It’s not a given for everyone that they’ll feel festive during the holidays. The rush to buy presents means it can be a stressful period, while the dark and dingy weather doesn’t exactly lend itself towards a good mood. For those who’ve had a worse than usual year or can’t be with their families on the holiday for whatever reason, raising their enthusiasm can be nigh on impossible. However, traditions are there for a reason and often taking part in a little ritual to mark the time of year can be just the thing you need to get yourself in the mood. So, if you’re not particularly religious and the regularly scheduled festive movies on TV aren’t quite doing the trick, here are few things you can do to feel a little extra Christmassy this year.
Make Mulled Wine
Mulled wine is a traditional beverage at Christmas, consisting of red wine heated with an assortment of spices. The most traditional used are cinnamon, star anise, cloves and nutmeg, although some variations include ginger, bay leaves and even vanilla. This tradition dates back to the Romans and the 2nd century, only becoming associated with Christmas in the 1890s, and was believed to protect the body from disease in the cold winter months.
If you’re worried about staining your teeth, however, a little-known fact is that both white wine and rose are also great mulled! Other options for mulling include cider, although you will want to stay away from the sweet, fizzy kind and instead get a more traditional version, and weaker spirits such as Cointreau.
Play Christmas-Themed Games
While Charades is an obvious family favourite for playing on Christmas day, there’s no reason not to think outside the box this year and give your loved ones (or yourself) some much-need variety in their entertainment.
Suggestions for party games include Santa’s Limbo, in which people attempt to limbo under something with a pillow under their shirt (to represent his rotund belly), Pin The Tail on The Reindeer or a version of the Name Game with the celebrity or fictional character’s name written on a paper crown instead. If you’re on your own this year, however, there are still lots of options for festive entertainment. You may want to stick with a traditional game that can be played alone as well as in groups, such as Bananagrams or Jenga. Otherwise, take advantage of the wealth of online gaming that exists these days and try something like festive-themed online slots, including Secrets of Christmas, Santa and Merry Xmas.
Create a Christmas Playlist
At the end of the day, however, nothing quite rouses spirits for Christmas, whether you’re with others or on your own, like classic Christmas songs. Singing along to old staples can usually get even the most unlovely relatives to bond and it’s hard not to fall prey to their infective cheer.
If you’re entertaining small kids, think of compiling a selection of classic carols. Common favourites include the 12 Days of Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. For a more mature and discerning crowd, while a lot of Christmas music is known for being trite and commercial, you can still find some great seasonal pop out there to pad out your selection. Sia’s Christmas album, Everyday Is Christmas, is currently selling very well and there is, of course, no excuse not to include the greatest ever Christmas song: Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.
So, whether it’s putting your favourite festive songs on or trying a new mulled wine recipe, this Christmas give yourself the gift of Christmas cheer.