This article is written by our guest blogger Lauren Johnson, who tutors English and Media Studies on MyTutor.
It’s that time of year again. Every surface is covered in glittering fairy lights, Mariah Carey and Wham soundtrack our every move, and it’s socially acceptable to eat advent calendar chocolate for breakfast. The holiday season has arrived, and a bit of festive cheer is needed more than ever. Changing regulations and lockdown measures have made this term challenging for many, so some rest and relaxation is definitely on the cards. While things may be different this year, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy yourself while keeping you and your loved ones safe.
Getting stuck into some home baking is a safe and fun way to spend your time this December. Get the whole family involved in putting together a gingerbread house listening to some Christmas tunes, or bake some treats to give to friends as presents (everyone loves receiving homemade goodies)! Gifting some baked goods also allows you to beat the high street queues and save money on expensive pressies. Grab a recipe online for simple cookies, brownies and cupcakes, and decorate them with red and green icing or sprinkles for a festive twist – just remember to leave some for the big man on Christmas Eve! You could even turn it into a bake-off style competition against the other members of your household, with someone acting as a judge. Will your efforts be good enough to receive a Paul Hollywood handshake? (With sanitiser on standby, of course).
This one may seem obvious, but there’s nothing better than putting your pyjamas on and getting settled in for a cosy movie night with your support bubble. However, the success of your movie night will depend on a few factors. Firstly, the choice of film. Will you keep it traditional with ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, go for a modern classic like ‘Elf’ or add some excitement with ‘Die Hard’? Or you could check out our 18 best (sort of) educational Christmas films. Then, cultivate a cinema experience with some popcorn or nachos, or keep it Christmassy with candy canes and hot chocolate. Whatever you go for, make sure to turn on some twinkling fairy lights for the perfect festive ambience.
Unless you’re one of those Grinch types, you’ll probably agree that Christmas music is one of the best things about this time of year. If you’re searching for a way to get the Christmas party vibes going in the comfort of your own home, look no further! You don’t need an expensive karaoke machine to join in on the fun. Revel in the festive vibes by creating a playlist of your favourite tunes and having a singalong! Whether you go for East 17, Shakin’ Stevens or The Pogues, you’ll have the entire household on their feet. Avoid sharing microphones to keep things safe, and include distant family members and friends by dialling them in for an X-Factor style competition, complete with a judging panel and prizes.
While traditional board games are not currently advised to reduce contact of shared surfaces, there are plenty of games that can be played safely. Charades are a classic option, beloved by mums and dads. If you’re bored of watching your older brother attempting to act out ‘Lord of The Rings’ every year, Head’s Up is a more modern game that might be more exciting. Just attach a sticky note with a celeb’s name on it to someone’s forehead, and watch them ask yes or no questions to guess their identity! If you’re stuck for ideas, there are plenty of app versions of this game, too. Pictionary is another fun option for spending some quality family time, and can also be played remotely by holding your creations up to the screen or using a whiteboard on a video call.
Happy DIY December! If you’re more of an introvert, and the idea of singing and acting in front of other people makes you cringe, there are quieter Christmas activities that you can enjoy. Crafting is a great way to enjoy some time away from screens (and like baking, provides great gifting options). If you’re entertaining younger siblings or children, there are plenty of festive crafting activities to choose from. Revisit your childhood by making paper snowflakes or decorating your own baubles. More experienced crafters may want to embark on sewing, knitting, origami, or embroidery projects, but the fun part is coming up with your own festive concepts. For those who aren’t as coordinated or creative, this is also a great time to support small businesses who may be struggling financially due to the dreaded ‘P’ word. Maybe you have friends or family who sell their own products, or you could browse online to find hand-crafted treats that can be delivered to your door.
As Andy Williams once said, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, so make sure to find time to put down the books and enjoy some fun, festive activities over the holidays.
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