I love a campfire, and in my experience, so do kids (marshmallows at the ready). 

It can be tempting to stay in and forsake the outdoors during this inclement month, I know that’s what I do most of the time, but nature always rewards you for bracing the cold. Whether it’s a genial robin coming in close to sing you a song or just an invigorating blast of fresh air, nature lifts your mood. 

There are bound to be a few bits of wood around that need burning, if not you can always use some of the left-over fuel from summer barbecues. You can make a home-made brazier using the shell of a BBQ if you don’t have a purpose built one, or make a fire pit on bare ground (ensure there are no roots or vegetation underneath that could catch fire).

When enjoying the satisfaction of a bit of impromptu outdoor warmth and being careful to keep little ones safe, you can make double use of the heat by using it to cook some grub. 

A seasonal snack

Sweet chestnuts – This is an iconic traditional foodstuff to cook at Christmas especially on an open fire. The sweet chestnuts in your local woodland have probably been harvested by wildlife, but they're available in most supermarkets at this time of year. 

Get these going when the flames are starting to die down and there's a nice bed of embers, use a shelf from the oven propped up flat or simply put them in a frying pan resting on the burning logs. Be sure to pierce the skin first to stop them exploding. 

Here's a video from my garden and the hands of a reluctant assistant to demonstrate the fruits of my labours: