Judging by our recent deliveries, no-one needs a reminder that Christmas is coming. People have been stocking up ready for the big day, rapidly reducing the Christmas stock on our warehouse shelves. Instead of listing the very many products still available in the Christmas section of our website, we thought we would give you a helpful advent-calendar-themed checklist to ensure you are fully prepared for December 25th…
Of course, you don’t have to do all of these things, but consider them to be acceptable suggestions for an adequately enjoyable holiday period.
1. Get your Christmas cake ready (if you haven’t already done so). There’s still plenty of time to feed it plenty of rum, brandy or whisky and truly let those festive flavours mature.
2. Write and send your Christmas cards. The postal service gets very busy at this time of year (mostly with letters to the North Pole) so get your festive greetings written, stamped and into a post box to give them plenty of time to arrive. This also allows the Christmas card recipient to display your card on their mantelpiece, or a piece of string hung across the room.
3. Pick some festive films to watch in December. I like to watch a different Christmas movie every day that the advent calendar is in full effect. Line up some classics, like Home Alone, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Muppet’s Christmas Carol and Die Hard, and intersperse it with more left-field choices, like Rare Exports, Arthur Christmas, Jingle Jangle and All is Bright. Whether the films are fantastic or full-on failures, they’ll make you feel fully festive.
4. Put up your Christmas decorations. Put them up at home. Put them up at work. Put them up anywhere you’re legally allowed to put them up. I’m not going to presume to tell you exactly WHEN to do this (as that opens a can of worms, family tradition, dogma, superstition and surprisingly powerful opinion), but put them up when you feel the time is right.
5. Spread cheer by arranging Christmas drinks, social time and maybe a Secret Santa with you friends and/or workmates. There’s still plenty of time to arrange an enjoyable mulled wine or hot chocolate, with low-value gift-giving. The sooner you pick names out of a hat, the sooner you can start buying random gifts based on the minor facts you know about people.
6. Whether you choose religious or secular carols, having a good sing-song sing-along is always super festive. Desperately try to remember all of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” whilst singing with full commitment.
7. Get a recipe for egg nog. Make egg nog. Drink egg nog. Say egg nog. Egg nog.
8. Create some sort of Christmas costume. It’s always fun to dress up, and Christmas is the perfect excuse to wear candy cane stripy stockings, don a fake white beard, put on some reindeer antlers and parade your favourite Christmas jumper (possibly all at the same time).
9. Compile a Christmas playlist. Whether you use some sort of streaming technology, mp3s, CDs, or a combination of all of the above, get your hot tracks lined up ready for almost incessant playing. Do not forget Run DMC’s ‘Christmas Is,’ The Waitresses’ ‘Christmas Wrapping’ and, of course, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You.’
10. Ensure you have plenty of gravy in the larder. A Christmas dinner can go without parsnips, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, turkey and even brussel sprouts, but you are nowhere without gravy.
11. Donate to charity. Christmas is a time for giving after all.
12. Visit a Christmas market or go and see the Christmas lights in your local village/town/city. Wrap up warm, drink some hot cocoa and take in some crisp winter air.
13. Get some games ready for the festive period, so you can have organised fun with friends and family throughout the holiday period. Maybe make a Christmas quiz, maybe play with long-distance friends using internet video conferencing…
14. Wrap your gifts. Wrap them up good. Before this, ensure you have plenty of (functional) tape.
15. Make a wonderful centrepiece for your dinner table. Use pine cones, candles, seasonal plants, decorations and/or all of your artistic skill to wow your fellow diners.
16. Make, or just eat, plenty of mince pies. It’s the only time of year you get to see them and everyone loves a pie. Great for breakfast, elevensies, brunch, dessert or an anytime snack. Pairs well with a cup of tea, a mug of mulled wine or a delicate sherry.
17. Go for a festive walk. Enjoy nature in all its winter glory.
18. Change your social media profile picture(s) to something suitably Christmassy. So the world that you take your festive responsibilities very seriously.
19. Make sure your shovel is in good condition and buy road salt so guests don’t slip (this idea was taken from elsewhere – can’t decide if it is excellent or terrible Christmas advice).
20. Go ice skating or sledging. Whilst these activities can be snow/ice dependent, many towns have a temporary ice rink around Christmas-time, and if you’ve got snow, you should always use it.
21. Tip people. There are various individuals who may deserve a Christmas tip… your postie, the concierge, the refuse collection people, the person who sells you coffee, maybe even your Trading Post delivery driver… Generosity is always appreciated around this time of year.
22. Try not to rush around visiting people and doing stuff for the whole of December. Build in some time to snuggle up with a good book, or just do NOTHING but stare into the fire.
23. Get some really random stocking gifts. Preferably absolute nonsense. Everyone loves a surprise on Christmas morning.
24. Put carrots out for the reindeer and something delicious for Father Christmas. He is known to enjoy cookies (and other home-baked goods), milk and (sometimes) a cheeky glass of something more fortified.