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Loner: 12 things you can do alone to get yourself feeling all Christmassy and warm inside

Oh my giddy ants, my last post was 2000 words! I am so sorry, that is basically a normal sized essay. To even things out this time I have decided to just make a little list.

It is coming to the end of the Advent's Advent (more commonly known as November, but I call it the Advent's Advent as it is the advent of the advent - get it - and I actually made up an excellent Christmas song about it, which I am tempted to put on youtube and link to below, but I am not ready to be a viral sensation yet, which you know, I totes would be once "It's the Advent's Advent" hits the masses...anyhoo back to my point) so it is basically CHRISTMAAAAAAS!

I've made a little list of loner things you can do to get into the Christmas spirit. I realise Christmas is not really a time to be alone, but to be with family and friends - Elvis Presley even made a song about how crap it is to be lonely at Christmas (with no one to hold). Nonetheless if you are anything like me, sometimes there are days when your friends and family just can't keep up with your Christmas spirit, so for when your boyfriend wants to stay in bed rather than go on a Christmas pub crawl, or your mum insists mulling wine is just a way of ruining a good bottle of red, here are some ideas of things you can do to get into the Christmas mood.

Some of them are blatantly obvious, a lot of them just involve doing what you would normally but adding a mug of mulled wine and Michael Buble's Christmas album as a soundtrack, but they are all guaranteed to make you feel a bit more Christmassy. Yay!

1. Make your own bauble and drink some bubbles, at Homemade's "Bauble and Bubbles" with dates throughout November and December - When I went to Homemade London with a friend, there were other people by themselves, and I don't think it would be cringey at all to turn up alone - I think I will in the future. Plus there is nothing more luxurious in the world than drinking prosecco by yourself.

2. Watch a Christmas movie - Ok such an obvious one, but definitely will make you feel Christmassy. I watched my first Christmas movie of the year - Love Actually - yesterday. Personally, I have 9 films I watch every year, always in order of Christmassyness to get me into the Christmas spirit. So I start with Love Actually (as it is set 5 weeks before Christmas) and Meet me in St. Louis (as only some of it is Christmassy) and end with It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve and White Christmas on Christmas Day. Works a charm. Also, add some Christmassy snacks to the experience and it goes up a notch: quality streets, mince pies, yule log. Yesterday I sat down with the Christmas cheese of choice, blue stilton, and a mug of mulled wine. Christmas o' clock.

3. Go to a Carol Service -  I quite like going to things like the proms by myself as I think it makes me appreciate how beautiful classical music actually is, and it all sounds more poignant more epic. If I go to church, I also quite like going alone for the same reasons. It just feels more spiritual that way for me. Though I will be going to a carol service with my family and friends this year, I'll also be heading to the NSPCC's London Carol by Candlelight service alone. A fantastic choir singing carols, some celebrity readers, lots of lovely candles in one of the most gorgeous churches (Christ Church Spitalfields) about and wait for it... prosecco and a cupcake included. And the proceeds from the ticket goes to charity. It don't get more Christmassy than that. Book here.

4. Make an advent calendar. Pro bloggers Elsie and Emma from the USA, always have absolutely amazing craft tutorials in their blog, A Beautiful Mess, which look very professional but are not actually too tricky. I really love this one to make a string Advent Calendar, which is almost enough to make me give up a chocolate one this year. Almost. (Also, if you want a good excuse not to eat chocolate every day check out these beauty ones on beauty and lifestyle Blogger Pink Confetti's site).

The advent calendar you can make if you check out abeautifulmess.com (copyright Elsie Larson)

5. The Christmas mile at Kew Gardens. So turns out Kew Gardens isn't just a summer place, but a winter one too! This Christmas a mile of Kew Gardens lined with fir trees will be decorated with glasshouses, illuminated fountains and enough fairy lights to look like fireworks frozen in time. Lovely to stroll down with a lover or a friend, but if they don't fancy it, nice to spend a little "me time" in too.

6. Wrap presents. So bang smack in the face obvious again, I know, but I am not doing all my Christmas wrapping in a hurried mess on Christmas eve, this year I pouring a huge mug of hot mulled wine and putting Michael Buble's Christmas on and actually enjoying it. I also want to wrap them as nicely as my limited skills will allow. I am thinking this year, instead of buying lots of paper in Paperchase, which although beautiful gets glitter everywhere, I am going to buy just some cheap brown paper and then get a cute little stamp and ink to make my own Christmas wrapping paper. notonthehightstreet.com has lots of fabulous designs. I personally love this stag stamp and this little gingerbread man one.

7. And on a similar note... write cards. I reckon I am at the age now, where I should start sending them, rather than just giving people gifts with their name on in marker pen.

8. Have a Christmas Bath: Is that a thing? If not it definitely should be. Is there anything more wintery and snuggly than lighting a few winter spice candles, chucking in your Lush Christmas pudding bath bomb and relaxing with...you guessed it a mug of mulled wine and Michael Buble's Christmas album on. If you're a bit fed up of all the mulled wine you've had so far, I am also really loving a hot Cawston Press Apple and Rhubarb (just in a mug and heated up in the microwave for a minute or so) with a dash of Fire Eater Cinnamon Whiskey thrown in.

Holly Golightly, £4.75 and The Christmas Penguin, £3.25 from Lush

9. Go Christmas shopping...another obvious one, but I definitely think the hustle and bustle is probably least stressful braved alone. And there is so much different types of Christmas shopping to be done in London. Gawk but don't necessarily buy, at the amazing window displays and decorations in Harrods, Liberty, Fortnum & Mason. Join the crowds on Oxford Street, or go searching for Christmas food at Borough Market, sipping on hot cider and testing some Christmas cheeses.

10. Christmas past exhibition at the Geffrye Museum - wander around the rooms of the muesum in Hoxton, looking at how the average room was set for Christmas all the way from the 15th century to the 1970s to the present day.

11. Go and get a red cup - or for that matter a snowman/gingerbread/santa claus cup (from Starbucks and Costa). Nothing like walking home in crisp cold weather with a limited edition peppermint hot chocolate or a praline cappuccino to warm your mits.

12. Volunteer - It is the cheesiest thing in the world, but I genuinely believe that what makes Christmas a million times better than any birthday, is that there really is joy to the world, and goodwill to all mankind. That is what makes it so magical. What better way to spread some of that goodwill at Christmas than to volunteer? A couple of years ago I volunteered for Crisis at Christmas. Crisis is a homeless charity, that every Christmas hosts a shelter with all the trimmings. And I mean all the trimmings. As well as serving homeless people across London a Christmas dinner, and giving them a bed for a few nights, Crisis at Christmas provides everything from legal advice to live Christmas entertainment to haircuts, and all of it is given by volunteers. If you want to sign up to be a volunteer from Crisis at Christmas (if you are not a songstress or a hairdresser, you can be a general volunteer like me, which basically means you spend your days chatting and playing chess with Crisis' customers) then you can do here. You can volunteer in Newcastle and Edinburgh too. I really love a Christmas at home with my family, so the 2 days Crisis asks you to give up I don't fancy every year, so if you want to volunteer more flexibly or you don't want to volunteer with homeless people, but would prefer something else, I found this terrific network the other day, Hands on London, which means you can volunteer doing lots of different things with no minimum commitment. Check it out here.

And that's it! Maybe not as succinct as I initially promised...sorry!

Happy Advent's Advent!

Do you like a random list? If yes, check out my post, Lover: the pros and cons of moving in with your boyfriend, as told by Beyonce's visual album

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