There are two types of people in this world. Those who put their Christmas tree up in November, and the rest of us. I’ve never been someone who has been overly enthusiastic about the Christmas period, but there are definitely aspects of it that I enjoy. The social gatherings, the cheesy Christmas movies that I’ve seem to have grown more fond of over the years, the food and of course, the festive coffee flavours at Costa. If you’re looking for ways to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit, here are some things to get doing!
Buy an advent calendar.
I remember when I was a child I used to get an advent calendar from my parents and one from my grandparents, so I proceeded to eat all 25 chocolates from the second one in one day. I’m now 27 and still like having an advent calendar to give myself a little daily treat on the leadup to Christmas. If chocolate isn’t your thing (do these people exist?), you can find all sorts of advent calendars nowadays! From candles, to make-up to gin.
Have a weekly Christmas movie night at home.
If you are really dedicated, there’s probably enough of them out there for you to watch one every night in the lead up to Christmas. Especially if you have the Hallmark channel. If that’s too much to commit to, pick a night of the week to watch a festive movie with your friends and family. We always watch the Harry Potter movies around Christmas, but some other good choices are Love Hard, Last Christmas, The Holiday and The Holidate.
Plan a party.
December in Gibraltar (bar 2020) always has such great ambiance and everyone just seems happier. No wonder we always need all of January to recover. Use this time to get together with all your favourite people, drink some mulled wine and either have everyone bring a dish or order a takeaway to reduce the workload!
Visit a Christmas market.
If you managed to pick up last month’s issue of Insight, you might have read my article on my favourite Christmas Markets to visit around Europe. If you’d rather stay home, Gibraltar will hopefully be having their own stalls where you can get your hands on bratwurst sausages, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts!
Wake up with Christmas songs.
Not as an alarm tone, or else that might have the opposite effect. I always listen to music when I get ready for work in the morning, and I know as soon as December hits I’ll be playing Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe or Michael Buble’s Christmas album.
Make some festive goodies.
I have never baked cookies or peppermint bark myself, but this might be the year I do so. If you’re feeling more adventurous why not make some eggnog, build a gingerbread house or a chocolate yule log? I tried making Kylie Jenner’s marshmallow and sweet potato casserole last Christmas, and sadly I was the only one in my house who liked the combination.
Or load up on festive treats.
If you’re not one for baking, just head to your closest supermarket and stock up on mince pies, polvorones and a Quality Street box. Speaking of, did anyone else used to think mince pies contain meat in them? Probably why I was never a fan of them!
Change your reading material for something related to the holidays.
I used to love coming home to Gibraltar from university at Christmas time and be able to read all these holiday themed books. Let It Snow from John Green was probably my favourite one. The one I have saved to start reading this month is The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody. Which follows two strangers who get snowed in at Denver Airport on New Years Day.
Gift yourself something.
We often think of all the people in our lives who we want to buy presents for, but we should also take the time to reflect on everything we have achieved that year and not feel guilty for spending a little bit of money on ourselves too. I actually started a challenge on the 1st January where I’d put an extra penny a day in a Revolut savings vault, which has allowed me to buy an iPhone 13 for Christmas!
Get your Christmas shopping done!
It’s so easy, and sometimes cheaper to get your shopping done online nowadays. That being said, there is something uplifting about going into town to do your Christmas shopping and seeing everyone doing the same. Especially if you sit down to have a hot chocolate after. If you’d also like to do something special for the people close to you, write them all a Christmas card. Tell them all the reasons why you’re grateful to have them in your life.
After the underwhelming and hard Christmas we all had last year because of covid, I’m grateful that this year we will hopefully be able to celebrate with our loved ones and make the most of the holidays. As you get older you’ve probably also grown to realise that Christmas is less about presents and more about making memories with the people you love. However you choose to spend it, I hope it’s a special one!