Christmas is a magical time of year, this is one of the great universal constants that families across the globe all agree on. Coming together not just as the small, nuclear-style family that you might have but also bringing in aunts and uncles, grandparents, and distant cousins can lead to a magical event where you all learn a little about one another, bringing smiles to your faces, and filling bellies too.
This year, it may well be the first Christmas that you’ve had with a large gathering of people for a little while. There could be a range of reasons for that, but we’re not here to talk about those right now. Instead, we’re here to talk about ways that you could make this Christmas the most magical one yet! From themed cooking, santa letters and much more!
This first heading is the first one that came to mind and is likely also the strangest one on the list. On the one hand, it makes a lot of sense – building a menu, and a range of dishes around a central concept is a great way to ensure that you can get people to really enjoy the meal that they’re eating. On the other hand, though, food is already themed at Christmas – it’s Christmas themed!
Well, we would suggest putting a little bit of a spin on the Christmas classics and presenting them to your loved ones with unique, different flavors and ingredients that could bring a little boost to each and every one of them.
A great example that we always think of is that of mince pies – they’re a British tradition of a small tart made from shortcrust pastry, that’s filled with syrup and sweet fruit. They’re beloved across the country, but most especially at Christmas.
To boost your mince pies, think about adding a little heat to them. It might sound odd, but the combination of the rich pastry with a sweet and gently warm filling can make for a tasty, if unique, offering.
If that’s a little too specific, you could theme the whole meal around a core concept. A great option could be to build the meal that you’re eating off the idea of everything being a little futuristic. As well as having a regular Christmas dinner, you could also bring some freeze-dried astronaut food to the table (you can get this online at some good prices) as well as plates with LED lights on around the rim – this creates an electronic, futuristic effect underneath the plate of turkey.
A movie marathon is a staple in most homes around Christmas time, although most people tend to do it after they’ve ended up stuffing themselves with far too much food. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, of course, but it might be a little more enjoyable if you do it a little more intentionally.
Allowing the whole family to suggest movies (several suggestions per person) is a great way to make sure that everyone’s watching something they enjoy. Most people will suggest classic Christmas movies like Love Actually, with one or two people potentially suggesting something a little less palatable. By giving everyone several votes, you can see what movies people really want to watch – the choices get weighted by how badly people want to watch them.
In our modern age of tech and complex systems, you can easily track down most Christmas movies online, especially at Christmastime! If you can’t quite track down a copy to stream, we’re sure you could find a DVD of most Christmas movies online for a low price. A combination of the two leads to a low-budget option for celebrating the season as a group.
Finally, we’d suggest serving some snacks around the Christmas movies that you’re all watching – perhaps ordering a pizza or getting some frozen pizzas from a supermarket for dinnertime. Allowing people to all dig in when the pizzas are cooked and get a few slices from a few different pizzas.
A final great option is of using a slow cooker or instant pot to make a large batch of hot chocolate. Recipes abound online, typically containing milk, cream, sugar, cocoa powder, and solid chocolate. Some recipes have twists that bring Nutella to the mix or other add-ins, but the general concept is simple – a large, steaming pot of hot chocolate with a ladle and a stack of mugs will attract smiles from any guests.
A Letter From The Real Santa!
Creating magic for kids is one of the most rewarding parts of Christmas. That’s the reason why so many people have sprinkled flour on their floor and taken a bite out of a carrot to create the illusion of reindeer in the house. Seeing those smiles and the abject joy of a little one and their belief in Santa is a wonderfully sweet thing at Christmas time.
Consider adding to that level of wonder and belief of a child by allowing them to receive a letter from the real Santa Claus! A letter from Santa, customised to be sure to suit the needs and wants of any particular child that might get it, will ensure that the magic is safe for another year.
We always ensure that the letter is written with care, love, and attention to be certain that your child will feel enchanted and mystified by the fact that Santa has taken the time to correspond with them. On top of that, you could also secure a range of activity sheets and additional trinkets to ensure that the child is happy with their gift. We adore the idea of a child receiving a certificate for good behaviour, signed and delivered by the true Santa Claus!
We would suggest sending the letter to your home with a few days before Christmas, perhaps on the twenty-second or twenty-third of December. This will build anticipation of the coming celebration, allowing them to think about what their gifts could be and think about what they might like to say to Santa if they were to meet him.
The anticipation of Christmas is half the fun, and receiving a letter from Santa is a great way to make sure they’re as excited for the big day as possible!
Other Culture’s Celebrations
Embracing a celebration of the season from another culture is a great way to bring a level of new magic to Christmas in your home. There are plenty of different options out there for ways that Christmas is celebrated around the world, though some are perhaps a little more desirable than others.
In Japan, for example, families will typically order a KFC feast for the whole family for Christmas day. Families are generally not religious, though thanks to a successful marketing campaign, it’s become a part of the national traditions of the country to eat KFC on Christmas day.
Considering how much work other cultures put into Christmas dinner, we’d understand why KFC might seem like a bad idea.
A good option, though, is to borrow from other cultures’ concepts of Christmas eve. As we said in our section about letters from Santa, building anticipation is a key part of making sure that your kids are thrilled about the coming celebration.
The final phase of that celebration could be on Christmas eve, where you embrace the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod.
In this tradition, people will buy one another a book ahead of time, wrapping it and keeping it among the other presents under the tree. Then, as the evening wears on, the family will come together and unwrap the books that they’ve bought one another. Then, in silence, aside from a crackling fire, the family will typically read together and drink hot cocoa, happy in their extreme coziness.
While this exact example might not be perfect for you, we’re sure that there are options out there that are. Consider giving a few of them a go – we’re sure you’ll be able to find some great new traditions!
The final thing that we would suggest to make Christmas more magical is likely the most appealing option to you, the person that’s organizing everything.
You could do something incredible and plan a trip to Lapland! Check out our full blog post on 5 fun things to do at Lapland for some special ideas.
Christmas is a beautiful time of year, but it involves so much work that you may find yourself at a loss for actual time to relax and celebrate. To avoid feeling burned out and frustrated, we would suggest opting for as many make-ahead foods and drinks as you can.
A great example of this is something like a punch, which could be made ahead of time and portioned into glass jars with taps on the base. Then, you can allow people to serve themselves and be confident that no one will be going thirsty while you’re busy with Christmas dinner.
This is a very specific example, but we would suggest looking on sites like Pinterest to find options for make-ahead solutions to problems that you run into every Christmas. From hidden chocolate around the house to appease little ones to optional sleeping bags for family members seduced by the aroma of mulled wine, there are plenty of ways to make Christmas a little more magical for everyone.
Whichever of these options you chose to go with, we hope that you’ll be able to make this coming Christmas one of the most magical ones ever!