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How to save Christmas 2020

Christmas cancelled? Not on our watch! It might look a little different this year, but here's how to make the most of the festive season in 2020.

There’s no question that this Christmas is going to need a slight rethink – after all, many of the things we take for granted just aren’t going to be possible this year. But instead of lamenting what could have been, here at Muddy we’re embracing the change and looking on the bright side. No more rubbish office parties, or trying to accommodate 5,000 different dietary requirements for Christmas lunch or running yourself so ragged that you start the new year in need of a holiday. Instead, this is the year of starting new traditions, focusing on just the important things, and looking forward to a bright, shiny new 2021. Onward!

Buy early and local

Christmas gifts

If you haven’t started ticking off your Christmas list yet, now’s the time! Getting ahead of your shopping will a) make you feel like some kind of super-organised genius, and b) ensure that you have plenty of time to post presents to friends or relatives you might not be able to see over the festive period.

Instead of getting sucked in by the lure of Amazon Prime, this year (of all years) is the best time to support all your lovely local indies and small makers, who sorely need a boost after the retail nightmare of 2020. We’ve made it mega easy for you with our Muddy-curated round-up The Indie Store – check it out and start ordering, ASAP!

Try a new dish

With only a few of us allowed to meet up on Christmas Day, you might want to give the massive turkey a swerve this year (the perfect excuse if you’ve never been a huge fan but wanted to avoid rocking the boat of tradition up until now). Your local farm shop or butcher will be able to advise you – also, forget the last minute supermarket dash and support your local food delivery services instead.

Can’t be bothered to put together a Christmas menu at all? Order a Cornish Christmas dinner in a box!

Take it outside

Gardens aren’t just for summer! Get yourself a fire pit from The Indie Store and take your social life outside. Light up a warming fire, break out the festive spiked apple juice and make the most of any clear cold nights – you could even go crazy and decorate an outside Christmas tree too, or just try and outdo your neighbours’ flashing elves.

Stock your wine cellar

Christmas wines

Once you’ve ordered in all your delicious Christmas food, it stands to reason that you’ll need something nice to wash it down with! As we’re less likely to be playing taxi service/designated driver this year (praise be), make the most of staying in and splash out on some excellent wine to keep all to yourself. LEVIN Wines has put together an specially curated Muddy six-pack to see you through the season – just use code FESTIVE for a £40 discount and free shipping. More of a spirits kinda gal? You’ll be needing our Cornish drinks cupboard list.

Go for a swim

It wouldn’t be a Cornish Christmas without a little dip in the sea – Santa hat optional. Here at Muddy Cornwall we’ve joined in with a little fundraising swim for the RNLI, aiming to swim in 12 bays (or tidal pools) between 1 and 24 Dec, with a celebratory Christmas Day dip in order as well. Looking for inspiration – the one above is at Perranporth, and here’s five tidal pools we wrote about in the summer to start you off, pretty sure the geo-thermal part of the Jubilee Pool counts even though it’s a great deal warmer than the sea.

Book a panto

The classic panto is one of those traditions that some people would rather eat a kilo of Brussel sprouts than miss (“Oh no it isn’t!”, etc), so we’re glad to hear that performances are still happening around the counties. Hop over this way for our list of in-person and virtual shows around Cornwall – top of our list if you’ve kids is the awesome and magical Rogue Theatre’s Winter Wood in Tehidy Woods and we’ve also booked tickets for the The Mousehole Cat drive in screenings – this super sweet Cornish Christmas story is usually brought to life on stage, but we’re looking forward to it on the big screen instead.

See the Christmas lights

Indoor attractions might be thin on the ground this year, and sadly the usual suspects of Mousehole and Angarrack have (understandably) cancelled their Christmas lights this year, as have the National Trust. However, there are still plenty of places where you can get festively illuminated including the enchanting lantern experience at the Lost Gardens of Heligan (above, pre-booking essential) as well as everyone’s favourite festive garden at the Eden Project.

Give back

If 2020 has proven anything, it’s the importance of being kind, so a little extra charity contribution this year is sure to be appreciated more than ever. There are plenty of local charities with projects to get stuck into – we’ve put together Christmas dinner in a boxes for Cornwall Christmas Boxes, who provide Christmas dinner for families that otherwise would have to go without.

DIY your decor

You’ve still got time, so why not add a handmade touch to your decs this year? These socially-distanced Christmas wreath workshops are a great way to spend a festive weekend (it beats getting crushed at the local shopping centre or getting stuck in an online queue), or you can turn your hand to one of the activities on Kirstie Allsopp’s brand new Channel 4 show, Kirstie’s Christmas: Quick and Easy Craft.

Buy a great board game

Because there’s only so many times you can play charades before murder is on the literal cards. The current fave in the Muddy Cornwall house is Catan, but we hear up at Muddy HQ they’re partial to a little Santa Banter.

Dress up

Pleated skirt

After a year spent in pyjamas and elasticated waists (jeans? What are those again?), we’re taking any opportunity to don velvet and sequins – even if it’s for a Zoom call with the extended fam. Treat yourself to some new threads for the big day and you’ll feel at least 50% more festive – we promise.

Keep calm and carry on!

Let’s face it, Christmas can be stressful enough without the anxiety of a global pandemic factored in, so this year you absolutely have permission to write the whole thing off. Strip back anything you don’t deem essential, limit family visits if it’ll keep you sane, try and get some vitamin D where possible, and remember that in years to come, this will all be a distant memory. We’ll cheers to that!

Find more ideas here


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