The news is filled with gloom, the weather is grim, the economic forecast even grimmer – so it’s no surprise if you can’t yet find your Christmas spirit. Get into a cheerful Christmas mood with Adrian Flux Insurance Service’s tips to inject some festive fun into your home with the minimum of effort.
They’re cheesier than a fromagerie in France’s cheesiest district, but Christmas tunes rarely fail to raise a smile. From Slade to Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey to David Bowie, there’s a tune to suit all tastes. Source your festive playlist from your own collection or online and put together a selection of Santa-tastic melodies to transform your mood from couldn’t-care-less to cheerful in the time it takes Noddy Holder to scream: “IT’S CHRISTMAS!”.
Everyone knows that a house is transformed by the smell of baking. Not all of us, however, are a dab hand in the kitchen and the smell of burning definitely isn’t festive. Forgo poking lackluster Christmas cakes with skewers and simply place a selection of spices – try cinnamon, allspice, clove and vanilla – in half a saucepan of water, let it simmer and then turn the heat down low and enjoy the smell of Christmas.
Embrace the cosiness of Christmas by turning off the lights as much as possible and basking in the glow of candle-light or fairylights. It’s festive, it’s atmospheric, it’s anti-ageing (why do you think fancy restaurants rely on candles so much?) and in the half-light you won’t see all the housework that needs to be done.
Learn to make the perfect hot chocolate and you’ll be a festive favourite in your household. Asssemble together 225ml of skimmed milk, 35gof dark chocolate and 15g of milk chocolate (both finely chopped), 30ml of double cream, a pinch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Warm a quarter of the milk over a medium heat and stir in the chocolate until it melts. Whisk in the remaining milk and cream and heat until the mixture is hot but not boiling. Add the cinnamon and salt and serve. Marshmallows and whipped cream aren’t obligatory, but they should be.
Sit down as a family and watch a festive film. Christmas isn’t Christmas in my household until we’ve watched The Polar Express and Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. On a cold afternoon, not much beats watching A Miracle on 34th Street from the warmth of the sofa.
Give yourself that warm feeling inside with the peace of mind of home insurance from Adrian Flux. One of the leading specialist home insurance brokers in the UK, Adrian Flux can offer you the right cover, at the right price. For more information, call 0333 555500 or visit adrianflux.co.uk.
It’s a rap – Christmas present-wrapping begins so promisingly and then quickly deteriorates into a tangle of ribbon, sticky tape and cursing. Hold the ultimate ‘wrap party’ and get everyone involved. Your love of uniformity may suffer, but the job will get done twice as quickly and everyone will be in the festive mood.
Bring the outdoors indoors: fill your mantelpieces and bookshelves with swags of holly and ivy that you find on outdoor walks. Pinecones can look great – especially if you have some small people on hand to add a flourish of glitter – as can bare twigs sprayed white and covered in tiny decorations.
Christmas is all about friends and family gathering together, so a gathering is the perfect way to inject cheer into the festive season. You don’t have to spend a fortune – go retro and ask people to bring a course that everyone can eat or a plate of nibbles to share the cost.
Make something Christmassy: from a snowman (weather permitting) to Christmas cards, paper snowflakes to your own mince pies, it doesn’t matter how old you are, festive crafts will put you in the holiday mood. Unless you make the snowman indoors: that would be a very bad idea.