Christmas is a time for tradition, be that turkey dinners and the Queen’s speech, or your very own unique family traditions, but sometimes we can find ourselves still hunting for that ‘Christmas feeling’ to get us in the festive mood. We can crave the feelings of Christmas from when we were kids ourselves or when our children were small and full of wonder. Now could be the time to shake things up a bit and try something new to spark that festive feeling. Here at Lifton Home Lifts, we have put together a list of five ways to feel festive this Christmas!
1. Christmas Markets
There is something quintessentially festive about a cold, bustling street full of twinkly Christmas stalls, with the smell of glühwein and cinnamon in the air, thinking about nothing but what your loved ones would like to open on the big day and how best to decorate your dinner table.
Christmas markets hark back to an idealised time when small business traders brought their wares direct to shoppers. Interestingly in this world of supporting small businesses, doing your shopping face-to-face rather than online, and not having goods travel around the world to arrive at your door, Christmas markets are enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
Gone are the days when you would need to travel to Germany to experience the all singing, all dancing Christmas market, most large British towns are embracing the trend and Christmas markets can be found everywhere. No longer just for shopping, you can spend an entire day there, often with attractions like ice skating, food stalls and outdoor bars, why not meet your friends there and use it as a chance to kick the Christmas season into action.
2. Carol Concert
Christmas music on the radio or in the shops is very well for setting a fun festive scene, but for many people the real Christmas emotions are evoked only with the power of Christmas carols. Carols are probably the first Christmas songs most people learned as a child and have the ability to bring back the magical feelings that came with Christmas back then.
Seek out carol concerts in a church or large building which acoustics will help to bring the combined voices to life, and move you in ways that listening to a stereo could not. Research has shown that taking part in collective singing reduces stress levels and boosts the happiness hormones, so taking time out from the pre-Christmas hustle-bustle and refocusing on what Christmas means to you in this way will help make sure you can enjoy what the season has to offer.
3. Book the Real Lapland
Visiting Father Christmas in a grotto is often one of the Christmas highlights for Children, especially when they can tell him their Christmas wishes and receive a small gift from the man himself. The magic might be harder to come by the older we get, but there is one place at Christmas where the magic is still as real as it ever was: Lapland.
By booking even just a one or two-day visit to the real Lapland can hold a whole range of treats for adults and children alike. With activities from husky-pulled sleigh rides, skidooing through real snow, hunkering down in cosy igloo houses surrounded by furs and blankets, meeting elves and being treated to Christmas food, even the most cynical adult would be challenged to not feel in the mood for Christmas. And when you meet the real Santa in his Lapland grotto, there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the festive spirit is alive and well.
If you find yourself surrounded by presents and ways to part with your money, and questioning what it all has to do with the real meaning of Christmas, there is another way to get back to the heart of matters. Many charities are in need of extra help in the cold winter months, where they need to offer more support to those in need, but volunteers may be more thin on the ground.
Homeless shelters, food banks, children’s care centres, and care homes for the elderly are just a few examples of places who could benefit from your help at Christmas. Find out what operates locally to you and if it appeals, ask what help they need. By giving your time and care you could have a real impact on someone’s life, in a way more than by giving a gift. And of course no good deed goes unrewarded – you will come away with the knowledge you have done something kind, and Christmas should feel all the more special knowing you have acted in the true spirit of Christmas.
5. Try a new Christmas craft
Christmas time is notorious for whizzing past in a flurry of shopping, parties, and things to do. Sometimes we arrive in January wondering if it all really happened. Counter this and slow time down by taking time to engage fully with the season. The best way to do this is perhaps by taking on a Christmas craft. Crafting is well known to aid mindfulness, by helping you to focus on one task in hand and put all others from your mind. Couple this with the opportunity to immerse yourself in a Christmas task meaning you are surrounded by Christmas smells and textures, and it should help to put you in the moment, and bring you back to the here and now. Baking, is of course a wonderful Christmas tradition with endless types of mince pies, stollen, Christmas cakes and puddings to make. Maybe try wreath making. There are many workshops available in towns throughout December to take you through the steps needed to create your own festive masterpiece. Whatever your interest there will be a craft to suit you!