Getting ready for Santa Claus
It's easy to get run-down in the days leading to Christmas.
A classic combination of bad weather, busy shops and party hangovers leaves us susceptible to colds and less than merry. To really relax at home with your family, it's time to do a little forward planning, delegate chores and make Christmas Eve a time to remember.
Use shortcuts in the kitchen.
Even the most experienced chefs swear by shortcuts, be it shop-bought condiments or pre-boiled potatoes. The best advice is always to keep it simple and do a few things, really, really well. From a Christmas Eve viewpoint, if you have already peeled your vegetables, prepped your sauce or gravy and chosen your starter, there should not be much else to do. If you don’t have a Christmas Eve tradition in place for dinner, you can grab a stir-fry kit or set up the slow-cooker early in the day, so tea is ready to serve at your convenience.
Take the road less travelled
Think creatively to avoid stressful travel over Christmas. Travelling on the 24th is one of the few times you can guarantee a traffic jam on motorways and trains as everyone visit family. By choosing a cross-country scenic route, you can avoid the worst of the stressful waiting and even save time. It's also worth remembering that the Christmas period is spread over a week and visits would traditionally take place over that time. One of the more popular customs is now relaxing at home for Christmas Day and then meeting up with close family for a pub walk on Boxing Day.
Get ready for the evening
So, the house is tidy, the gifts are under the tree and...you turn on the TV. It's the modern default action and a great way to kill the mood. If you are going to use the TV, put on a handpicked movie, complete with popcorn, hot drinks and blankets to snuggle under. Otherwise, put on some festive music and grab some games. We can recommend the following:
Poker, dominos, blackjack or snap: the loser has to do chores, the next day
Pick an extract from your favorite book to kick off the round robin, with everyone taking turns to make up a bit of the story
Hunt the star: a simple foil star that can be hidden (or stuck) anywhere. If you are playing with your partner “trade” kisses for the winner.
Guess the music mix. Do you have an iPod or streaming service, such as Amazon Prime, Spotify or similar? Set the list to “random” and see how many you guess right. Plus, you get to do a bit of dancing at the same time.
Bundling. This is time-honored practice of cuddling your partner to share body heat in the depth of winter. Whatever happens stays under the covers – and between you and your partner! If you are single for the holidays, enjoy a little relaxation in the bedroom, be it books, meditation or even an early night. For more inspiration, check out our blog posts on Feel like a Goddess in the Bedroom and The Midnight Feast.
Whatever you decide to do, make the most of the time off. It’s your holiday too.