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8 ways to enjoy a different kind of December

Boy and girl on the sofa wearing Christmas hats

So, you may or may not have heard about this virus thing that's doing its best to mess up everyone's Christmas plans. No? Not heard about it?

Doesn't matter, it's no biggy. Because come rain, shine, snow or global pandemic, the show must...and WILL...go on.

Scrooges look away now. This post is so full of festive joy and positivity that it may enduce sickness in those with a less cheery disposition.

Online shopping

Your go-to shops might not be open right now and when they reopen they could be filled to the brim with manic shoppers, so save yourself the hassle and avoid the crowds by shopping from your sofa.

There are tonnes of great deals online right now from skincare sets for Mum to techy toys for Dad, and you can usually find yourself a cheeky discount code for free delivery too. Order early and you won't have to press your nose against the window waiting for the post to arrive in time for Christmas day.

Oh, and while you're at it - why not add a little treat to the online basket for yourself. You deserve it.

Got a bit of time on your hands? Get crafty with your gift ideas.
Girl shopping on her mobile at home

A meal to remember

We might not be allowed so many people around the table this year, but don't let that stop you having a feast fit for a party. Get your Rudolph apron on, whack on ingenie's Christmas playlist, and start cooking around the Christmas tree. No wait, fire hazard.

If you usually go out to your favourite restaurants in the build up to Christmas, why not ask the people you're living (or bubbled up) with, what their favourite dish is. Then, it's over to you to make their culinary dreams come true!

Whether it's a baked camembert oozing at the seams, homemade mince pies (does anyone actually like these?) or some crispy pigs in blankets, create a special meal that will guarantee to put a smile on everyone's faces.

A photo of a family meal

Go to town on the decorations

If you're someone who has every intention of making your house look like a winter wonderland, but always run out of time (or that's what you say anyway) then this year, you really don't have an excuse!

With all the time you've saved from having to traipse around the shops, you can really go all out with the decs this year. Forget dusting off the tired, naff door wreath stuffed in the garden shed, make a beautiful new one - with fresh greenery!

Hang fairylights up in every room and outside too to cheer up all your neighbours and light up your street.

Christmas tree bauble and lights

Make your own games

It's looking like we'll be spending a lot of the festive period indoors - which is fine, who wants to go out in the cold anyway. But if you're worried cabin fever might start to set in at home, make your own entertainment to keep spirits high.

Everyone loves a Christmas themed quiz (come on, admit it) but rather than downloading the same old questions online, write your own. It could be based on news from throughout the year or you could even write personalised questions based on the people around you.

Family gathered outside playing games

Q1: "How many times did Grandad successfully join a Zoom call?"

Q2: "What did Mum replace the birthday cake with when she couldn't get hold of any eggs?"

Q3: "How many episodes of the Crown did Dad watch in one day on Netflix?"

If quizzes aren't your bag, give this game a try from Heart radio. The aim of the game is to get the answer wrong. You start by asking a question and the person you're asking stays silent. Then, you ask a different question, and the person has to answer the FIRST question you asked. Tricky!

So it goes a little something like this...

  1. Who is the current Prime Minister? (Don't answer)
  2. Who comes down the chimney to deliver presents? Boris Johnson
  3. Name the BBC broadcaster and natural historian for Planet Earth? Santa
  4. Who was known as Scary Spice in the hit 1994 pop girl band? David Attenborough
  5. Who played Ross in the American sit-com, Friends? Mel B

And if you're reeaaaaallly low on inspiration, just go and get Connect 4 or Jenga out the loft.

Head out on a winter walk

Something you probably did a lot of during lockdown is walking. Exploring the local parks around your hometown, walking that little bit further to see what's down the hill, or taking the dog out on a different route for a change of scenery.

Winter is a pretty time of year, and while it might be a bit nippy, wrapping up warm and heading out for a stroll will really boost your mood.

It also helps shift a few of those extra pounds that might have crept up on you while the gyms have been shut. What? I thought we were all doing our bit by eating loads? Eat out to help out, right.

Family on a winter walk

A Christmas movie night

I feel all warm and squishy inside already. Picture it...

  • Sofa
  • Blankets
  • Snacks
  • Hot chocolate
  • Christmas film

Heaven.

This one doesn't take much explaining, but if you're not sure which movie to stick on, here's ingenie's top list of Christmas films voted for by our drivers.

Girl with a blanket and mug of tea

Virtual secret santa

Don't walk away... this will be fun. And if it isn't, well... no refunds, sorry. Whether it's at work or with your mates, get a group together of everyone who wants to take part and draw names online using a Secret Santa name generator.

Once you've been emailed with who your gift recipient is, decide on a budget, say anywhere between £5-20, agree a date for the present to arrive, find your gift and post it to that person. Nominate one person to make a group chat with everyone's addresses on, so not to give the game away by having to ask for their address!

Santa ornament

Once everyone's gift has arrived (no peeking), set up a Zoom call and have a group unwrapping session, so you can see everyone's reactions to their gifts. You could then make an evening of it, playing games and having some food and drinks on screen.

Spread some joy

Back in May, ingenie ran an Act of Kindness campaign for all our key worker heroes keeping the country running. If you've seen the latest long-awaited John Lewis Christmas ad (if you haven't where have you been?), then you'll know that this year their message is to 'Give a little love' and that's exactly what this time of year is about.

From leaving a small gift on someone's doorstep, making a donation to a charity, baking something tasty for someone who might live on their own or just sending a heart-felt message, there's hundreds and thousands of ways you can spread some joy before the year is out.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy December!

Red gift box with a bow
For the latest information on Coronavirus and Government advice on staying safe over Christmas, just head to GOV.UK.

Katey Gregory

By Katey Gregory

Katey Joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of all things social and content. She passed her driving test in 2015 and her first car is a Toyota Yaris T3 named Tyrone.