Words by Twishaa Sharma
If your body clock is tuned to hum Christmas songs as you approach December, then you’re not alone. The top 3 holidays celebrated around the world are Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year, and they all fall within a 2-week period. No wonder December brings with it a certain level of buoyancy. Family and friends take centre-stage and while the temperature outside drops, hearts and hearth remain warm.
The year 2020 is even more special. An unprecedented pandemic taught us to value things that really matter. The advent of the new year is also a chance for us to leave the past behind as we step into the future with renewed hope. But for now, we continue to be confined to our respective homes. For many of us the holidays also mean a break from work and a chance to spend.. well, more time at home. Hopefully, most of us are used to this stay-at-home arrangement by now. We have formed our individual routines to get us through days, weeks and months of lockdown.
With the holidays now approaching, here is a handy guide to help you make the most of your time with things to do at home:
For the graphic novel admirer: Blankets by Craig Thompson
Set against the landscape of wintery Wisconsin, Blankets explores sibling rivalry and the budding romance between two coming-of-age lovers. If you’re familiar with Craig Thompson’s artistic approach in his novels, you can be assured of a heart-warming read in Blankets. For the uninitiated, make this your first Thompson read and you won’t be disappointed. For those who are unfamiliar with the world of graphic novels, think Marvel and Tintin and then put that in a box and throw it out of the window. Graphic novels are not comics, they are art, poetry and story-telling all combined in one.
Bonus tip: Open that bottle of wine, snuggle under your blanket and make it a buddy read with your partner.
For the binge watcher: Netflix
Every year Netflix releases a bunch of TV shows and movies around November encapsulating the holiday theme. The aim is to cash in on people like you and me. Pick these movies in any other month and you will probably complain about the direction and the story line. But come December and suddenly we can’t resist the pull… the snowflakes, the mistletoe, some festive cheer and romance. Who are we kidding? We dig the holidays genre! Just press play and enjoy these cheesy festive rom-coms.
Bonus tip: There are enough titles to last you a month. Start binge watching from today, no one is judging!
For the old soul: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
No, watching Mathew McConaughey’s Ghost of A Girlfriends past is not the same as reading A Christmas Carol (though it is pretty close). This year instead of watching the movie (actually do both.. there is no shortage of time), read Charles Dickens’ all-time classic novel - A Christmas Carol. Unlike other books by Dickens, this one is only 110 pages long and is a reminder of the Christmas spirit of love and generosity. Some traits of Ebenezer Scrooge resides in all of us, but it’s upto us what we make of it. Don’t know who Scrooge is? Read the book.
Bonus tip: Whip up a mug of Hot Chocolate for the perfect Christmas read (don’t forget the marshmallows)
For the food lover: Getting Lost by Shirin and Archit
Holidays are all about food and desserts. Put your culinary skills to test and check out this Podcast that has been making the news. Both Shirin and Archit are passionate foodies with an aim to educate non-foodies to create more than average dishes. I personally recommend ‘Dining In, Made Easy’ which is all about cooking at home for small gatherings and ‘Cake O’ Clock’ which requires no explantation at all.
For the DIY enthusiast: Christmas Tree Decorations
Every year I make it a point to add on new baubles or decorations to my Christmas tree. It is no longer a plastic store-bought tree, instead it is a collection of memories and important life events. Every time I travel I make it a point to visit flea markets and carnivals to pick out unique Christmas decorations. If you’re like me, then this year you probably don’t have any new additions. To mark the memory of 2020 (the year we all spent home) I’ve decided to create my own decorations at-home. I don’t see a better way to represent 2020.
This link will give you plenty of ideas how to go about it. You can also just use it as inspiration and experiment yourself.
Bonus tip: Art and craft is best accompanied by some music. For maximum creativity put on a holiday pop playlist.
For fun with friends: Board Games and Jigsaws
Our conditioned mind conjures up Scrabble and Monopoly when we think of board games. But since we are talking about the festive season, lets spice things up a bit. Cards against Humanity is a great way to get everyone involved, it can even be made into a drinking game. Other fun options can be Taboo and Pictionary, and for the serious gamers.. may I suggest splurging on Catan. If you like to keep a memento, invest in a good 1500+ jigsaw puzzle - this will keep you occupied and hooked on for days (speaking from experience).