big white/cream knit from River Island. Talk about a modern day angel.
Add to this the cream woollen oversized coat and you’ll definitely be looking a bit of all white come Christmas day!
Buy your peoples personalised gifts
Oh I LOVE personalised stuff. Remember those headbands from the 90s with your name written on it in coloured gels. I would have given my right arm for one of those, aged 9. Sadly the people that made them feel the name Harriet qualified for headband glory. And thus the theme was set for the majority of my disappointed childhood, key rings, bracelets, mugs…never with my name on them. Boo hiss. Therefore I’m all kinds of excited about the personalised Nutella jar from Selfridges. A jar of Nutella with my name on it. Yes please! And it doesn’t stop there…oh no, no! Selfridges has done a WHOLE host of other personalised gifts that are the perfect way to make someone feel extra special on Christmas day.
And while you’re at Selfridges picking up the presents take a moment to stand in the glow of the huge Destination Christmas sign above the door. It was designed by the talented Chris Bracey of God’s Own Junkyard who sadly passed away last month from prostate cancer. His neon signs are coveted by many and are iconic pieces that have appeared in numerous films (Eyes Wide Shut, Batman, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory) over the years. You can donate (here she is was that bloody charity lark again) to his just giving page HERE to help raise money Prostate Cancer UK.
Enjoy the Holy Cheesemas Burger from Byron
One of the best things about the Christmas period is the excuse to indulge in more food than normal. Like a lot more food. Mountains of the stuff. And there are plenty places capitalising on this fact with fun festive offerings. You might remember me heading to Byron earlier this month to devour one of their Holy Cheesemas burgers and I still think you should do the same.
Or perhaps the XXXmas burger from MEATLiquor is more up your street – a sausage and stuffing patty, topped with roasted turkey, crispy bacon, a drizzle of cranberry sauce and gravy? *drooling* Or mabes you could go for the EAT Festive Full Works Turkey Hot Pot? Or how about The Christmas Special from Leon – British Turkey from Norfolk & Lincolnshire, wrapped up with pork, sage & onion stuffing balls, roasted bacon, fresh spinach, olive oil mayonnaise and a cranberry & port sauce. Tis the season after all!
I’ve got two bad boy blanket scarves and they’re the ideal thing for those cold winter nights. You literally wrap yourself up and remain toasty warm. Whether you’re outside catching the fireworks on New Years Eve or carol-ing (pah!), or strolling round a Christmas market…blanket scarves are what you need in your life. Of course the personalised Burberry one would be the dream but failing that Zara do a big selection as do ASOS but you can also grab them from Ebay for half the price!
What are your ‘must dos’ this Christmas period?
Thanks for reading!