Christmas is an exciting time of year for everybody but it can be all too easy to get stuck in a rut, doing the same things year after year. From buying the same bath products for your friends each year to cooking up the same roast, Christmas can feel a bit run of the mill if you stick to the same old traditions and never create new ones.
However, shaking things up doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a traditional Christmas. The key is to find subtle ways to bring a new twist to the things you love. Often, with a bit of creativity, even the most mundane things can be reimagined into something fun and unique.
Here are a few ideas.
Shake Up Your Gift Giving – Christmas has become a consumerist holiday and the pressure to spend is getting ridiculous. While buying the same gifts each year is pretty safe, it isn’t very inspired and as the pressure mounts to spend more and more, you would be forgiven for feeling stressed out!
Instead of buying lots, try buying just one or two perfect gifts. Try looking out for unusual Christmas gifts you know your friends would love rather than a standard thing that barely represents your love and appreciation for them. In fact, if you really want to get the right gift then ask them what they would most like!
If you are a crafty person then making your gifts is a natural way to go. Sewing a stocking or making a batch of biscuits to hang on the tree is a sweet way to show you care without breaking the bank or going the same old gifting route over and again. Jars of homemade jam, Christmas chutney or baking kits are also ideal as these gifts are likely to last a little longer and encourage the recipient to get creative themselves.
If a trog around the shops really doesn’t appeal then offering your help or services is another nice way to give this Christmas. A coupon for 2 hours of ironing or an offer to clean and tidy could be more valuable to some people than yet another bar of chocolate. Obviously you should tailor this sort of gift to the recipient but never underestimate the power of giving someone your time instead of your stuff.
Do a Twist on the Traditional Turkey Roast Turkey is synonymous with Christmas lunch but is this big bird really what you want to be cooking? For smaller families, cooking up a large bird means that you are either accepting that quite a lot of the meat will go to waste or you are gearing yourself up for a lot of leftover variations like turkey curry and turkey sandwiches.
Instead of putting yourself through this, why not try some alternative Christmas recipes? The flavours of Christmas often come down to a few key herbs and spices such as sage, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It doesn’t take much to make a Beef Wellington feel festive or to knock up a nut roast for vegetarian dinner guests either. Put some cranberry sauce on the table and you are good to go!
When even sprouts are getting a do-over, it’s time to rethink your Christmas lunch strategy and go for what you really want.
Make Your Own Decorations – Making Christmas decorations with your family should definitely become a family tradition. From the paper chains you can buy in the shops to cutting out snowflakes and dangling them from the ceiling using cotton, making your own Christmas decorations is a lot of fun for the whole family.
Possibly the cheapest and most fun decoration to make is the perfect paper snowflake. All you need is some paper and scissors and you have everything you need for a fun crafting session. Try using different colours of paper or even magazine pages for a multicoloured approach. Put on a Christmas film and get to work!
Going for a walk to collect pine cones and twigs is a good way to start collecting materials for a winter wreath but you can really make wreaths from almost anything. Baubles make for lovely wreaths that you can use again and again but if you are feeling more creative then why not try making one using pieces of leaf shaped coloured paper or even cookie cutters and ribbon? The options are truly endless.
A unique Christmas is all about expressing yourself and being a bit more creative with how you celebrate. Hopefully these ideas will spur you on to make the most this year.