The world's been, frankly, a big old mess this year. It's been a world overflowing with anxiety, isolation, fear and frustration, and a return to any semblance of normality before the year is through is out of the question.
So what can you do in times like these? As we enter the festive season, embracing every little joy and moment of celebration seems the only way forward. These holidays will be unlike anything we've ever experienced and so holding onto festive moments – no matter how silly or overblown or indulgent they may seem – should be a lifeline. May your days be merry and bright, friends!
Get into DIY
1. Make paper snowflakes to coat your windows with
13. Get creative with your present wrapping – make a foray into reusable wrapping or make use of what you already have
Songs, TV Shows and Movies – Oh My!
19. Look up the one Christmas movie you’ve somehow never seen and finally watch it (mine is It’s A Wonderful Life!)
25. Watch the Christmas episodes of all your favourite series (Buffy and Bob’s Burgers are particularly good IMO)
28. Watch The Snowman and cry...as there haven’t been enough tears in 2020
29. Make a personalised Christmas Spotify playlist (are you Mariah on repeat or all about The Darkness and Mr Blobby?)
33. Listen to every Christmas No. 1 for the last 20 years and get nostalgic about Shayne Ward
Embrace winter beauty
38. Accompany your Christmas viewing with a baby foot mask in front of the telly so you can emerge from your snakeskin into 2021
40. Make a DIY holiday eggnog hair and face mask (2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil – hold the brandy! Mix together and leave on for 20 minutes, take care that the mixture doesn't drip on to your skin)
41. Make a festive cinnamon and brown sugar body scrub/lip scrub/lip balm
42. Practise a festive eyeshadow look for Christmas Day (makeup artist Nasia Belli is the best at them)
Look to the future
44. Plan a holiday for 2021 (fingers crossed!)
46. Fill it with inspirational messages to keep you going come January
47. Write down what enforced life changes from 2020 served you well and decide what to try and hold onto
48. Likewise, work out what you want to leave behind
49. If you have any outdoor space, plant tulip bulbs in a pot outside for spring joy
50. Be optimistic and sign up to a workshop/class for 2021
51. Dress up as a Christmas tree! Give me one good reason why not!
52. For a bit more subtlety, you could try wearing jingle bells around your ankles so you feel festive as you pad around your home
55. Make your long distance sex festive (has your partner been on the naughty list?!)
61. Decorate your island on Animal Crossing from top to bottom with festive bits from Nook’s Cranny (and check Pinterest for the best festive inspiration)
62. Two words: kristmas karaoke
63. Volunteer at the local food bank
64. Sort out some clothes to donate to charity in the new year
66. Sign up to donate blood
Eat, drink and be merry!
71. Replace coffee with mulled wine in your travel mug for your winter walks
75. Learn what a snowball cocktail is, make one
77. Design a festive cocktail of your choosing (or using the dregs of what you find in your kitchen)
78. Recreate a Pret Christmas sandwich at home
79. Buy yourself a selection box so you can have all your favourites without the squabbles
82. Master how to ignite the brandy on a Christmas pudding
83. See if it’s possible to get drunk on brandy butter. Regret it
Connect however you can
84. Write festive cards to all your favourite family members/friends
85. If you can, call your nan
88. Send a video message Christmas card to a family member or loved one you haven’t been able to see this year
89. Create an alarmingly specific festive quiz to play with your family over the holidays, on Zoom or IRL (in what year did Uncle Andy fall asleep in the Christmas pudding etc etc)
90. Learn how to say ‘happy holidays’ or ‘happy Christmas’ in every language you can think of. God jul!
91. Put together a grown-up stocking for your S.O./family member/housemate with their favourite things
Take care of yourself
93. Go for a lengthy walk in your cosiest jumper
94. Grab a tray and go sledding the moment there’s a hint of snow. Enjoy the outdoors
98. Work out which festive Muji candle scent is your favourite for the ultimate cosy feel (green log fire gets my vote)
99. Pretend you have a log fire with Fireplace For Your Home and burning a scented candle (said Muji log fire as above is a good one)
100. And finally, have a festive lie-in to congratulate yourself for getting through this list and, more importantly, this year. It’s been a hell of a ride.