Just because you’ve always done Christmas one way, doesn’t mean you have to continue. As far as we’re concerned, any excuse to spend time doing the things you love with the people you love is worth celebrating. Here are four ideas (covering food, activities, decorations and present ideas) that’ll help you celebrate Christmas a little differently this year.
1. Christmas Picnic
In Sweden, Christmas dinner is more like a buffet, with cold and hot dishes all served together. This is way easier to take ’on the road’ than a traditional sit-down dinner like in the UK, US or Germany. Portion all the food up into lunch boxes, add some warm Fjällräven jackets, blankets, Kånken seat pads, a Primus lantern or two and a campfire and you’ve got yourself a cosy winter picnic sorted.
2. Gift hunt outdoors
We admit, some people (read: adults) will have to forfeit participation for plotting, but other people (read: kids) will definitely appreciate it. Take to your local park, nearby forest or just head out into the garden with a sack (or backpack) of presents over your shoulder and a head filled with cryptic clues. A good tip is to hang presents over tree branches so gifts don’t end up soggy and dirty.
3. Nature's own decorations
It’s a little ironic that many Christmas decorations are plastic imitations of natural foliage or attempts to mimic snow. Ditch the fake stuff and explore your local green areas for fallen branches and twigs for some structural decoration. Instead of an artificial tree or one that’s roots have been cut off, opt for a ’living’ Christmas tree, complete with roots and soil. It’ll last year after year with a little care. And swap plastic tinsel for homemade FSC-paper chains or wooden decorations.
4. More experiences less stuff
We saved the best one until last. Instead of tangible presents, give experiences in nature. A ticket-book of adventure IOUs like a night in a tent, a hike in a nearby forest, a paddle down a local river or a campfire dinner. In your ’terms and conditions’ you will detail what you’ll cover, stuff like the food, carrying of the backpack, rental of any gear and even photographic documentation of the day. The receiver just has to bring a carefree, positive attitude and be up for surprises.