If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know I think creativity is important for our health and happiness. It's something we should nurture in ourselves as well as our children. In this post I discuss some ways to make this Christmas the most creative yet.
Don’t you just love Christmas? Unfortunately it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the hectic activity and general ‘busyness’ that often comes with it. So how do you maintain that Christmas spirit in amongst the present buying, the family politics and getting everything done in time? With a bit of creativity. Here I share some great ideas for how you can stay creative amongst the chaos and have a less consumerist Christmas into the bargain.
Recycled Christmas tree decorations
This is a brilliant way to add some character to your tree and get crafty with the kids. There are loads of imaginative things you can do to turn stuff that would otherwise go in the bin into funky and attractive Christmas decorations. My favourites are below (where you see a highlighted link, just click on it to be taken to the relevant website for more info):
Cute DIY Penguin Light Bulb Bauble - These little guys look awesome and make a brilliant decoration out of a common item of rubbish.
Bottle Top Snowman Tree decorations - As you start to entertain, you may have one or two (or maybe a few more!) beer bottle caps to hand. These snowmen are a fantastic and cheap way to stop them going in the landfill. Cork reindeer are another brilliant way of recycling used drinks tops.
Toilet roll Santa Claus - This one’s great and so easy. On this site you’ll find a very simple method to turn toilet rolls into fantastic-looking Santa Claus baubles. The site is in Spanish, but the pictures explain all you need to know!
Charity Shop Secret Santa
Secret Santa is always a bit of a headache. The pressure is on to look imaginative and interesting with your gift idea, all within a tight budget. What if you changed the focus back to the act of giving itself? Adding the rule that all presents have to be bought from a charity shop can do this. It provides income to that charity (a gift in itself) and it also takes the pressure off finding a perfect gift, as you are limited by what’s in the charity shop. It’s also fun to see what you end up with. You could take this one step further if you wish and make the rule that everyone donates to a charity that they think somehow links to the person they are buying for (a sport for disabled children charity for that football-mad bloke in IT or a charity to build schools in Africa for your stern, teacher-like boss!).
DIY Advent Calendar
This is another brilliant one to do with the kids. Making the calendar itself is pretty straightforward - just paint a piece of card in the colours you choose and stick 24 paper fasteners (the pins that split) through it (you can find a picture here to guide you). The fun is then creating the items that will hang from each of these pins. It could be a joke, an IOU for a hug, a short poem, a random act of kindness you need to perform that day, anything. It could even be a piece of chocolate. Just write the day of the month on one side of a piece of paper, the item of the day on the other and hang the paper from a pin.
Make your own Christmas tree!
I’ve seen some amazing suggestions for making your own Christmas tree from various household items, some more complicated than others. Here’s a couple of the less complex ones which would make a great table-top Christmas tree.
Bottle brush trees - This one’s very simple. You may not have bottle brushes lying around at home (I think they’re quite old-fashioned), but you can pick up a multipack for a couple of quid.
Paper cake case Christmas tree - Another easy but great-looking one and another one in a foreign language (Italian this time). The pictures are really easy to follow though, so don’t panic if your Italian only stretches to ‘spaghetti bolognese’.
Gift someone your time
It sounds a bit hippyish, but our time is perhaps the most valuable thing we can give people. Why not give some of it to a loved one instead of a physical gift? Do you have a particular skill that that person wants to learn? Why not give them three hours (or however many you want) of your time to teach them? Does your partner love the Star Wars films, but you’ve had no interest in watching them? Why not gift them a film night hosted by you where you watch all three of the originals (don’t bother with the modern ones)?
Alternatively, does someone in your family love going to museums, but no one will go with them? Why not offer them two museum visits in the next six months? The possibilities are endless, so this is another chance to get creative.
So there you have it - 5 fantastic ways to get creative this Christmas. Which will you choose? Let me know in the comments below.