Christmas this year is different. Not only because climate change has taken snow from us, but also because of Covid-19. Families can only meet in a limited number, some not at all, and many of us will be spending a relatively quiet holiday. While some might enjoy that break from annoying relatives, it’s also quite sad how many people will have to spend Christmas 2021 alone. I’m not saying that these 5 things to do during Christmas break will save the situation, but maybe it will make you a bit happier this year.
1. Drink a big cup of hot chocolate
Hot chocolate has something incredibly comforting, I think. Cuddle up in front of the TV, turn on a good movie and drink a cup of chocolate (actual chocolate) melted in milk. Or read a good book while slurping from a Christmas themed mug. I usually use 75% chocolate and dissolve 30-40g in a cup filled with hot milk.
2. Take a long bath
Take a walk outside in the cold. I love nothing more than the fresh cold air outside during winter. When you come home, make a nice drink, pour yourself a big glass of red wine, and enjoy it in a warm bathtub. Put on some cosy music, light some candles, and read a great book or enjoy that wine.
3. Bake cookies
Baking Christmas cookies has a very therapeutic and calming effect. At least on me. There’s plenty of great recipes out there (I have some on my Instagram), and make sure to check out the recipe we’ll share with you on 23 December. Store them in a pretty Christmassy box and snack from it whenever you feel like it. It’s December, after all!
4. Decorate your home with plenty of lights and candles
Winter is dark. December is the darkest month of them all. My trick is to turn all the lights very light during the day (if you have a dimmer), so I don’t feel like it’s winter. In the afternoon, I switch to cosy lighting with candles and warm light. It makes a huge difference. If you need more, buy one of those UV lamps, I heard they’re amazing.
5. Make your own roasted almonds & mulled wine
Buy a not too expensive bottle of Merlot or Tempranillo. Add some orange slices into it, cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, a cinnamon stick, and sugar. Heat it slowly until hot, but don’t boil, or all the alcohol will evaporate – we really, really do not want that. Pass through a sieve and enjoy while hot. With it, eat some homemade roasted almonds. It’s so easy with the recipe below.
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp cold water
- 500g almonds, skin on
- 100g sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 120C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Beat egg white until almost stiff and add 1 tbsp water, as well as sugar. Continue beating until stiff, smooth, and shiny. Add salt and cinnamon and mix in carefully. Then add almonds and also mix in gently.
3. Spread almonds on the baking tray and bake for around an hour. Move them around in between, making sure they’re always spaced out and not lying on top of each other. Once almonds and egg whites around them are dried and crackly, take them from the oven and let cool. For storing, put them into an airtight container.