Each Christmas, there’s usually quite a lot of us from my direct family and extended family gathering together for a full-on Christmas Day. It’s always surrounded by various Christmas parties, an night-before-Christmas-Eve film night in, Christmas Eve drinks, and in recent years, a festive getaway to some where like Bruges!
However, this year is a little different. Its the first Christmas in a long time – if ever at all – where there will just be three of us celebrating Christmas Day together. There’s also no cheeky European getaway to experience the Christmas Markets oversea’s. It’s all about being at home, having a quiet, relaxing, wind down holiday season.
Here’s a few ways I’ll be spending Christmas 2017, and why although it may be peaceful and calm, I couldn’t want anything more!
1. Becoming a Creative Baker
Last year was the first year I tried my hand at Christmas baking, making various cinnamon cookies and my all time favourite – mince pies! After purchasing all the festive treats for the house such as Baileys, biscuits, Prosecco, cheeses and all sorts of luxury nibbles to indulge in over my Christmas at-home gatherings, I thought its a nice touch to introduce some home baking.
I’ve also asked my boyfriend for a Kenwood professional cake mixer for my main Christmas gift this year, as I’m planning that 2018 will be the year where I turn into a master baker! It’s around the £70 mark, so not a super cheap one but also not a ridiculously expensive one, as i’m far from a pro yet! But with a bit of Christmas baking in the form of mince pies and cookies, I’ll be stepping up my game with the right tools for January.
Also – have you ever thought that homemade baking is actually a really cute gift idea? If you know a fellow mince pie lover, why not make some cute ones with stars on the lids, or even iced in their favourite colour? Box them up, pop them in a sweet little paper bag, and give them a thoughtful gift packed with lots of real effort! Especially if you have any little ones to buy for, they would love gingerbread biscuits…
2. Turning my festive nights out into festive nights in.
Usually, I tend to go on lots of Christmas parties with different groups of friends and companies etc, and normally I attend a lot of blogger Christmas parties too. But this year, I’ve stripped it back a little. My twin sister has just had her second baby, which makes me an auntie again for the second time, and there’s much more focus on family this time around.
So I’ve stripped my Christmas parties right back, in exchange for a few girly gatherings in the warm comfort of my own home. The best way to do this is to stock up on some delicious festive food, and bring the luxury of Christmas dining to your kitchen. Prawn and chorizo skewers followed by a Turkey crown in the oven with potatoes and veggies, and either your home baked mince pies or a nice chocolate fondue and ice-cream dessert.
This year I’m loading up on DVD’s such as Love Actually and The Holiday and going to binge on chick flick Christmas movies with my best friends, from the comfort of my own sofa. Besides, it’s way too cold out there, and why venture out when there’s a bottle of Baileys in the fridge?
3. Making my home a Christmas Abode
This year, with more days and nights indoors than usual, I’m making more of an effort to turn my house into a magical, whimsical Christmas adobe. I actually have two houses (not as flash as it sounds!), I have my own place in Manchester, and then my boyfriends place in Staffordshire, in which we go between the two.
I feel like I’ve been preparing for a cosy at-home Christmas throughout the whole of November and now into December, so much so all my wrapped presents are all neatly tucked under the Christmas tree, festive food is in the fridge and the freezer, and a huge ASDA home delivery has been placed online, awaiting myself to hit send for any emergencies, should I need them nearer to Christmas.
Christmas time can mean there is so much more to think about financially and to be prepared for more than any other time of the year, so it’s always good to consider personal loans online in case any emergencies crop up and are sprung upon you last minute to get through the period.
Anything can wrong over the period, especially when you have such firmly set plans across Christmas and NYE. But with unexpected issues such as horrendous weather, kitchen and home disasters (god forbid) or just about anything unexpected, its always good to be financially prepared.
So that’s a few Christmas plans sorted, but as for NYE… I’m stuck! Anyone got any ideas and inspiration? Feel free to share some below! I’d love a few thoughts on where to go and what to do in and around Greater Manchester for New Years Ever 2017…