We’ve spent most of the year mainlining TV, so how do we switch it up for the festive season? I’ve had a few ideas…
I’ve nothing against a binge-watch, but I’ve found that it feels good to temper the monotony with a bit of a bird-watch. You could really get into it and befriend all the bird visitors to your garden like my parents have. My mum has also acquired a squirrel pet that she feeds walnuts to, although I don’t recommend this – you might find it knocking on the window in contempt when you get out of bed a bit later than usual (this actually happened). If you don’t have a garden, maybe put a bird feeder on the balcony or outside in a communal space, and see what turns up. There are a number of initiatives online where you can report your findings, or just share them with the community. BBC Winterwatch has a great list to get you started. Nature watching is wonderful for children too. Kids love a bug hotel, or you could challenge them to count the different species they see when you’re out and about. Engaging with the natural world is pure medicine, and we know its good for us, but it can be more than just a walk in the park – it could become a new and rewarding hobby too. This gorgeous book might give you further inspiration.
Home video was all the rage in the nineties. Remember those enormous cameras? My dad still has the embarrassing evidence. Let’s just say I didn’t want to clean out the rabbits, and there was a scene. Jump forward a few decades and most of us can now record video on our phones.
Now that it’s so accessible, I’ve been thinking about how we could use it to collaborate with loved ones near and far. I’m thinking, we switch from staring at the TV; to making it. You could use TikTok, or a free movie-making app like iMovie and get as creative as you like. Who’s a good writer? Anyone got a penchant for acting? Perhaps a keen photographer has the perfect setting in mind? From a funny family flick to watch together at Christmas, to your first foray into arty short film – the possibilities are endless!
FIT-MAS WITH FRIENDS
I don’t know about you but I get zoom-tired. I love and miss my friends very much, but sometimes another zoom call leaves me more exhausted than energised. Connection is so important though, so I think its time to get creative with how we nurture our relationships, and reap their rewards. So, you might hate this and I don’t blame you but – FITMAS!
A runner friend and I decided to unite in our love of running, music, and having a laugh. Every day of advent we set each other a fitness challenge. We send playlists, take stupid photos, and generally enjoy eachother’s company – remotely. Don’t tell her, but I’ve got a New Year challenge up my sleeve too – I’m gifting the brilliant new Colomba Contemporary Dance course for us to work through together! So, it doesn’t have to start and end with Christmas; and it doesn’t have to be a serious regime – its just a different way to be with your friends, and get moving.
Share your efforts with us on social media using #undullwithcolomba – you never know, you might inspire someone else to get active or re-connect with an old friend.
NOT JUST CHARADES
Did anyone else used to make homemade crackers at Christmas? You’d write a terrible joke and make a silly hat and the whole tradition of cracker pulling became more personal. Well, this year I’m saying let’s go one further and make a family quiz. You could enlist other teams from households you can’t see in person, or just keep it between yourselves after Christmas dinner. The quiz could take any form – general knowledge or personal trivia… whatever you fancy. It might be a laugh, and I for one would love to hear how it goes, so please do tag us in your pictures and let us know how you get on.
We always love to hear from you – so please do share your tips, pics and hi-jinks using the hashtag #undullwithcolomba