I really really love Christmas time. The music, the food, the decorations, the present buying, the present wrapping, the baking, the movies, the plethora of social gatherings – I flippin’ love it all. Although Christmas in South Africa isn’t as much of a ‘thing’ as it is in other countries, I still think it’s pretty special. So whether you’re an over-excited Christmas lover like me or someone who needs a little more encouragement, here are some of my favourite ways to get into the Christmas spirit.
Put up your Christmas tree
It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until the tree is up. We have a fake tree, so it’s usually out and twinkling in all its glory by the first of December – which is the earliest that my family let me pull it out. Our tree has never been one of those perfect, colour-coordinated numbers… it’s always been a mishmash of colours and decorations, carrying a huge amount of nostalgia. We have hideous decorations that I made in grade one and ornaments that my grandparents had on their tree when my mom was little – I love them all. Well, all except the creepy ones. Those are usually banished to the back. In short, Christmas trees are magical – how can you not feel festive once your tree is up?
Listen to some Christmas music
Okay, so if I’m honest I’m usually listening to Michael Bublé before Halloween. I don’t care if that sounds crazy – his voice was made for Christmassy tunes and I need to enjoy the beautifulness for longer than three weeks! I also have a custom Christmas playlist that replaces my usual car tunes around this time of year – they never fail to make me feel super festive. A carol service is another great way to take advantage of all the great Christmas music. My favourite way to sing carols is at Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch… a yearly Christmas tradition for many Capetonians. I’m hoping to find at least some partially willing friends or family to come along with me this year!
Bake/buy a Christmassy treat
Baking and Christmas are two of my favourite things, so every December I tend to go a little bit cray on the baking front, but no one ever complains. It’s become a tradition of mine to bake and ice gingerbread every year and I often make a huge batch of Christmassy sugar cookies to add to gifts – I just don’t think it would feel like December for me if I didn’t bake! Keep an eye on my blog, because there are definitely a few Christmassy recipes on their way. If baking isn’t your idea of a good time, there are so many delicious treats out at this time of year so go and pick up an advent calendar, some shortbread or some yummo mince pies to get you in the Christmas mood.
Go and see some Christmas lights
The Christmas lights in Adderley Street are just too beautiful to miss which is why I try to make a point of driving past them each year, soaking in all their festiveness. Put some Christmas jams on and make it an outing on its own or head to Adderley after a bite to eat in town – it’s so cool to see the city looking so festive. There’s also a road near our house that goes nuts with Christmas lights each December, so a drive or a walk along there is a must-do evening activity for me.
Watch a Christmas movie
I know that Christmas movies aren’t always the best, but there are a few classics that just never seem to get old. I have a selection of favourites that I love to re-watch every year – The Holiday, Love Actually, Home Alone, The Grinch and Arthur Christmas are probably my top picks. If you’re into YouTube, Vlogmas is definitely another thing that gets me in the Christmas spirit – lots of my fave content creators do a lot of Christmassy content during December which, unsurprisingly, I love.
In case you couldn’t tell, Christmas is definitely my fave time of year. I can’t wait to create many more Christmassy blog posts, so stay tuned!