The month of December is usually filled up with food, social activities and plenty of drinks. Work Christmas parties, meeting up with school friends, seeing all your family. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a very different Christmas this year due to COVID regulations. At least some things stay constant though – advent calendars, cheese, mulled wine and Bailey’s.

In order to keep your Christmas spirit up, I’ve complied a list of activities that you can still do to make December fun!

1. Virtual wine tastings

If you are into wine, you’ve probably been to wine tastings before. I’ve visited a fair few vineyards around the world, trying out their lovely wines, and getting a tipsy in the process. Well, did you know that you can now do this virtually?! Sounds strange, I know – but trust me on this one.

Recently, I did virtual wine tasting with the theme of South African wines. We were given the option of how many wines we wanted to taste then sent a detailed document with all the information we needed. Included on this was which wines we had to buy, and recommendations for the big UK supermarkets. Additionally, there were optional food items to buy, including smoked salmon, hard cheese and avocado.

The wine tasting itself was so much fun – we drank our wine while being told all about it. We learnt the best way to smell and taste wine too! Even the people in the group who didn’t like wine thoroughly enjoyed the experience! I can’t recommend this enough!

Check out Jenni at @oliveandthevine on Instagram. For 10% off the total price, quote “Dining with Ali” when you book.

2. Zoom quiz

Yes, I know what you’re thinking – zoom quizzes have been done already! I agree. Lockdown 1.0 was full of zoom quizzes with friends, and honestly they started to get exhausting.

However, why not try a Christmas edition?! This could be fun – everyone in the group creates a different Christmas-themed round (think Christmas foods, movies, songs etc.). Everyone drinks festive drinks (or not)! It may be overdone but just get drunk and enjoy!

It’s easy enough to make a quiz but if you’re looking to impress your friends with your presentation skills, try out these templates.

If you can’t be bothered to make a quiz yourself, try out Jay’s Virtual Pub Quiz. This is live on YouTube every Thursday, and I’m sure he’ll make them more festive throughout December. I find the best thing to do is do the quiz with your household while having a live chat on the go with friends. Compare scores. I always do very badly but it can be fun!

Check out Jay’s Virtual Pub Quiz here.

3. Order a Meal at Home Kit

There are plenty of great DIY meal kits at the moment – you get sent a load of ingredients and instructions to make the meal of your choice. For some ideas on this, check out my previous blog post here.

Another idea is to order a full meal kit already made up, with only re-heating required. There are plenty of options out there, including fine dining! Check out the instagram pages of your locals to see if they are offering anything. This is a great for a treat.

I recently tried out the Chakana @ Home menu, involving a three course set menu with sides and bread for two people. All re-heating and preparation instructions were provided. They offer a variety of set menus for you to choose from. I opted for Set menu one, including corn bread, mixed seafood ceviche, chicken causa, suckling pig chicharron, roast chicken breast, and 75% chocolate mousse for dessert.

They was certainly plenty of food and is priced at £45 for two people. Collection only. Check it out here.

4. Christmas movie marathon

Yes, you can do this any old year. But that’s what is so great about it! Obviously the classics are a must – Elf, Home Alone, The Grinch etc. But there are so many new Christmas movies on Netflix right now. And yes, before you say it, many of them are awful – but that’s where they get their charm! Make (or buy) some mince pies, drink some mulled wine (or any other drink of your choice), get comfortable on the sofa and get ready. Here’s some of my recommendations and please note that this is more fun after a few drinks.

Netflix subscription required. Or use somebody else’s – I won’t judge.

If none of those options are calling out to you, here is my quickfire options – make an out-of-this-world hot chocolate, festive baking, Christmas crafts, Cards Against Humanity (dependent on your household), festive cocktails, make your own ginger wine, buy a load of cheese and eat far too much, board games or Christmas karaoke.

On a final note, don’t forget to support your independents this year! They need your help so support small businesses by buying your Christmas presents locally! I would do another list of where to buy but so many others have already done this. My personal favourite list is by Bab About Town (here). I heavily relied on this list while doing my Christmas shopping this year!

I hope you all have a wonderful December – try to stay positive!