Mon 25 Dec 2023
Yes, there’s turkey to finish, new gadgets to play with and chocolate for days, but what happens next?
As well as being the time of year to slow down and shut off, Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to create quality moments with the people you love the most, or to take up something new.
With that in mind, we’re ignoring property altogether in this week’s blog. Instead, we're focusing on enjoying the holidays with tips and ideas on:
- Tuning in to your talents
- Exploring the great outdoors
- Creating fun family days out
- Spending quality time with friends
- Becoming a culture vulture
Ready to fill the festive season with moments to remember? Then let's get on with having a wonderful Christmastime!
TUNE IN TO YOUR TALENTS
Everyone has a creative streak, even if they think they don’t, and there are hundreds of ways to discover yours, whether out in the world or from the comfort of your own home.
Not sure where to start? Try these ideas for inspiration.
- Become a skilled artisan and turn your hand to furniture restoration, picture framing, woodwork or sewing at a local college, or start at home with a kit from Etsy.
- Unleash your inner artist, from drawing to pottery to photography to printing. Or add wine at a paint-and-sip class for a more relaxed learning vibe.
- Learn a new language, either to enhance your holidays or dream of digital nomad life: on your phone with an app like Duolingo, with a personal tutor online, or at a local class.
- Answer the call to perform onstage by joining a local theatre company or singing group.
You never know what you'll love until you start, so sign up for something and see where it goes! And remember, you don’t need to get it right to have fun!
EXPLORE THE GREAT OUTDOORS
If the gym feels too daunting or distant, and the idea of a home workout leaves you cold, there’s a whole world outside of wonderful places to explore for some natural exercise.
- Grab your hiking boots and head for the hills. As well as The Ramblers, you'll find walking groups for any age and interest in almost every city and county.
- Work out in the (not so) wild with group exercise sessions at local parks and commons for extra motivation and companionship in beautiful surroundings.
- Get on your bike and discover more of your neighbourhood or further afield with the freedom and traffic priority of being on two wheels.
Whether you’re meeting ponies on a moor, watching swans on the river or simply hearing the sound of trees rustling in the wind, being outdoors is a treat for the mind, body and soul.
CREATE FAMILY DAYS OUT
If you want to get your family off their screens, you’ll need to entice them with something even more exciting, which means research! So here are some ideas to get you started.
- From Lands End to John O'Groats, you'll find Christmas experiences at botanical gardens, theme parks and zoos up and down the country.
- Join National Trust, English Heritage, Historic Scotland or Cadw for great family memberships and explore Britain's castles, stately homes, and monumental ruins.
- If the weather's grim, hunt down indoor activities that everyone can enjoy together, like go-karting, ice skating, ski slopes, laser quest and mini golf.
SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH FRIENDS
It’s easy for work and family life to take up all our energies, but nurturing our friendships is just as important. And is there a better time of year for an irresistible invitation to do something fun?
Stuck for ideas? How about:
- Trying a new restaurant or bar in a different neighbourhood, or heading off to a comedy night for an evening of laughing together.
- Hanging out in each other’s homes, from games and movie nights with pizza to simply chewing the fat over a bottle or two.
- Opting for safety in numbers with a group or class, from wine tasting to axe throwing, and Zumba to lindy-hop. Or go for a longer experience with a day at the spa or a weekend retreat.
In the immortal words of Piglet from Winnie the Pooh: “It’s so much friendlier with two”, and is there really a more magical friendship than that?
BECOME A CULTURE VULTURE
Culture doesn’t have to be high-brow to count, and whether you’re nurturing guilty pleasures or broadening your horizons, a cultural fix is an enriching experience.
- From art shows to pop concerts, and blockbuster movies to local theatre, the UK is blessed with one of the world's most varied cultural calendars.
- If you’re the streaming sort and you’re wondering what lies beyond the mainstream releases, try the British Film Institute’s BFIplayer for the best of world cinema.
- Love to read but don’t have the time? Try audiobooks for listening on the go, whether you’re heading to work, working out at the gym, or out for a leisurely stroll.