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13 fun and eco friendly-ish ideas for Boxing Day

I read and commented on a thread on the Sustainable-ish Facebook group the other day (a great one to join for lots of eco friendly tips and discussions for people who are trying to do the right thing but are far from perfect at it!) that was discussing the compulsion with having ‘stuff’ and the behaviours that drives over the festive period and the subsequent sales.

The discussion on the thread got me thinking about more of our family traditions and that we might be a bit unusual in how we celebrate in that we detox from tv for 3 days (it literally stays off the whole time), we open our presents over 1 (and sometimes 2 days!!) and we actively abstain from Boxing Day sales (both on and offline)! So as it is day 13 of the Twinkling Tiger advent calendar, and also 13 days until Boxing Day I thought I would pen a quick blog with 13 ideas for things to do on Boxing Day that avoid that compulsive Sale shopping to buy more new ‘stuff’ that you don’t really need!

1) Go for a walk or a bike ride, get some fresh air and burn off some of the Christmas lunch and Quality Street! If the kids complain try and make it more fun … maybe download the geo caching app and give that a go or put a Treasure Trail in their stocking which will hopefully get them excited to get out and explore!

2) Play games and I mean proper games where you interact with the people you are playing with … in person and not on the TV or online! Charades is always a crowd pleaser and gets lots of giggles, Dobble is great for all ages too, Pictionary, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuits, Cranium, even just plain old card games … most have child versions and board games are a great investment as they can be used year after year. Once the kids have gone to bed then Cards Against Humanity has to be the game of the last decade though!

3) Watch a film … maybe someone got a DVD as a gift, Netflix, Sky, terrestrial TV … there are always plenty to choose from over the festive period and you can snuggle up with the obligatory blankets, fluffy socks, hot chocolate and marshmallows and just chill for a few hours to recover from the December stresses and strains!

4) Have a declutter and see if you can swap every new thing received as a gift for an old thing that could be recycled, sold or donated to a good cause, you can find a home for all those gifts at the same time!

5) Go to the beach, or a lake or a river … the cubs have been known to paddle and eat ice cream in the coldest months of the year (see below) and have (almost) as much fun as being at the beach in the summertime.

We find there is something calming and reinvigorating about spending time near water and it’s the perfect tonic to the craziness of December in the run up to Christmas.

6) Start turning leftovers into meals for January to help avoid contributing to the 270,000 tonnes of food that is normally wasted over Christmas in the UK. Turn it into a competition with the kids to see who can come up with the best one and get them to help plan your family meals for the next week.

If you have any biscuits or shortbread leftoverer get the kids to decorate them with a Christmas theme ... the mess potential is high but so is the entertainment and time taken value!

7) Go out for a meal or just a coffee and a piece of cake! Sometimes a change of scenery and a break from cooking and your kitchen is just what you need on Boxing Day. The options might be a bit different this year though depending on your local Tier so be sure to check the latest guidance and what is open.

8) Go to the panto … although it might be a virtual one this year! We have decided to try a drive-in movie this year which we felt was a bit safer than going to a theatre but normally we would be in the 3rd row at South Hill Park laughing our heads off!

9) Take a trip to the zoo, a bird sanctuary, or a wildlife park … there are more open on Boxing Day than you might think and likely not to have as many visitors as normal so safer and quieter, win win! Obvuously you need to check what is open before you go and don;t forget you may need to book in advance.

10) Go fly a kite! Get outside and have some good old fashioned fun. Again, the kite could be a stocking filler on the big day with the added excitement of a trip out on Boxing Day (although it might be worth checking the weather before you promise anything!)

11) Visit a castle, museum or stately home … check which ones are open (you might need to pre book slots this year due to safety measures or some of them may only have the grounds open) and head out for a day of royal history. There are often fun activities to get the kids interested and a coffee shop to keep the grown ups going!

12) Take boxing day literally! I saw this one on another post on but thought it was great so am going to share …. “If the weather is rubbish and you’ve lost the will to lift the remote control, let alone go for a bike/visit the beach/cheer on your football team, there’s only one thing for it ... bring in the giant empty boxes that your Christmas deliveries arrived in, and let your children celebrate Boxing Day by, well, sitting in boxes. They can let their imaginations run wild playing spaceships, puppet theatres or fairy castles. Which proves once again that the boxes are always more fun than the presents anyway”

13) Work on New Years Resolutions ready for January … make it a bit more fun by getting the kids involved and make some family resolutions or planning some things you might want to do in 2021. Whether that’s days out, places to visit, learning or trying something new, finding new ways to become more eco friendly or just agreeing to sit down and find out about each others days every day come up with a family plan for 2021.

And of course, if you can possibly persuade the rest of your family, you could save some presents to open on Boxing Day to keep the suspense going that little bit longer! Whatever you do on Boxing Day I hope you enjoy it and are able to spend it with the ones you love xxx

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