How to keep the Christmas spirit alive in 2020
Right now, we were meant to be preparing for a trip to Brazil to be with my family for Christmas, but we realised a few months into 2020 that that wouldn’t be happening this year.
As a major social butterfly who’s very close to my family, it’s been hard to accept this, and I know that many of you reading are in the same boat.
If anything, this has been a big reminder for me to make the most of what we do have. I’ve always been big on living in the moment and making every day count, but I think 2020 has driven me to take this up a notch!
If you’re going to be away from extended family or friends this year, or have a smaller crowd than usual, I know you might not be feeling the Christmas spirit as much as usual. So, I wanted to bring you a little pick me up with five ideas to keep the Christmas spirit alive this year.
I hope these tips help make your Christmas just a little bit brighter!
This wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t mention making your home look beautiful, so here we go…
Nothing brings out the Christmas Spirit like incredible decorations, so we’ll definitely be making the most of them at my house this year.
I know many traditional Christmas decorations can feel tacky, or might not suit your home, but I promise it’s possible to do this tastefully. If you’ve avoided decorating your home in the past – now’s the year to try it!
These are my top picks for tasteful Christmas decorations that you can coordinate with your own sense of style at home:
- Stick to simple white fairy lights, rather than brightly coloured bulbs. These actually look beautiful in outdoor areas at any time of year.
- Invest in a good quality Christmas tree – it will look so much better, and you won’t need to worry about buying a new one every few years. I also know some of you will prefer a natural tree which is so wonderful too and will bring that beautiful Christmas scent that will be cherished each day before Christmas.
- Hunt for some vintage or antique Christmas decorations. They’ll be totally unique, and have so much more character than new pieces.
- Set a theme of 2-3 colours for your decorations to keep them cohesive – especially for your tree!
- Remember, you don’t need to stick to traditional Christmas colours of red, green or gold if that isn’t your personal taste. Mix it up with the colours that you love. Here are some of my personal favourite Christmas palette ideas to get you started.
Prepare a banquet
I love, love, love food, but I know that preparing a beautiful meal becomes quite a mission when you’re cooking for multiple families at once!
If your Christmas crowd is going to be smaller this year, you can make the most of it and go all-out on the food. Try to get the whole family involved so this doubles as some quality time together too. Even the kids can do something simple like decorating the pavlova or making their own little treats.
These are our personal must-haves for an amazing Christmas dinner or lunch:
- A great bottle of champagne and a simple but delicious cocktail for the adults.
- A roast for the main course. I normally put my husband, Aaron in charge of this!
- Pavlova or fruit pudding for dessert (with lots of custard). I will be very honest, before the pavlova, we can’t go without an ice cream cake. It is my boys’ favourite and Messina is our go-to for these.
Create a stunning table setting
Thought I was finished talking about food? Of course not. If you’re preparing an amazing meal (or many) then it deserves a gorgeous table setting to match.
I love doing these all year around, so I have a lot of practice, but anyone can recreate an amazing setting with the right pieces and a little playing around.
Here are the basics I include each year to help you get inspired, but remember, there are no rules!
- Gather some fresh foliage for the centrepiece – last year we used some beautiful fresh pink peonies, gum leaves and other foliages – very Aussie! If you won’t be able to source fresh flowers at the last minute, you can get creative with whatever you have in the garden and place it in a beautiful vase.
- Bring out the festive glassware, dining plates and cutlery. Mine have a touch of gold, so they’re perfect for Christmas, but not OTT to use at other times of the year as well.
- Use cloth napkins and some string or ribbon to wrap your cutlery – last year I added a sprig of dry herbs to tie them in with the rest of the setting, but you could use anything that fits with your theme.
I’ve pinned some more Christmas table setting ideas here so you can find one you love.
Send your love
Even if you’re not seeing all your loved ones this year, you can still send meaningful gifts to share the love from wherever you are in the world.
Here are a few ideas for really thoughtful and special gifts that you can still send easily through the mail, or even online.
- Order a custom-illustrated portrait. All you need is a nice photo of your loved one, or even their family or pet, which you can send in to an artist for them to turn into a beautiful keepsake piece. You’ll easily find lots of options for this on Etsy.
- Send a care package. This is perfect for anyone you care about who is always busy and doesn’t get much time to themselves (hmm, I would love one of these for myself this year!). Peony Parcel has some beautiful gift boxes to pick from.
- Give the gift of creativity with an art subscription. I love this idea for your creative friends or any kids in your life too. Subscriptions like Let’s Make Art deliver supplies for you to create your own works of art at home. I also love Masterclass and I think these are an amazing gift especially around this time we are living in where we are definitely more at home and the classes are so inspiring, I get so much out of them.
- And finally, a really simple one – send a hand-written letter or postcard from your family to others. When was the last time you sent a letter in the mail? It will mean so much to the person receiving it, and you could even include a drawing from the kids, or a family photo.
Get away somewhere local
If you are allowed to travel domestically at Christmas time, you can still enjoy an amazing mini holiday without leaving the country. As much as I’m itching to get overseas again, we are so lucky to have endless beautiful places to visit here in Australia.
My personal picks for a local getaway are usually to head off to the beach at Huskisson, or go inland for a luxe farmstay.
Checkout the #StayInTheBush website here to discover retreats that are open and taking bookings in regional locations around Australia. They have options for every single state! Another website that is my go-to for holiday escapes and it is full of Aussie destinations at the moment is Luxury Escapes I have used them a number of times, not only for me but for gifts and I always get some amazing luxury bargains.
This Christmas won’t be quite the same as what we’re used to, but I hope these ideas inspire you to make the most of what we do have and make it special in your own way. You never know, you might just start a new holiday tradition in the process.
If you try any of these ideas, I’d love to see them and share with the Styled by Dani T family! Be sure to share your photos and tag me @styledbydanit on Instagram.