Doesn't include watching the John Lewis Xmas advert...
If up until this point you've been in denial that it's nearly Xmas (we have), there's no way to avoid it now. It's officially December, which means Xmas is looming imminently round the corner. Put aside your mourning for the year that's flown by too quickly, your dread at having to spend your hard earned cash on presents for relatives you don't like, and throw yourself full throttle into the festive swing of things. After all, this is the season where it's universally approved to drink your body weight in mulled wine, stuff your face with miniature sized pies, eat anything and everything with cheese in it and come in to work hungover most days (that didn't come from us).
So if you're having trouble getting in to the festive spirit, here are a few things to nudge you on your merry way:
1. Go and get a tree Lugging a semi-giant tree (well, it's usually bigger than us) doesn't seem like it should be number 1 on the list here, but this ritual is an important step on the road to feeling festive. The act of sourcing the tree, transporting it home (covering your car in pine needles in the process) and carefully decorating it with ornaments and twinkly lights sets a festive vibe and usually subconsciously readies you for Xmas. Think of it as like nesting your home in preparation for the big day!
2. Get yourself down to an Xmas market Yes they're often too busy, overpriced and might possibly contain small overexcited children, but be it Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, Victoria Park's Winterville (for the Londoners), or whatever your local park has been transformed into for the duration of the holiday period, they are pretty much GUARANTEED to get you feeling festive. Think infused cheeses, mulled wine, stuffing your face with a hog roast (we might as well prepare our stomachs now...) and little wooden huts selling stocking fillers, handmade chocolates and every cheese imaginable. Did we mention there will be cheese...?
3. Stock up on mince pies and other goodies Once you've had your first mince pie (and not felt guilty) - that's when Xmas has truly begun, and the realisation of just HOW MUCH food you're going to consume over the next few weeks dawns on you. There's no escaping it, there's so much festive goodness around every corner, trying to diet over December will lead to daily failure in what should be the merriest month of the year. So leave the starvation until January when you'll be too skint to afford food (yay!).
4. Start planning your Xmas shopping You'll inevitably have several Secret Santas looming, the family you have NO IDEA what to get, not to mention the hours and hours spent planning the perfect (and expensive) gift for your other half (if you're single, this is one of many reasons we don't need a boyfriend for winter). So you might as well get planning now, even if it's just to organise your mind into how much money you're going to be spending this month, the thought of which can often lead to Scrooge-like feelings of resentment towards the holidays (and mutterings of 'Bah Humbug'); forward planning will let you know exactly how much can go towards stocking your liquor cabinet with Amaretto and presents for yourself (because all that shopping is T-I-RING).
5. Put on your favourite festive film Be it Home Alone, Love Actually, Bridget Jones' Diary, or The Grinch, putting on your favourite Xmas themed film will give you all the festive feels and remind you what you love about the season (love, snow, family, PRESENTS, Colin Firth, more snow). So relax, brew some mulled wine (or microwave the ready-made stuff from M&S), turn your twinkly lights on and settle in.
If that's not enough for you, there are loooads of Xmas themed film screenings happening most places throughout December, if you don't feel the festive spirit watching Elf on a giant bean bag somewhere obscure in London, then you never will (you will). With that in mind, we're off to grab a Gingerbread/Pumpkin/Cinammon latte... Ho ho ho.
Images: Rex Features
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