It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but if you’re not quite feeling the Christmas spirit yet, don’t worry: there’s still time! At this time of year, cold temperatures mean we tend to spend a lot of time at home indoors, so it’s a good idea to make your home feel as Christmassy as possible. Make the most of this special, cosy season by turning your home into a seasonal celebration with these 5 easy, free tips.
Tip #1: Get creative with homemade decorations
By all means, head to the big department stores to get inspiration for your Christmas decorations, but don’t feel the need to spend big on items you’ll only really use for a couple of weeks a year. If you are in the mood to treat yourself to some home decor, candles or fairy lights are a great bet: they can help your home feel Christmassy, but can also be enjoyed all year round—a much better use of money! When it comes to Christmas-specific decorations, it’s time to get crafty. Bring back those primary school memories by making some paper snowflakes to stick on the windows, and develop your origami skills by making 3D card baubles. If you’re feeling particularly resourceful, scraps of Christmas paper and last year’s Christmas cards can be repurposed into DIY garlands, too.
Tip #2: Embrace seasonal scents
There’s nothing like the waft of cinnamon to get you in the Christmas spirit. We’re big fans of natural ways of scenting your home, and our favourite method involves making a seasonal simmer pot. It's as simple as it sounds: all you need to do is simmer a pan of water on the hob, filled with some well-chosen ingredients. For Christmas, we love the Real Food Dieticians’ tips: “We like to use orange slices, cranberries, rosemary, pine branches, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, whole cloves, and nutmeg for a wonderful holiday fragrance. This combination of ingredients, when kept on a low simmer in a large pot, gives off the most beautiful aroma for all of your holiday and winter gatherings.”
Tip #3: Get cosy
The weather outside is frightful, which means Christmas is the perfect time to embrace getting cosy inside. We’re big fans of hygge, the Danish tradition of “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the little simple things in life,” and while hygge makes the autumn and winter seasons more palatable in general, it’s particularly well-suited to Christmas. At its core, hygge involves turning our homes into comforting sanctuaries filled with blankets and candles, and cosying up with loved ones for some quality time. So follow the example of our northern neighbours in Denmark (who are Europe’s biggest consumers of candles!), and pop some tea lights around the room. Put a classic Christmas movie on the TV—you can’t go wrong with Love Actually—and you’re all set.
Tip #4: Bake a Christmas recipe
Make the most of the ingredients you found for your seasonal simmer pot by trying your hand at a Christmas recipe. Go for the classic cinnamon cookies, or attempt Delia Smith’s squidgy chocolate log if you’re feeling brave. Dried fruit lovers can push the boat out with some DIY mince pies, and if you’ve got your act together early enough, you might want to try your own Christmas pudding or Christmas cake. If you haven’t got much to hand, even a seasonal hot chocolate can get you in the spirit: just don’t forget the whipped cream, marshmallows and a dash of nutmeg.
Tip #5: Host a pot-luck get-together
Amongst all the stress of the Christmas period, it’s easy to forget what the season is really about: spending quality time with friends and family. Make the most of the bank holidays around Christmas and host a pot-luck get-together. Invite all guests to bring a dish, so that the responsibility doesn’t fall on you as host to provide food and drinks for everyone attending. Make sure your home is clean and inviting: give the bathroom that guests will use a good scrub, and clear away clutter from the kitchen and common areas, especially if people will be moving throughout the rooms in your home. Accidents inevitably happen when you’ve got a bunch of people together, so keep some natural cleaning products to hand. Whether someone spills their mulled wine on the carpet, or drops their Christmas pudding on the sofa, you’ll be able to clean up and get back to enjoying yourself in no time.
Looking for more tips and tricks on making your home feel like home—all year round? Visit our Knowledge Base, where you’ll find everything from how to clean your washing machine (spoiler: yes, it does need cleaning from time to time) to how to embrace ‘hygge’ during the colder months.