Yep, we did it. The body of summer is barely cold, and November only just arrived on the calendar, but the C bomb has been officially dropped. And while this might be a controversial opinion, we believe that Christmas Eve is the unsung hero of the festive season, when the excitement levels are high, anticipation is in the air, and the vibe is loose, merry and warm. That said, there can often be a sense of ‘being at a loss’ on the 24th, and of not using the time particularly effectively. But with all the family together and the mood jolly, it can be a truly rewarding day. Here’s how; our 5 IDEAL ways to spend Christmas Eve.
DO TOMORROW’S PREP
To avoid the mad rush of Christmas morning, hands full of stuffing and arms deep in the fowl of your choice, it’s prudent to get some of the Christmas dinner prep done in advance. Plenty can be done a day ahead of time and if it’s a team effort, with all the family involved, it can be a great way to bond. That stuffing we mentioned can be made, spuds peeled and left in cold water overnight, pigs wrapped in their cosy bacon blankets, carrots parboiled and refreshed, turkey trussed ahead of time, table settings laid…the list goes on. If you’d like some more advice on cooking the best Christmas dinner ever, then check out our IDEAL guide here.
CHRISTMAS LIGHT SPOTTING
During the festive season, beautiful, sometimes garish light displays appear in front gardens up and down the land. So, once it’s gotten dark on Christmas Eve, take a little drive around town to see all of your city’s Christmas lights. There’s no better way to bring out the festive cheer and childlike wonder of the occasion.
SHARE CHRISTMAS EVE BOXES
Christmas Eve boxes are becoming increasingly popular for many families during the festive period; a little extra gift giving to kick off the sense of sharing and caring which is so great about the season. You can put whatever you like in them; a special Christmas card, chocolates, small gifts, and more.
Sharing and opening a Christmas Eve box before the rush and excitement of Christmas day is a wonderful way to spend the evening together and to appreciate the smaller things in life. It’s also a great tactic to calm down excited children before they go to bed!
CHRISTMAS MOVIE TIME
As fun as the Christmas period is, it is also exhausting when you have to plan presents, Christmas dinner, and even further afield for Boxing Day.
We think, then, that it’s totally cool before the big day to take the evening to yourself and watch a heart-warming Christmas movie; getting in the Christmas spirit never felt more fun. Make yourself a luxurious hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and enjoy a chilled evening so that you can spend the next day refreshed and filled with energy.
CONTINENTAL CHRISTMAS EVE
To celebrate another year of being part of the EU, consider channeling the energy and spirit of our continental cousins on Christmas eve. As this day is traditionally a fasting day, and abstinence from meat occurs in preparation for the next day’s roast, seafood takes centre stage in many houses. In Italy, Christmas eve dinners are dominated by seafood (they call it ‘the feast of the seven fishes) and that sounds alright by us! Octopus salad, spaghetti with clams, a whole grilled seabass, cauliflower and anchovy salad…it’s all there and it’s all terribly delicious. Or do it like the Spanish, a little more simply, and serve up lobster and hake for the 24th feast. Wow.