Hello December! This year I have not had any trouble getting into the festive spirit! As I’ve been in Australia for the past 2 Christmases, I feel like I’m trying to pack three years worth of cosy festive seasons into one. It also feels more special being Alex’s and my first Christmas being married, so I’m looking forward to creating some new family traditions together.
This week I’ve been enjoying mince pies, listening to Christmas music, and started to put up a few decorations here and there. There are still lots of things I want to tick off the list this season like baking, watching Christmas movies, and buying our Christmas tree. I’ve put together some more ideas to get you in the mood if you need some inspiration!
Make a Wreath
Of course you can go to your local florists and buy lots of beautiful foliage, but I prefer to gather from the garden, local parks or the countryside. Just a little here and there! It’s a nice way to get outside and exploring this chilly time of year as well.
Last year my wreath was purely eucalyptus from the trees at the end of my road in Australia, but this year it will be looking a little more like this. Here is a tutorial I made a few years ago.
Make Homemade Mulled Wine
It tastes delicious with the bonus of making your home smell amazing! I use a bottle of red wine (you don’t need to spend too much as you won’t taste the flavours anyway!), then add a cinnamon stick, 2 tablespoons of sugar, a teaspoon of ground nutmeg, a bay leaf, and an orange cut in half. Warm it gently without letting it simmer, until the the sugar has melted and the flavours have come through.
The cider that we made in October is almost ready as well, so I’m excited to try making mulled cider for the first time.
This is the perfect way to slow down a bit and also spend time with people during this busy month. Last weekend my friend came over and we drank mulled wine, played festive tunes and chatted away while making these origami stars. They are easier than they look!
However I tried hanging mine up and they fell down 3 times within the first minute, so to prevent unnecessary star related rage they are now arranged on my sideboard with some pretty lights.
Bake Orange Slices
This makes your home smell amazing as well as warming it up! It’s so simple to do but makes you feel all cosy. Slice up as many oranges as you like, 1 – 2cm thick and gently squeeze out some juice without damaging the orange. Arrange on a grill and bake on 100*C for 2 – 3 hours. Basically you want them to dry out but not burn. Then you can either add them to your wreath or string them up like this!
Go on a Winter walk
It’s even easier to ramp up the cosiness after a brisk walk on a really cold day. Bundle up in a massive coat and scarf and go on a walk with family or friends. Even better if you have a roast waiting for you at the end. Plus it makes you feel a bit less sluggish amongst all the mulled wine and mince pie consuming.
My family and I wandered around Richmond Park at the weekend and it was so lovely, finished off with hot chocolate, card games and a roast dinner.
Play Christmas Music
A bit of an obvious one but seriously my favourite music ever. I love all the Spotify pre-created playlists at the moment and Love Actually soundtrack is always a good one if you love the film.
Bake (& Decorate) Gingerbread People
I always bake way too many of these at Christmas and take them into work – they go down so well! Who doesn’t love gingerbread? Here is a delicious recipe for gluten free ones.
Decorate a Tree
I am SO excited to get a Christmas tree this year. I tried so hard to recreate UK Christmas in Melbourne in 2015 but decorating a baby lemon tree with lights just didn’t cut it, so last year we just embraced 35*C weather and didn’t get a tree. We are going to go all out this year and decorate the tree while playing music and sipping mulled cider.
What things are you excited for this year and what gets you into a Christmas mood?