In the run up to Christmas, you’ve probably got a few recipes on your mind. It might be the perfect sage and onion stuffing or your great aunt Mathilda’s famous sprouts, but there’s another part of the big day that deserves to be fine-tuned too and that’s the Christmas Day walk.
Too often, this tradition becomes a last-minute affair with everyone throwing on their wellies as the sun is starting to fade. Instead, it should be carefully crafted to ensure optimum route, time of day and ultimately, enjoyment.
A few years ago, the National Trust discovered that taking a Christmas walk was one of the most popular ways to prevent family fall outs during the holidays. That’s even more reason to head out of the house.
With so much of the day taken up with the meal and opening presents, it can be difficult to work out when to time your walk. If you’ve got young children, then the slot between stockings and lunch is a good idea as this can sometimes seem like an age if they’ve woken up excitedly at 5am. It will also allow them to work up an appetite.
If all your family members are way beyond this point, then plan your walk for after lunch. Don’t leave it too long, as anyone who’s got comfortable in an armchair while full of turkey will not be too keen to move. Get everyone out of the door and walking off the overeating within an hour of clearing the plates away.
Plan a route
Most people know their local area and just set out on Christmas Day with only a vague idea of where they’re going. Think of a route that is long enough to stave off post-lunch lethargy but not so long that everyone feels tired.
Routes that take you past the best Christmas decorations always feel festive or walks where there’s plenty of foliage and colourful berries can add to the cheerful mood. If you expect to end your walk in a pub, then make sure you have a plan for getting home afterwards.
Pack a torch
It’s always a good idea to pack a torch when heading out in the winter, as there’s the chance of getting back later than planned. Yes, you can use the one on your phone, but a nice sturdy one with a wide beam will help to get everyone back to the house safely if required.
Wrap up well
A good walk can easily be ruined by inappropriate clothing and footwear. Cold bodies and wet feet spell misery, so make sure everyone is wrapped up well and that you have some spare hats and gloves available for visitors who might not have come fully prepared.
Come back to a cosy house
Make sure the scene is set for a cosy return to the house after your walk. We recommend hot chocolate for the kids, mulled wine for the adults and plenty of mince pies. Light a Scented Candle to boost the atmosphere, with our festive fragrances - Frosted Wreath, Mulled Wine and Festive Spice - being perfect for this occasion.