The big day is almost upon us, and while it is nice to spend it the same way every year – lounging around and filling up on festive nibbles – do you ever get the feeling you could be doing something a *bit* more productive with your time?

Here are just some of the other things you could be doing on December 25th, this year and others, to inject some positive change into your routine.

1. Volunteer with a charity

a bell with the salvation army logo on
(Mark Moran/AP)


So many charities would appreciate a hand over Christmas, whether it’s helping out with preparations in a kitchen or even giving someone a new haircut to make them feel nice. Crisis are still looking for people to help out in a variety of ways. Have a look at the roles here.

2. Get on your bike

People dressed as Father Christmas ride bikes in Oxford Street, London.
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)


With December being so mild, you’ve no excuse really not to get out on your bike and start working off the effects of the party season. This organised cycle in Greenwich explores some of the lesser known areas in central London and has been growing in popularity for 14 years. Check it out here.

3. Take a dip (or just watch)

a group of swimmers jump in the sea wearing festive clothes
(Steve Parsons/PA)


We’ve all seen photos of people in Santa hats and Speedos plunging themselves into the sea – why not join them? Or at least go along and laugh at them? The most famous organised Christmas Day swim is the one at the Serpentine in Hyde Park – for club members only – but almost anywhere with a coast, from Brighton or Bournemouth to Portrush, is likely to have some form of a crowd gathered.

4. Enjoy a tour

a boat cruising along the thames
(Hannah McKay/PA)


Golden tours offer several trips, of varying lengths, on Christmas. On land, you could take in the beauty of Oxford, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon. On water, why not float along the River Thames and see the city like you’ve never seen it before? All info here.

5. Visit a zoo

chimpanzee opens christmas presents in a zoo
(Chris Radburn/PA)


Edinburgh Zoo is open every single day of the year (poor folk). They’re offering several different Christmas party packages, including lunch and a disco complete with animal masks. Check it out here.

6. Go to a carolling concert

a caroller singing
(Lauren Hurley/PA)


Carollers are a staple part of Christmas. Even the Grinchiest of us all can’t help feel a little warm and fuzzy when we hear the harmonious sound of singing. In Eastbourne, a whole concert is dedicated to carol singers staged on its famous bandstand. Take a look at the free event here.