A stack of books with one propped up and open to the side, with Christmas decorations around them all.

Image: Aashfaria A. Anwar T/A Studio Aash

The Christmas holidays are all about spending hours in your pyjamas, watching TV specials and trying not to move. But we can all admit that while that's fun for a little while, there comes a time when we need to do something different.

Here are seven activities (indoors and outdoors) inspired by Vintage books that you can do on your own or with others to stave off boredom.

Design your own t-shirt with Murakami T by Haruki Murakami

Fans of Haruki Murakami will be aware of his vinyl record collection and his love for running, but until now he's largely kept quiet about another passion: T-shirts. In Murakami T, Murakami takes readers inside his personal – and extensive – T-shirt collection with a range of photographs and essays. Sharing gems found in charity shops, record stores and more, Murakami gives an insight into his eccentric persona with this book. Channel Murakami by designing your own T-shirt showcasing your passions; this is a perfect activity for all the family.

Make something tasty from The Sweet Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer

When you're tired of selection boxes of chocolates, and when that last slice of yule log is looking a bit ropey, turn to The Sweet Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer for some inspiration. With 75 recipes for everything from sticky date gingerbread to the ultimate bread and butter pudding, there's something for everyone in this book. And, as with her previous cookbooks, every recipe is about minimum effort and maximum flavour. These bakes will barely take you any time, and because they're so straightforward to make, they are a great thing to do with any children in your family.

Spot swans with The Swan by Stephen Moss

The festive period is generally about staying inside, warm and cosy. But sometimes, you just need to get out, stretch your legs and inhale some fresh air. Reading Stephen Moss' The Swan will make you want to see some of these magnificent birds for yourself, so why not combine a walk with some swan spotting? The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust has a guide to where you can see swans, and despite the weather, the colder months are some of the best times to find these birds.

Hunt for fungi with Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life is all about fungi, and how we can't live without them; most fungi live out of sight, and together they support and sustain nearly all living systems. Sheldrake's book will pique your curiosity, so take the time this festive period to head out and do a bit of hunting, or even foraging, for those fungi you can see. Countryfile has a guide to different types of fungi you can see, and how to forage responsibly and safely.

Read out loud with A Scandinavian Christmas and Greek Myths

If you're after a calm experience to share with loved ones this Christmas, why not give reading out loud a go? It might feel a little strange at first, but remember how soothing it was being read to when you were younger? Recreate that feeling with friends and family using A Scandinavian Christmas or Greek Myths; the short stories in both are the ideal reading out loud material. Trust us, before long everyone will be clamouring for their turn to read.

Draw your own story with inspiration from Sapiens: A Graphic History

Yuval Noah Harari's graphic adaptation of Sapiens, illustrated by David Casanave and edited by David Vandermeulen, takes a big subject – the history of humankind – and makes it accessible and fun to read. After devouring this book, why not try and draw your own story? It doesn't matter if you're only adept at stick figures or if you're the next Frida Kahlo, the point is to have fun. This is a great activity for the whole family, and one that will especially draw in children (no pun intended).

Write your own poetry with inspiration from Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman's Call Us What We Carry is a collection that will show the power poetry has to move us and to get to the heart of what matters to us. Read her words and then take inspiration to write your own poems. Don't be nervous – you don't have to show them to anyone! But getting in touch with your creative side and thinking about the issues that matter to you will be both inspiring and freeing.

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