“Why the humble Christmas Day walk is my favourite tradition of the festive season”

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Lauren Geall
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What’s your favourite part of the festive season? For Stylist’s Lauren Geall, it’s the chance to head out on a Christmas Day walk. Here, she unpicks her love for the simple tradition.

No matter how or where you celebrate, everyone has their favourite part of the Christmas season. For some, it’s the chance to enjoy copious amounts of food and alcohol, while for others, it’s the opportunity to spend time with loved ones. But for me? Nothing will ever top the magic of a Christmas Day walk.

While there’s nothing physically different about the Christmas Day walk than any walk on any other day of the year, there’s something about stepping outside on 25 December that feels extra special. 

In my family, it typically happens in the afternoon. Once we’ve sat down for dinner (usually about 2pm) and cleaned away some of the mess, we’ll wrap up warm and set out to give our dog Marlowe a little exercise. 

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It’s never a particularly long walk – we usually end up inside within the hour – and we take things incredibly slow, but it’s the perfect way to relieve any post-dinner discomfort and sober up (a little) before the evening hits and the prosecco comes out once again.

But the physical refreshment of getting outside isn’t the only thing that makes the Christmas Day walk so enjoyable – the peace of it all is incredible, too. While there’s still the odd car to contend with, for the most part, the world is a lot quieter than usual on Christmas Day – as if time has stopped and you’re the only one moving through it.  

Heading outside for a walk with loved ones is also a great way to spend time together and relieve any tension that might have cropped up throughout the day, too. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a couple of arguments, but having the chance to (literally) cool down and burn off some steam makes it a lot easier to forgive and forget.

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That sense of release is beneficial for my mental health, too. It’s easy to forget just how intense and overwhelming Christmas Day can be when you’re in the midst of it, but taking the opportunity to step outside the chaos and take a deep breath can be an incredibly liberating and calming experience. 

All in all, the Christmas Day walk is both a literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything. It truly is the highlight of my festive season – and I can’t wait to grab my scarf and coat and head outside this 25 December. 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.