Christmas means different things to all of us, but I think we can agree on one thing: it’s the simple things that really matter. Meeting up with old friends and loved ones, a crisp and sunny walk, joining in with some carol singing or a delicious mince pie. So simple, yet so valuable.
Here are just of few of the simple festive pleasures that make me happy….
Making mince pies… taking the time out to make your own is really rather special. Real pastry isn’t hard to make, although there’s no shame at all in buying a packet of ready made to roll out instead. There’s something very satisfying about cutting out all those little pastry cases and filling them with a spoonful of mincemeat. Turn up your favourite festive songs, and lose yourself in the moment. My favourite mince pie recipe is this one by Nigella.
Gather some greenery… Even if you don’t have room for a big Christmas tree, you can still make a very good substitute with a few offcuts from your local market. It’ll smell amazing and looks so sweet and simple!
Brown paper and ribbons… Swap printed wrapping paper for some simple brown packing paper and a selection of lovely ribbons. It’s better for the environment (lots of fancy papers can’t be recycled), plus there’s just something so pleasing about the simple style. I like to go to my local craft shop and choose lots of pretty ribbons. They’re just pennies per metre. My favourite combination is red velvet and brown paper. For an extra touch, add a little sprig of greenery.
Go Christmas tree spotting… I love wandering round my town spotting all the pretty Christmas trees in windows. Head out at dusk and finish up at the pub for a glass of something nice, or a cafe for some hot chocolate. It’s a great way to blow away the cobwebs and tire out little people on Christmas Eve!
Do a jigsaw puzzle… A good old-fashioned puzzle is the perfect antidote to our modern lives. Put away your phone and concentrate on putting together the pieces of the jigsaw. Time will fly and you’ll get really absorbed. It’s a slow pleasure that’s a bit frustrating at times, but so satisfying then it’s done. Top tip – choose a 500 piece one, they’re much quicker and easier!
Write some Christmas cards to hand deliver. Even if it’s too late for Royal Mail, you can still send all your neighbours and local friends a card. I love doing a big delivery round down on my bike. Maybe knock on a few doors too and say hello – it’s a lovely spontaneous thing to do.
And finally, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! See you in 2019 x