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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 Christmas 2020 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 on the best bird (or alternative) for a bijou Christmas feast.

Can’t be bothered to put together a Christmas menu at all? Let these local gourmet greats do the job for you! Delivering through Suffolk and Cambs, they’ll put together an oven-ready starter, main course and dessert in a handy package for you.

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? I’ll be ordering in ready-made cocktails from Suffolk-based Edmunds Cocktails. Their Amaretto Sour will go down nicely on Christmas Day!

Book a panto 

Cambridge Arts Theatre, Jack and the beanstalk

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. Our top pick is socially-distanced show Dame Trott’s Panto Palaver at The Cambridge Arts Theatre. Performances kick off from 11 Dec and run until 3 Jan. Bury St Edmunds’s The Apex are also running a Panto with a difference with a screening of Jack and the Beanstalk to a live audience sat in bubbles on 12 and 13 December. Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre has a similar concept with a live screening of The Snow Queen from 17 – 24 December with the option to watch from the auditorium or in your PJs from your own sofa.

See the Christmas lights

Indoor attractions might be thin on the ground this year, but there are still some light shows around the country to keep the spirits lifted and the little ones entertained. Helmingham Hall in Suffolk, is bringing back its fabulous Illuminated Garden Trail from until 13 Dec (pre-booking essential). Keep an eye on the Anglesey Abbey website too, as they’re still TBC on their annual light show. It’s also worth a walk round our counties main towns to take a look at the Christmas lights while it’s nice and quiet.

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 – how about donning a Santa suit for Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals on 5 December at their virtual run?

DIY your decor

Christmas wreath

You’ve got time in lockdown, 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

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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