Don't know about you, but it feels so different this year I feel like abandoning all the shopping, or rummaging around in the loft for tacky decs. But instead of trying to maintain a normal Christmas which could potentially highlight our daily life being far from normal, doggedly doing the same stuff as every other Christmas may make us all feel a bit dejected and flat.
Especially heartbreaking when you cannot share special family traditions and the joy of being separated from people you love and cherish. I am feeling sad just thinking about this as my son, daughter in law and new baby grand daughter are thousands of miles away in Singapore and we would have been with them for sure. Instead we have exchanged Christmas boxes which we'll open over zoom. How do you feel about giving the usual traditions a rest for this year and trying something new?
What to wear?
Easy. If you have been WFH for months you've probably got a wardrobe of pyjamas, so why not treat yourself to a special Christmas pair to spend the day in? Left to right, Fairisle pyjamas, Boux Avenue £25, Personalised family portrait pyjamas Not on the High Street, £35 and Unisex pyjama set £26.95 Joules.
What to give?
I could say making your own gifts takes time and effort, but so does running around the shops buying presents. That's not an easy option and searching for the perfect gift online also takes time and effort. To cut down on shopping expeditions you could agree to buy one present for your Christmas Day social bubble or who ever you are sharing with. Or just stay at home making stuff for people you love. A less stressful way to spend time?.
The variety of what you can make is endless, sweets, chocolate , jams, marmalades, decorating mugs, knitting a blanket, making jewellery or masks, all online, If you have kids, get them involved. Homemade gin is easy and can be flavoured with their favourite flavouring. People appreciate you have been thinking about them as you spend time and energy making from scratch, doesn't matter what it is, its always goes down well!
What to deck the halls with?
Lockdown has prompted many us to review our homes. We all want safety and security as well as a simpler, more authentic and efficient home that works well for our personality and lifestyle.
One of my first questions to clients is to ask how they want to feel as they enter their home. They invariably answer "cosy". I love this pic, it says it all. Sainsburys Home surprisingly!
Don't have time or inclination to forage from the great outdoors to adorn your space? There are plenty of online alternatives to sparkly tinselly festoons, (they do get tiring to live with after a while). Give them a year off!
Ginger Ray do a great line in simple and traditional paper chains, bunting and garlands, but you'll have to be quick they are selling out fast! Garden Trading also do lovely simple decorations and accessories. That will give you a traditional as well as a minimalist look and easy on the eye.
What to eat?
This is where it may get iffy! Christmas is so traditional, it may be easier to just go through the motions than to fiddle about with it. Its all about family having their own rules, arguing about it and being the same every year and that's what we love. But could you be happy with old favourites as the main meal? Not so stressy as putting the turkey in at 7 am. So how about these for alternatives -
Breakfast - French toast with cinnamon, with Maple Syrup
Lunch - what is yours or your families favourite meal (don't say Christmas dinner!). What means the most to you, a whole salmon, spag bol, Chinese banquet, Take out feast? Break free!
Pudding - as an alternative, take a leaf out of a Nordic cookbook. Ginger cake has the same type of density and comfort food taste. Spice things up with ginger and cinnamon, which have the same comforting, wintry, festive taste. Double up with gingerbread people to hang on the tree.
You never know, you might update yourself and have a few new family traditions, which you might never have thought of in normal circumstances! I'd love to hear what you think, or please let me know if you have better or alternative suggestions which we could share!
BTW my husband proof read this and said "oh that's what we're doing are we"? Yep, its all planned!
I have special offers running for a limited time, also makes a great Christmas gift. Interested?