21 Dec A Quiet Christmas
For some, the Christmas period can be overwhelming, with expectations of what we should be doing, who we should be seeing and what we should be enjoying. It’s a good idea to sit down and take a moment before any period of celebration and have a think about the following things:
- Decide what matters to you this Christmas, what is important, and how can you enjoy it.
- Opt-out of the things you don’t want to do this Christmas – there’s no harm in saying no although it does take confidence!
- Accept that there’s no such thing as the perfect Christmas – everyone’s is different, and no one’s ever really looks like those Christmas supermarket adverts suggest they do! If accepting this is difficult, maybe bar yourself from social media and Pinterest during the festive period so you’re not comparing yourself to unrealistic expectations.
- Don’t pin everything on one day – Christmas is a period of time and it doesn’t have to focus on one day alone. If you are separated from loved one on the 25th, hold a Christmas Day of your own on a different date – ‘Christmas Days’ throughout November, December or even in January can be so much fun and can extend the festivities.
For many people, Christmas may have connotations not usually associated with the usual joy and cheer that is synonymous with the ‘perfect’ Christmas. You may not feel celebratory because of your personal circumstances; if you have experienced loss, grief, poor health or because of financial reasons, you may not be in the right frame of mind to be social and outgoing. If you want to, you can use Christmas as a time for some self-care, mindfulness and calm away from the noise.
Time spent in nature at Christmas or any time is never wasted and is well known to boost mood and help you feel energised. Surrounding yourself in nature has been proven to reduce the stress hormone, Cortisol, and reduce anxiety. There’s nothing better than getting fresh air on Christmas or Boxing Day with a fresh walk to regroup. Research continually demonstrates how beneficial being outdoors is to our mental health; anything from a walk to some braver cold-water swimming can be incredible for your physical health too – it can help improve circulation, improve mood and mental clarity. There are of course some restrictions to who should brave the chilly plunge, so do check these out with a professional if you’re uncertain!
Around the Christmas period, there are so many events that can potentially put a huge hole in your pocket, and the pressure to spend can be immense! The amount of presents and extravagance is often equated to the success of your Christmas, but beneath this visual lavishness, true joy can be found without spending a penny. Nothing shouts Christmas like a traditional carol, and many Churches and Cathedrals have plenty of free and inclusive carol services and events which can be so uplifting and welcoming. Other public places like libraries and arts centres often have free exhibitions and events, and there’s always the festive lights switch on in most towns and cities which are always fun! Christmas markets are great to browse in – entrance is usually free and super-festive if you take your own hot drink in your flask to potter around with if you can tolerate the crowds!
We all know that doing some crafting can be really beneficial to our mental health as well as being fun; making your own wreath for your front door is very simple and can be made almost entirely form foraged finds such as swathes of pine clippings, fern fronds, fir branches, ivy berries and holly. Simple tutorials can be found online on YouTube and you will be genuinely surprised how easy a process it is: You’ll love the feeling of pride each time you see your creation when entering or leaving the house. To add an extra element to your wreath, a few drops of Cinnamon and Sweet Orange Essential oil on the base can create a lovely aroma for those walking past.
A great idea for some cost-free gifts is to focus on Vouchers for services or time you can offer someone – often worth far more to the recipient than something material! Babysitting services for tired parents may just be the perfect gift, or a massage for a loved one. A home pamper session can be really special for a best friend or close family member; use things you already have in your home for some special one-to-one time that doesn’t cost the earth. A simple face mask can be made using a teaspoon of Aloe Vera Gel mixed with a teaspoon of plain yoghurt and the juice of ¼ of an orange; carefully apply to your faces but avoid the eye area. The Aloe Gel is really moisturising and can help soothe irritated winter skin, the yoghurt and orange will be refreshing. The lactic acid in the yoghurt will also act as a natural exfoliant and leave skin feeling really smooth and renewed! Leave the mask on for about half an hour if you can and wash gently with warm water to remove. This is a lovely mother/daughter treat and can be combined with some festive nail painting and a foot spa of warm water and two drops of Peppermint Essential Oil for Mum if you have any can really perk up her tired feet! If you haven’t got any Peppermint Oil or you are doing the footbath for a little one, some bubble bath in the warm water is equally as relaxing.
A Solo Christmas
If you’re at home at Christmas and not sharing the days with friends or family, it can be a great time to be completely selfish, in the best sense of the word! There will be no time pressures so you can start your day with a long lazy bath with some really pampering Bath and Massage Oil – we love Relaxation Bath and Massage Oil, it’s truly relaxing and indulgent as the name suggests, and is ready to use in your bath. You can mentally write a list of the benefits of not having to share your Christmas – no fighting over the remote control, no pleasing other people’s dietary requirements and no judgement from others! Also, the temptation to stay in Pyjamas all day could be too much to refuse, and why not?!
If you’re alone, but not by choice and are separated by distance from those who are important to you, then it’s time to crack out all those new technological aids born a few years ago during Lockdown… Zoom parties or quizzes, live Facetimes while present-opening or videos taken can be really fun. Watching a classic Christmas film while on a live call with others can be great – you can chat and laugh at the same bits!
Look Forward and Start some New Traditions…
Whatever reason your Christmas may be less noisy than the ‘norm’ this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some traditions…you may have some ones you repeat each year, the classic ones like making mince pies or watching a favourite film, but you could also introduce some new ones to add some fun and newness to the season. Here are a few little suggestions you might want to try…
- Be a secret santa – leave some little treats like some chocolates or homemade biscuits on a friend’s doorstep or a colleague’s desk, choose a new person to surprise every year.
- Make an advent candle – a scented one can be lovely by adding some sweet and spicy essential oils like Cinnamon or Sweet Orange. Burn a little of the candle each day throughout December, and the last burn on Christmas Eve
- Make a new tree ornament each year– if you have children try making one with a hand or footprint on to see how they grow every year, or a tree adorned with photos strung with pretty ribbon or sparkly thread can be a gorgeous way to remind you of family and friends.
- Make a gingerbread house – there are plenty of downloadable templates online – when complete, share pictures of your creation with your nearest and dearest…Sometimes it’s fun to see who makes the wonkiest, crumbliest house and try and beat that title each year…And if it’s a terrible disaster, you can just eat your design – what’s to lose?!
However you are spending your Christmas, we thank you for being valued and amazing customers of Absolute Aromas, we truly do appreciate your loyalty and your orders. Have a wonderful festive period, from us all at AA.