From supermarkets to shopping centres, the run up to Christmas now seems to begin in October. Here are a few unobtrusive ways to get into the festive spirit that don’t include playing Christmas songs on loop.
Remember that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when someone opens your badly wrapped but thoughtful Christmas gift? Well now you can have it all the time by gifting outside of the festive period. This may not seem like a radical concept, however if you're lost for worthy recipients of your new-found generosity, why not try out Crack and Cider, who provide useful items for those sleeping rough on the streets of London. With affordable prices such as £7 for a hat, sock and gloves bundle, maybe you can share that warm, fuzzy feeling with a homeless person this winter.
Trees are not just for Christmas
I know, the thought of dragging a butchered tree through your house and putting it up in the living room fills most sane people with dread. On the plus side, however, scientists claim that houseplants can make you happier, healthier and (supposedly) smarter. If you aren’t green-fingered, why not adopt a cactus? There’s even a cactus that flowers around this time of year, which means you'll have loads less needles to clear up once December 25 rolls around.
Whilst I’m sure the turkey population of the UK is incredibly grateful that Brits are only interested in them once a year, that could be about to change - especially if you are trying to kick start that New Year’s Day diet. Compared to chicken and other meats, turkey is incredibly lean with substantially less fat, making it a healthy and inexpensive substitute for other white meats. And if you're still not convinced, there are plans to open a Turkey restaurant next year in London!
Say what you want about brussels sprouts, you will never be able to convince me that they are 'tasty' or even vaguely tempting - even on Christmas Day. However, just like turkey, the health benefits are sort of hard to ignore. Cholesterol lowering and cancer preventing, sprouts are thought to be hugely beneficial part of a healthy diet, belonging to the popular 'superfood' category. I’m not suggesting you drink them in a smoothie or anything… but surely one or two every now and again wouldn’t hurt?
Admit it, everybody loves fairy lights. They're definitely not just for Christmas so don't confine them to a box for fifty weeks of the year - let them free to festoon your bed or sitting room. The possibilities are endless, and as many are designed for exactly this purpose, they are unlikely to burn down your flat when you drunkenly leave them on.
Getting together with family
Most of the time, the days seem to melt into one another and there is barely enough time to catch up on your favourite Netflix series, let alone your family. However, as unbearable as 'The Christmas Family Do' might feel, perhaps it wouldn’t be so terrible if you made the time to see - or at the very least call - some of your relatives more than once a year. Go on, you know you want to hear Grandad Peter’s 'when I was a lad' story at least one more time…
Drinking and being merry
No persuasion needed here. Just remember, the next time you want to go out and get hammered, use 'slow integration into the Christmas spirit' as an excuse for your boss/parents/disapproving friends.
And if you do fancy getting in the festive mood, take a look at our ultimate guide to Christmas in London.