How to Get into the Festive Spirit with the Family 

With the festive season well underway, you might be feeling some of the pressures that come with the most wonderful time of year. The gifts for family, the cards for relatives, the charcuterie boards for visitors- it’s safe to say that we’ve all felt that wave of relief once January is in sight. However, amid the chaos that is, the lead up to Christmas, many of us get so whisked away with all of the wrapping and fridge-stocking that we forget to treasure the moment. We fail to realise the festive season for what it really is, a unique time of year that allows our family to reconnect (before the bickering starts, of course.) So, to help you make the most out of this precious time with your nearest and dearest, here’s five ideas to get into the festive season together this year.

1. Get the matching jumpers

The teenagers may or may not restrain at first. Their attitudes will ooze “I’m too cool for a Christmas jumper”. However, once they get past that initial resistance phase, you’ll find that christmas jumpers are an effortless way to brighten the moods of all who wear them. It helps us to get in the spirit and brings a little bit of joy to the dull aunt, grumpy teenager, or irritable partner who just wants to watch the football. 

What’s more, the woolly warmth of the stunning cozy jumpers from Home Bargains don’t come at a cost. In fact, you can get your hands on the childrens styles for less than eight pounds! Once you’ve gotten everyone to oblige, don’t forget to take a picture to mark the (rare) occasion.

2. Pencil in a mulled wine night 

If there’s kids around, you can always make a sacrifice this once to replace the red wine in the recipe with cranberry juice. They’ll appreciate being able to get involved! All you’ll need is cranberry juice or your favourite bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, some cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and an orange. Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat and once it comes to a low boil, turn the heat down to low and leave it to steam for 20-30 minutes. Strain the liquid to remove the orange slices and the spices. Finally, pour into a mug and add in the garnish. This is a fantastically festive way to bring the family together and let those little ones join in on the merry fun! 

3. Make a festive family quiz 

From gen-z’s to the baby boomers, the age differences in families mean that not all interests are equal. For example, the current affairs round could prove to drastically lose the attention of some younger members. A great way to get everyone involved in the festive quiz is to base the questions around members of the family. Test each other’s memories of previous family holidays, childhood friendships and see how well you really know one another! 

4. Assign a dessert to each person

The season of over-indulgence- what better time to create your own family bake-off than the festive period. Put the names of some festive desserts (trifle, cookies, brownies) into a bowl and let each member pick one out. Then, each family member has to make their chosen dessert in the lead up to Christmas. Gather the family round to do a taste test of each one, with scores out of ten for taste, texture, and appearance. The winner gets crowned as the dessert chef for Christmas Day while the loser does the wash-up. Call it a lose-lose situation, but it’s all for a bit of festive fun. 

Before you know it, it will be time for the decorations to return to the attic, left to gather dust until next year. So this year, don’t let the season fly by without treasuring those little, rare moments you get to spend with those closest to you. You’ll soon find yourself discarding the leftover quality streets, happy it happened rather than relieved it’s over!

Josie Wilkins

Josie is a Journalism graduate from Galway, Ireland. In her free time, she writes for her blog, Naturally Fuelled (@josiewilkins on instagram). When she isn't writing, she enjoys playing the one song she knows on the piano, 'I Giorni', saving the postman from her aggressive Shorkie, and defending brussels sprouts as an all-year-round snack!