Ideas for a socially distanced Christmas
There is no getting away from the fact that this Christmas is feeling hell’a different to every other single Christmas, ever. Sure, some familiar components are there… But even though the music is playing, and the bright, glistening wrappers of Quality Streets are twinkling against the LED’s, there’s definitely a vital ingredient of the festive cocktail missing. Regardless of what tier anybody might be in, everybody is having a lot less social contact than of a non-pandemic Christmas.
And girl, does it suck. But the show must go on, and it’s important to put the effort in where you can, and to try and fill those social voids.
The socially distanced Christmas Party
Zoom Mulled Wine making
It’s great to get outside and have a walk with friends (in groups of no more than 6 ?) and I love that we will probably have spent more time outside this year than any other year for a long time. But there’s no getting round the fact that it is most definitely winter. The days are short and the rain is plentiful – at least in England anyway!
Those Christmas parties of years gone by – the ones that start off as a drink and nibbles at midday and don’t end up finishing til long after dark; with the kids and the neighbours and uncles and in-laws and all the ghosts of Christmas past, all in wonky cracker hats with brandy breath and glassy eyes – are not going to be a thing this year. We need to find a new, temporary party house.
Although the frequent virtual quiz nights seem to have fizzled out, there is still a place for zoom calls outside of work. Pop open your laptop in the kitchen and chat with your mates while you all cook up a batch of mulled wine. Put your lipstick on. Wear a dress or a Christmas jumper depending on how fancy you’re feeling.
Mulled Wine Recipe
- 1 Bottle of not terrible red wine
- Peeled zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 1 clementine studded with 8 cloves
- 1 whole star anise
- A whole cinnamon stick
- Peeled zest of 1 lemon
- 2-4 tablespoons of muscovado sugar (depending on the sweetness of your tooth)
- 1 glass of port – you remember that bottle at the back of the cupboard that you opened last Christmas – that will be fine!
Pop everything but the port in a pan and heat slowly until just before it starts to simmer. Don’t let it boil! Maintain this heat without boiling for 10 mins. Leave it to cool for 15 -30 mins so it can infuse. Strain, and warm back up again (DON’T BOIL!) before drinking. Serve with pigs-in-blankets and cranberry dipping sauce, or stollen bites.
The Socially distanced Christmas Kindness Act
Mince Pie door-step Deliveries
Oviously therer are more ways to show kindness than a plate of mince pies, but I love the idea of a secret pie delivery person, dropping off some homemade treats and disappearing before being spotted.
Make up a pretty plate of homemade mince pies, and a little and leave them, perhaps with a little ribbon-tied bunch of greenery, at the doorstep of someone who might be in need of a bit of festive cheer. You can choose whether or not to hang around (from a 2-meter distance) until they open the door, or sneak off after you’ve rung the bell and leave it as a Christmas secret.
The Socially distant Christmas Knitting club
For Rainy Days
Why not start a festive virtual knitting club with a few of your mates? These cold, dark evenings when the pubs are shut are the perfect opportunity for you to take up a new hobby. It might be a little late for pre-Christmas deleiveries now, but you could all treat each other to a knit kit for Christmas and carry on knitting through the bleak month of January. Try one of my fave small businesses – Lauren Aston for a massive choice of knitting patterns and gorgeous yarns. Or go simple and grab some fun coloured yarns from your local knitting shop and make multicoloured scarves!
So there you go – a few of ideas to maybe brighten up this peculiar Festive Season!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas