Going home for Christmas is nearly here (or already here for some us). This is an exciting time – food, presents, decorating, and getting to see all those relatives you sometimes forget you have (shh we won’t admit that!). But time with your family can be hard to balance with the desire to still want to spend time with your significant other.

Unless you’re old enough (or just have the transportation) to wait to tackle all families in one day as a duo, you probably won’t see them over Christmas day. With the rest of the time at home devoted to mum’s cooking, you’ll want to see them as much as possible too, so here’s a few tips that have helped me over holiday breaks (these are especially tailored for festive fun).

Boxing Day: Unless this is the day for all the extended family, this might be the perfect time to see them and exchange gifts, or hang out with each other’s families and eat the leftovers. This is also the time all the sales kick off and what better way to spend time together than a full day of shopping?

Go For Walks: Winter boots on – and go! The crisp weather is perfect for romantic strolls together. If you want to make a day of it, and you don’t already live in the countryside, try hitting a National Trust or English Heritage site (they’re not just for parents!) That way there’s a good balance of beautiful scenery and hot chocolate waiting in the cafe if it’s chilly.

Plan Ahead: If you both already know you have family events and days at work, look in to your diaries and see the days that you’re free. This makes it less difficult throughout the time at home and gives you something to look forward to when you really miss them.

Take Advantage of What’s Nearby: Maybe there’s a city that you both love, or a theatre show you really want to see – hop on a train and get there on your free days. If you’re wise enough to have a railcard, it won’t break the bank – even after present shopping. This is a good way to create memories that will last even if you don’t have loads of time together.

New Year’s Eve: If ever there was a day for couples, it’s this one, so even if you both live far apart – try and put this date in the diary. The perfect night for a bit of sparkle, and lots of festivities. All is not lost if you’re out of money, kicking back with a DVD and finishing the night with a glass of bubbly will give you all the quality time you’re looking for.

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