Spending the Holidays on the Road? Try These Cheap and Simple DIY hacks!

Celebrating Christmas is a traditional and fun thing to do. But spending the holidays in a motorhome is pretty far from most people's idea of the cinnamon smelling fiesta. As a climber, you're probably parked at some rural spot in the mountains, where you can't even play Jingle Bells from YouTube! You also want to continue the addictive lifestyle as long as possible, so spending a big amount of money in celebrating Christmas isn't an option.

So, how to celebrate Christmas on the road? On low budget? Here's a few cheap and easy alternatives to whatever traditions you and your family have.

Start early with a DIY advent calendar

You might be a little late for this year, but December is coming next year, too. And don't worry, crafting an advent calendar with these instructions is as quick as it is easy! All you need is:
  • some felt
  • sewing thread
  • a needle 
  • a pair of scissors
  • a marker pen
  • something to fill the calendar with
Why felt? It's easy to cut and requires no finishing. Hand sewing actually suits pretty well to the material, and I often sew felt by hand even if there's a sewing machine around.

Now, you can either make a full advent calendar with 24 hatches or a little simpler version of it. I went for the simpler version this year.

DIY advent calendar
You can fill this advent calendar with all kinds of healthy and nutritious things, that'll do you good every day until Christmas Eve.

For the simpler version, make just one sock shaped pouch per family member. Make sure to add hanging loops of some sort. As a finishing touch, use a marker to write the first letter of each family member's name on the side of their own Christmas sock. When you're finished, set up a cord like a clothesline somewhere in your van and hang the socks on the cord.

Ta-dah! Sneak in a sweet or two in the socks for 24 days, and enjoy the Christmas spirit for the whole December. As an alternative to the unsurprising chocolate, you can also fill the calendar with some nuts, seeds or dried berries and fruits. Something a climber should (almost) never say no to!

Craft decorations out of recycled materials

How about making snowflakes from toilet paper rolls and stars from clothes pins? Or a garland from pine cones? Or cutting that red beer case in the shape of an elf and taping it on the car window (like T did last year)?

Cardboard boxes, plastic bottles and pine cones are just a few examples of free and ecologic raw matereral to use for seasonal decorations.

And what's best is, that you don't feel guilty for getting rid of the decorations after Christmas! Storage space is on high demand in a motorhome, so you propably don't want to buy any extra stuff to sit still in the cupboard for several months in a year. Recycled decorations are easy to throw in trash, since they should've ended up there a few weeks ago anyway.

Make some chocolate

Chocolate is one of the few Christmasy foods, that you can make on the road. It's a bit messy, but as long as you have a gas stove and a fridge, you can do it!

In addition to the  basic kitchen facilities, you'll need these:
  • a kettle
  • a small baking tray (or the like)
  • some baking paper
  • a big chunk of baking chocolate
  • some spices of your choice
  • a fistful of nuts, raisins, dried berries, dates, gingerbread crumble or other yummy bits
You can let yourself be experimental with the ingredients, as there is no such thing as bad chocolate. In case you want to be absolutely sure to succeed, you can also copy my recipe for home made Christmas chocolate. For that, you'll need some dark baking chocolate, cinnamon, almonds and orange peels.

Home made Christmas chocolate
This dark Christmas chocolate includes almonds, which are a great source of energy and healthy fats.

To make things easy, start by cutting the orange layer of orange peels into thin slices. Then melt the chocolate in a kettle and throw in the almonds, sliced orange peels and big puff of cinnamon. Mix carefully, line the baking tray with some baking paper and scoop the chocolate on the tray.

After letting the deliciousness set in the fridge overnight, enjoy a mouthful of the nourishing bar! The rest you can wrap in baking paper and give to your partner at the crag, when he or she is in a need for some extra energy.

Have a happy December and remember to check out my posts about El Chorro and El Turon – two Spanish winter crags well worth visiting!

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