Christmas, the most magical time of the year, a fairytale of tinsel and wonder, a time that will either drive you crazy or bring on a happiness of epic proportions. Me? I’ve always been a devout lover of Christmas, I’m not religious, I just believe in the spirit of it all and the magic that it brings.
However, the older I get, the more I find myself troubled by the confusion and misdirection of it all. Between the continuous stream of advertising and the palpable pressure society puts on us, we’ve lost our way. We’ve let the true spirit of Christmas fade into tacky Christmas jumpers and maxing out our credit cards.
Since when was Christmas about money, has it not always been about JOY. About love, about giving and being united in our happiness.
So this year, I want to do my bit in spreading Christmas cheer with my top tips to find the magic of Christmas, because it really is the best gift of all.
- Don’t buy too many presents. No my name is not scrooge and yes I DO like presents, but hasn’t it all got a bit much? Some may gasp in horror, others may say “Well it’s only once a year!” well so what, does that mean that we must turn into greedy delusional monsters, I’d rather not. And because money, as we all know, does not buy happiness, it just buys something cool, something pretty, which will probably end up in the charity shop come next year.
- Deck the halls as a family. This is a definite giver of joy and a great chance to get away from the madness outside and embrace the warmth of your home and family. Just put on some Christmas tunes, pour yourself something sweet n strong and enjoy the whimsy of hanging all kinds of knick-knackery around the house, knowing it will never, EVER be dusted and nobody cares, it’s Christmas.
- Don’t go shopping in December. As if shopping wasn’t a big enough horror story, you can still see people madly dashing about like headless reindeers days before the ‘big day’. All in the name of “just one more this” or “Oh no I’ve forgotten that” There is no end to it, until YOU put an end to it. You really don’t NEED what you think you need.
- Embrace the Elf gift wrapper within. It’s gotta be done, and providing you followed RULE 1 then wrapping your presents should be pretty effortless. So grab a glass of festive cheer (yes elves DO drink prosecco) and imagine you’ve been hired by Father Christmas as head gift wrapper. Then award yourself prosecco for a job well done!
- Bake Christmassy Stuff. It frustrates me to see so much stress caused by the Christmas dinner, we really do pile those expectations on. So I much prefer pre-Christmas baking, and the happiness that comes from making sweet treats like marzipan fruits, mince pies and the naughtiest of all Chocolate log! So embrace the festive baker within, the turkey can wait, now is the time for jolly experimentation and cooking fun!
- Go out for mulled wine. Like it or not mulled wine has a magical way of bringing about festive cheer. I’m not sure whether it’s the alcohol or the various spices, it just works, so go on, chin chin!
- Take a walk in a forest. Especially if you are permitted to snip snip a holly branch or 2! There’s just something truly beautiful about forests and woodlands in wintertime, the crisp winter air, the feeling that everything is content, nestled sleepily waiting for spring, super peaceful. And no, it’s not the mulled wine talking!
- Listen to a Christmas band. This marks the start of Christmas for me, a brass band’s nostalgic hum bringing people together, iPhones down, ahhh can you smell Christmas in the air?
- Spring clean the house. It may sound like the last place you’d find festive cheer but truly giving your house a good clean banishes all kinds of negative energy, making way for the all Christmas joy to come.
- Go tree shopping & Buy and REAL tree. For me Christmas died a little bit when a silly man invented a plastic tree…. I’m sorry plastic tree people, it’s nothing personal, you just can’t replace that divine pine smell and the feeling that Christmas, like your sap leaking tree, is REAL…
- Go for brunch. I can’t pin-point why it feels so good, I just know that it does. Brunch around Christmas time just fills me with a glow, a happiness like the day is all a fresh and there’s so much wonder to come. And it’s always so much more chilled than festive lunches or bustling dinners out. And coffee is always endless.
- Buy Champagne. Nothing says Christmas like the clinking of bottles, especially sparkling bottles of delight. Champagne is my absolute favourite drink and still remains my no.1 fav thing about being an adult. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth, just know that champagne is so worth it. I’m sorry prosecco, you aint got nothing on Queen Champers.
- Spend time with your siblings. We never truly grow up, do we… so your brothers and sisters remain like portholes back to Christmas’ past. And all the memories you’ve shared glow even brighten at Christmas. The excitement of being with my brothers at this time of year, will always remain one of my favourite things about Christmas, we remember we are always siblings, always someones children forever, no matter our ages.
So, have a very very MERRY CHRISTMAS wonderful people! See you in the new year, 2017 I can see you coming…..