Every year at this time, many families gather for at least a day to share their time and a succulent meal as one. While nothing beats a traditional family Christmas dinner, if you would like to spend this merry time with family and/or friends on other occasions besides food, here are a few ideas:
Host A Themed Party
It could be a few of your closest friends or the whole gang. Pick a theme! Here’s an idea… set a dress code, such as having everyone come dressed in Christmas sweaters (if the temperature is suitable), or pyjamas, and request that each person contribute to the ‘nyammings’ (food) by bringing a small seasonal dish or delicacy such as fruit cake, Danish cookies, sorrel, and spiked egg nog. Spend the night playing games, singing / dancing to music, perhaps watching Christmas movie favourites such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Jingle All The Way, Home Alone, or a selection from the Top 10 Christmas Movies of All Time by Forbes. When parting ways, end the night on a high with a pixie gift exchange (need ideas? Find a gift for everyone on your list). It’s your event, your choice, anything to promote the spirit of the season.
Dedicate a night just for classic fun, limited electronics. Pull out the board games, cards, and maybe even incorporate some Christmas spirits (if you know what we mean). You’ll be surprised how much you and loved ones could laugh enjoying a game of charades, uno, taboo, monopoly and other favourites. Laughs mixed with an occasional friendly quarrels are ingredients for great memories and the epitome of quality time.
Besides any of the aforementioned options, how about a new adventure? Go hiking, fishing, paintballing, and create a different type of memory. Brainstorm activities that you probably never really considered, but will make for a fun day and give everyone interesting stories to tell later.
Day by the River
Want to be by the sea but don’t want to be amongst a crowd at a beach? Have a relaxing day by the river with a special person or group of persons. Listen to the rushing waters and take a refreshing dip if you please. If you’re not familiar with more than a handful of rivers, or dread a long drive across the island, you may be surprised to find a river in your parish.
Get Off the Flat
What calms one like nature? Enjoy some of Jamaica’s natural beauty by cruising through scenic routes as you traverse into the hills and mountains. There are quaint resorts as well as small businesses in the up there that fit various price ranges where you could spend the day enjoying activities such as bike tours, spa treatments, nature walks, wining and dining. For a simpler experience, find a lookout point and enjoy a drink, meal or just each other’s company plus the luxury of being away from city bustle.
Camp Under the Stars
There are a number of designated camp sites, especially in the mountains, if you want to get away from the distractions of the suburban life for an evening. Pitch a tent, roll out the sleeping bags, set up a bonfire (with caution!), grab sticks and marshmallows, then chat and laugh until the sun greets you. Have a big backyard? Even better, set up camp right at home!
Be More Cultured
Appreciate history and the arts by indulging in a different side of what our culture has to offer. You can go to a play, visit a museum, find an art exhibition, watch a song/dance performance, or even join a painting or sculpting class. There are various activities offered locally, you just have to know what you’re looking to do.
After all, it’s the season for giving. Collectively decide to join a volunteer effort or donate goods to those whose season may not be as merry as yours. Help to feed the hungry, give cash, donate clothing, toiletries, toys and non-perishable food items, clean up a lot or beach, collect and sort items for recycling… every mickle mek a muckle (every little bit counts). Do your mickle today.