The Christmas period is all fun and games until you realise you're five pounds heavier and very much entering the New Year skint. Plus, with so much going on and only a month to cram in everything you want to do, how will you actually manage your time? To help you out, we have the complete Christmas survival guide.
The time has rolled around once again - you're spending your weekends either in the pub or rushing around the shops trying to find the best gifts for your friends and family. You've also got to try and fit in seeing everyone that's suggesting you should meet up just because it's Christmas, and still chill out and enjoy the festivities. If you need some help trying to manage your time or figure out what you need to do, we've got the only guide you'll need this Christmas. Other than all the gift guides of course. You're welcome.
What to do on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve differs for many - some will be working, some seeing friends and some will be having an early Christmas Day with their second families. But either way, everyone's getting ready for 'the big day'. So to get you in the Christmas spirit no matter what you're planning on doing, we've got a few ideas on how to spend this festive day.
Hit The Pub
With the excitement of the next day already on our minds, it can be difficult to decipher what to do. A tradition that's long been set in stone with many group of friends is going to the pub. The location doesn't have to be overtly fancy or proper, just somewhere you can sit, relax and have a good time. Whether you're in there all day or just going for the evening, be sure to check that the place isn't doing a ticketed entry, as places get busy quick. It's better to be prepared than turn up and not get in.
So What Do You Wear?
Well it's cold, but you're also going to be inside, so you have to think about this properly. Layering is a good (and probably the best) option. A shirt, jumper and overcoat is casual enough for the day but also brings an element of smartness for the evening (if you make it that far). Christmas Eve drinks doesn't have to be super smart because you want to feel relaxed and cosy, and after all, if you're just heading down to your local pub, you may as well make yourself at home. Because of the season, you'll want a to make sure your coat keeps you warm on your drunken walk home, so investing in a decent one is a good idea.
Out For Dinner
Food is always a good option. It doesn't have to be overly fancy or overly expensive, just get together with friends or family and head out all together. No washing up and no cooking stress - you can save that for the actual day. It's a chance for you to chill out and fill yourself up on food, what could be better than that?
So What Do You Wear?
You don't want to go too overboard when it comes to going out for dinner on Christmas Eve, but smartening yourself up a bit won't hurt. You also don't want to be wearing anything too fitted or slim, because who needs that stress when out for a meal? A pair of dad jeans or chinos will fit comfortably, even after filling up on all the food possible. Wear with a T-shirt or casual shirt and some warm winter boots. A shearling leather coat will add that extra element of style and keep you warm for when you're heading home.
The day has arrived, the one you've been planning and prepping for for at least a month (or less if you're one of those last minute guys). It's the time when it's acceptable to stay in pyjamas all day and proceed to play board games with your family, which you would probably avoid every other day of the year. Just generally spending time with the people you love is what Christmas is all about, but what should you do to fill the day as best as you can?
You've woken up, hopefully feeling fresh, but if you hit the pub the night before, you may need to ease your way into the day a little bit slower than planned. If you have younger siblings, cousins or your own kids, it's present time. Nice and early, all sitting in the lounge, giving the gifts you found so hard to find and hoping they actually like them. Once this is over, it's probably time to start heating the oven for the famous Christmas dinner. And if you're like any of us here at The Idle Man, the Christmas lunch is the main highlight of the day - pigs in blankets, stuffing and all the other must haves piled sky-high on your plate.
Once the presents and food are over, what do you do now? Other than the necessity of a Christmas day nap, you can fill the rest of your day with a few options.
Head to the Pub
If you're a pub lover, then this is the option for you. You can get the whole family wrapped up and trek them down to your local for a few beers, crisps and nuts. Heading down to the pub is a tradition that many families have done for years, and with the festive spirit in full swing, everyone will have a great time. So if you are hitting the pub, you're gonna need to get dressed at some point in the day. You can keep it casual and go for jeans and a jumper or to feel a little more festive, red, green or navy are good colours to go for. If you really want, a festive style pattern will also keep the spirits up.
Another tradition that seems to sweep the nation every year is the Christmas Day walk. Many people are too full from the day's eating to even think about going for a walk, but if you're feeling fairly energetic then heading out with the whole fam for a wander should be on the agenda. It doesn't have to be a long walk and you don't have to go far. But sometimes getting out the house and digesting all the food you ate for lunch is a good idea. Especially if you're coming home to a buffet of snacks ready for your Christmas evening.
Games, Games And More Games
If this isn't a family Christmas Day tradition, then I don't know what is. Whether it's a board game, the new social media craze or a trusty game of charades, the whole family can get involved. It's the one day of the year that it doesn't matter what your age is, you have to join in. And, other than a few little arguments and standard family bickering, it's actually a fun thing to do.
Christmas Day Cocktails
If you've opened the presents, eaten the food and played all the games (or just napped all afternoon), it's time for cocktails. So if you're looking for something new to drink on Christmas Day, what better time to start experimenting with cocktails than at Christmas! It's time to put some festive favourites to use, and to help we have a few favourites for you to try.
Gin & Mulled Wine Sour
Mixing two classic drinks drinks, this cocktail will suit the taste buds of those who like something with a deep flavour. Gin (a personal favourite) and mulled wine combined may be an unusual combination for some, but it's one that certainly works.
- 37.5 ml Caorunn gin
- 25ml mulled wine
- 25ml lemon
- 12.5 gomme
- 3 dashes of dr. Adam Elmegirabs Christmas Bitters
- Egg white
Dry shake, then wet shake all ingredients, then serve in a tall glass with lots of cubed ice, garnished with a cinnamon bark and cloved orange zest.
Champagne with Hibiscus Flowers
Drinking Champagne or Prosecco is usually saved for those special times of the year such as Christmas, so why not elevate it a little more with some Hibiscus flowers - an unusual concept I know, but well worth the extra few pounds. Adding a sweet edge to the usually dry Champagne or Prosecco, it makes a nice change around the festive period.
- Champagne or Prosecco
- Hibiscus flowers
Simply place a Hibiscus flower in the bottom of your Champagne flute with a drop of the Hibiscus syrup. Pour over the Champagne or Prosecco and enjoy!
This recipe comes courtesy of The Buddha Bar who give the classic martini a sweet twist this season. For those of you with a sweet tooth, this will most definitely appeal to you, as it combines the sweetness of the passion fruit with the strong taste of the vodka, creating an enjoyable and sophisticated cocktail.
- 2 passion fruits
- 50 ml (1 2/3 fl oz) passion fruit flavored vodka
- 10 ml (1/3 fl oz) passion fruit juice
- 5 ml (1/8 fl oz) lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon passion fruit syrup
- Cubed ice
- Chill your martini glass. You can either put a few ice cubes with water or place it in the freezer while you make your drink.
- Cut one of the passion fruits in half. Scrape the insides into the mixing glass.
- Measure and pour the vodka, liqueur, lemon juice, passion fruit juice and syrup into the mixing glass.
- Fill the mixing glass with ice.
- Slap the cocktail shaker on the top of the mixing glass and shake well.
- Gently release the two halves from each other. Place a strainer on the cocktail glass and strain the contents in the martini glass.
- Cut the other passion fruit in half. Place one half on top of the drink and serve.
Boxing Day Sales
Boxing Day sales get bigger and better each year. The shopping rush and the need to get the best discounts takes over us all. But if you want to do it tactically, then shopping online could be your saviour. From the comfort of your sofa, with no need to get dressed, you can get all those discounts you crave at The Idle Man. Whether it's the new Champion jumper or a pair of Dickies you didn't get given as a gift, we'll have you covered.
Boxing Day Food Ideas
The day can be reserved for leftovers and to be honest, that's not a bad thing. It's just another excuse to fill up on all things Christmas, after all that's what the seasons all about, right? Along with the left over buffet food and Christmas pudding no one could manage to stomach after consuming their body weight in Christmas lunch, you have what was left of the actual dinner. The turkey, the stuffing and all the other trimmings. So what better way to chill out on Boxing Day than with a turkey and stuffing sandwich.
The January detox is looming, so you logically can't have all this left over food still in the house, so the only reasonable option is to just go for it. Eat it until your hearts content, just try not to over do it too much because you still need to fit into your New Years outfit.
Christmas Survival Guide
- Christmas eve is a day when the festivities begin. Whether you're going to the pub, out for dinner or staying in with the family, make the most of it.
- Dressing for the Christmas period is easy if you know how to layer. A shirt, jumper and coat is the go-to look.
- Christmas Day has everything you can wish for. Food, drink and more food. Indulge yourself in it and have no regrets.
- Fill the actual day with everything you wouldn't normally do. Board games, family bonding and festive cocktails.
- Boxing day is the time to search for the best discounts and offers. Make life easier and stick to life online.
On That Note
The main thing to remember is that you should enjoy yourself - it only comes around once a year and a well deserved break from the real world is very much needed. Think of it as a three day bender - Christmas Eve you can go out for a meal or down to your local pub for a few drinks and wake up on Christmas Day (probably hungover) and start again. Make cocktails and binge watch every Christmas film going and then enjoy what's left of it on Boxing Day. Perfect.