New Festive Traditions for a Different Kind of Christmas
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New Festive Traditions for a Different Kind of Christmas

Christmas is going to be different this year, you don’t need us to tell you that. But maybe there’s a way to embrace this unusual new situation.

We’re thinking of Christmas 2020 as a different kind of Christmas — one for breaking from tradition to try entirely new things.

We’ve asked around Bedruthan to find out what new things our team are trying out this year. Let’s use 2020’s festive period for a bit of small-scale experimentation, before convincing the rest of the family to get on board in 2021.

Jólabókaflóð: An Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition

Translating from Icelandic to mean ‘the Christmas book flood’, Jólabókaflóð is a Christmas Eve tradition steeped in history.

A beloved quirk of Icelandic living is that each house receives a full catalogue of upcoming book releases towards the year’s end. Citizens eagerly scan through the listings, carefully selecting titles to give to close friends and family. But these book exchanges don’t occur on Christmas Day: book-swapping happens instead on Christmas Eve, with the evening reserved for quiet reading of the new hardcovers.

One of our team told us about their plan to try this out for 2020. It’s definitely a peaceful way to spend the festive period, as well as being a thoughtful way of supporting your local independent bookseller this Christmas.

Involving distant relatives from far away

This year, many of our family congregations will be happening online. It’s difficult: how do you replicate the joy of seeing everyone? But at the same time, moving the celebrations online means that you can involve family and friends from further afield you may not normally see.

Maybe it’s time to combine the mainstays of both Christmas and lockdown: one big blow-out quiz with the entire family, wherever in the world they might live. Divide into small teams, each contributing a round for everyone else to play. Test each other’s knowledge of family history, act out famous films, or just set out to prove who has the best general knowledge.

And if it works well this year, maybe it’s something to keep for next.

Decorations made at home or pinched from the garden

We’re going to use this year to try our hand at homemade decorations: even if they don’t quite come out according to our original visions, no one will be around to see.

Home spun decorations also needn’t be complicated. A few years back at our sister hotel the Scarlet, our Creative team convinced the kitchen to dry out orange slices in the oven which we then hung around the hotel (the warming scent made everywhere in our eco-hotel feel incredibly festive).

This year, the Creative team were telling us about all the natural decorations they’ve made at home. They recommend setting foot into the garden to gather branches from evergreen trees such as pine and elm, delicately arranging them on mantlepieces or placing them in vases as table ornaments.

Thinking about thank-you letters during Christmas Day

2020’s unusual circumstances mean that we won’t be able to see many of our most beloved on the day itself. However, there are still other ways to show that you were thinking of them during the festivities.

We’re going to be putting a little extra thought into our thank-you letters this year. Uncapping the fountain pen, attaching some photos to our emails, over spilling the word count we set ourselves.

Let’s make them know who special they are to us.

Bonus: New Christmas recipes to try from Bedruthan’s kitchen

Use this quieter Christmas to try out new recipes in the kitchen. Our Bedruthan bakers have passed on a couple of the things they’re cooking up this year. The most unexpected? A Christmas take on the classic Chelsea bun.

Spending Christmas at our coastal home

A more peaceful way to spend Christmas, there is still availability for Christmas at Bedruthan this year.

Festive breaks at Bedruthan