Are you stuck with your flatmates this year because of covid? Or maybe, for whatever reason, you’ve chosen not to or can’t head back home for Christmas. Either way, you can still have a very merry festive season, and here’s how. We’ve got tips on how to have the best orphan Christmas.

What is an orphan Christmas? 

An orphan Christmas, according to Urban Dictionary, is:

“A standard Christmas celebration held by people who aren’t able to be with their birth families because they are overseas or have a difficult relationship with their family.”

But we’re sure that this year, more people than ever will be celebrating Christmas this way due to international travel restrictions, covid concerns and travelling.

How to throw a very merry orphan Christmas

1. Organise a Secret Santa 

orphan christmas celebrations
Source: Elite Daily

If you know you are spending Christmas with friends, then why not organise a Secret Santa with them instead of all of you spending money on everyone. Save some cash for the festivities (and the mulled wine) and just buy one gift each. That way, everyone gets one gift that’s much more carefully thought about. You can set a budget that suits all of you, whether that’s £10, £20 or even £50+.

You can even make this extra special by having a Name Picking Party. Invite everyone over and put the names of all involved into a hat. Have some festive-themed drinks and pick out the names that night (usually best if done early in December, that way people have enough time to shop!).

2. Split up the Christmas dinner

celebrating christmas with friends
Source: Kansas Living Magazine

Before the day, organise amongst yourselves who is better at cooking savoury items, and who can control dessert. Then those who are safe to cook (we’re not looking at the friend who lives on purely pot noodles) can split up the dishes between them. One person can do the meat, someone can do the veg, and someone can do the roasties. Then the bakers can cover the Christmas pudding or whatever else you all fancy.

The best way to do this is to all contribute an even amount to cover the costs of the ingredients, as otherwise the person cooking the stuffing is much better off than whoever has to cook the turkey!

3. Create a cocktail menu 

christmas cocktail ideas
Source: Taste

Are any of your friends bartenders? If so, make them come up with some (relatively easy) cocktails for Christmas day, and then set a challenge for the rest of you. Using the ingredients provided, you must all replicate the cocktail they’ve chosen, and then you get to drink them. Bonus points if these are festive cocktails!

Or, if none of you has ever stepped foot behind a bar, find some cool cocktail ideas online. Our favourites are:

4. Find some games to play 

board game ideas for christmas
Source: The Manual

Christmas is often associated with board games, and they are a great way to celebrate an orphan Christmas, too! But don’t limit yourself to just board games – if anyone amongst you has a PC, Playstation or any console, you can download games like Jackbox and Monopoly on there too. So if you’re not a fan of the stereotypical Pictionary or Scrabble on Christmas day, why not play Quiplash on Jackbox and bully your friends for hours on end? What better way to spend Christmas with your friends.

5. Make a movie playlist 

how to celebrate christmas with friends
Source: Grazia Daily

Once you’ve devoured Christmas dinner and a few cocktails, you’re likely to need a nap. But you can even make that festive by popping on some Christmas films in the background. That way, your friends won’t even notice if you fall asleep, because they’ll be too angry at Alan Rickman for breaking Emma Thompson’s heart in Love Actually. If you’re not sure which Christmas films to watch, we’ve got some recommendations here.

6. Decorate

how to celebrate christmas with friends
Source: Country Living Magazine

Wherever it is that you’re celebrating this year, one way to make sure your Christmas is merry is to do some decorating. Now, you don’t need to splash out for a whole 6ft Christmas tree, but some Poundland tinsel or homemade paper garlands are a guaranteed way to make the day feel more festive.