1. Christmas Eve movie
One of my most simple joys is to plot out the best Christmas movies available on TV, then bunker down under some blankets with some home popped popcorn. Blissful.
2. Writing a letter to Father Christmas
This sweet tradition goes back years and can be as simple or elaborate as you like. You can even get a reply from the big man himself when you send a stamped addressed envelope to Royal Mail here.
3. Attending Midnight Mass
Walking up to a church in the dark, wee hours to attend midnight mass is a soothing experience for me. Spending time celebrating what Christmas is all about means so much and is such a small and simple experience.
4. A Boxing Day walk
What’s Christmas without a boxing day walk with the relatives? Not only does it burn off some of that stodgy food but I love going exploring a new place or just a jaunt around the park watching local kids riding their new bikes and other families all rosy cheeked and happy together.
5. Inviting an extra guest
Make it your tradition to invite an extra guest, someone who has nowhere to go that respective year. Inviting someone into your home on such a special day is often the lifeline many people need.
6. Go carolling in your neighbourhood
You know that scene in Christmas with The Kranks where those Victorian-style carol singers come to the door, do that. Don’t back down. Have fuuuuuuun.
7. Read ’Twas the night before Christmas aloud
Sit down as a family and read Clement Moore’s poem ’Twas the night before Christmas, each take a verse and read slowly and with great dramatic pauses between lines.
8. Take a walk around your local area to see the Christmas decorations
If you got small children they’ll love to get togged up in warm clothes for a walk around to see the local lights. If you live near a big town or city centre the displays are really impressive but equally many private homes put on some ‘impressive’ shows. Ask your local friends on Facebook if they have seen any worth visiting.
9. Write ‘I am thankful for…’ lists
Take out one piece of paper per person in your home and each write out at least three things you are thankful for – only one can be gift based.
10. Make paper chains with newspaper
Making paper chains from newspaper is such an easy way to decorate your home on a budget – even better if you can grab a few free issues of the Metro on your commute.
11. Donate toys or clothes to your local charity shop
Shortly before Christmas take the time to go through old belongings and donate to charity shops. This is a great opportunity to discuss need versus want with children and also to discuss how fortunate they are.
12. Invite neighbours round to play board games
Just as the title says really. Extend the hand of friendship during the festive season and ask the neighbours round for an evening of daft board games and maybe a few tipples – I can recommend Alid gin!
13. Watch the Queen’s speech on mute and make up dialogue
This is one of my oldest and most favourite Christmas activities. Mute whatsherface and act out your own speech using your best royal accents. Sometimes my Queen likes Labour, sometimes she votes Green. I like my Queen.
14. Donate to your local foodbank.
Donating to your local food bank could make all the difference to someone this Christmas. You can find details of what to donate and where, here on the Trussell Trust website.
15. Watch cheesy Christmas music countdowns
Flick on those rubbish music channels at the end of your Freeview box and settle in for a sing-a-long in front of one of their ‘Top 50 Christmas Chooooons’ or similar countdowns.
16. Read from the Bible
What with this holiday being all about the birth of Jesus Christ it would only be appropriate to read a few short verses from the Bible. You don’t need to have a Bible physically to hand as you can bring up every Book of the Bible online or via numerous apps.
I can heartily recommend Luke 1:30-35, Matthew 1:18-25 and Matthew 2: 1-12.