The top 3 things to do to get you in the festive spirit

We know that many people have a love/hate relationship with Christmas, and so we have created a list of the top 3 things to do to get you in the festive spirit.  Warning – may cause bursts of extreme happiness, spontaneous carol singing and the urge to hug strangers!

1. Go to a Christmas Market.

Get wrapped up in your warmest coat and scarf, and spend some time taking in the atmosphere.  From the music and the convivial buzz of people enjoying themselves, to the smell of pine needles, and Christmas treats in the winter air; a few hours at a Christmas market provides the perfect setting to get that festive feeling.  Whilst a general wander around is enough, if you do want to get some of your Christmas shopping done, you’re much more likely to find a unique gift at markets like these.  Plus there’s usually mulled wine on sale, and you’re allowed to drink it as you walk around the stalls – Ho Ho Hic!
We have done some research and it seems that the best Christmas Markets are:  Belfast, Manchester, Exeter, Edinburgh, London, or Leeds.


2. Don’t put off your Christmas Shopping.

It’s not many people’s favourite thing to do, but don’t make it worse by putting it off until the last minute.  Buying your Christmas presents early has several knock-on effects to make you feel more festive:  (1) The sooner you start, the more Christmassy you’ll start to feel, plus there’s the added gift of time that you’re giving to yourself by not putting it off.  (2) If you wrap the gifts that you have bought, not only will it save you a Christmas Eve wrapping session, but your home will start to look more festive too.  (3) Whilst looking around the shops you’ll get lots of ideas for what you might want for your own presents, making you more excited for the big day to arrive.

If you want to make a day of it, we recommend a shopping centre or street where you can buy almost everything from one place, the best of the best are:  Oxford Street, Manchester Trafford Centre, Birmingham Bull Ring, Bluewater Kent, Shambles York, or Bicester Village Oxfordshire.


3. Get your Bake On (see what we did there?).

Baking always gives us a sense of domestic perfection, not least at Christmas time.  If you’re a novice baker, start with something small like cookies (we have some great recipes from many of our hotels), knowing that whatever you try will make your home smell delicious.  Just remember a top tip from all Best Loved chef’s, “If it’s brown it’s cooked, if it’s black it’s…  over cooked”!