With the end of November fast approaching, aren’t we all naturally beginning to spend more time thinking about the festive period? Christmas can be a daunting time of year that so often catches us unawares. Like me, you can probably relate to preparing on the hurry up and feeling exasperated by the time the week of Christmas comes round. This year, I’m hoping to approach the holidays with a more mindful outlook, keeping the stress to as low a minimum as possible, spending more time enjoying myself than cursing because it’s just round the corner again. Below are some of the ideas I’ve had to inspire a Christmastime feeling happier and more fulfilled.
Give thoughtful gifts
Every year, I’m late finishing my Christmas shopping. I’d love to be an early bird, but something that does bring me solace is when I give gifts that have kept the receiver in mind from start to finish. This Christmas we should try to be more mindful of our loved ones, what they enjoy, what really touches them and those things they consistently moan about getting from relatives year after year (we all know someone we always default bath and beauty products to, don’t we?).
This year I’d love to try to minimise the risk of waste and fake surprise by really putting thought into my gift-giving rather than simply grabbing gifts from the shelves and hoping they’ll be liked.
Contribute to The Christmas Table
As a guest, I personally feel so much more fulfilled when I contribute to the Christmas gathering. Last year I had (a lot) of time on my hands, so I spent hours in front of the fire cutting twigs with secateurs and fashioning them into hanging Christmas decorations that I then gave to family members.
I’d like to do more of the same this year, maybe by bringing baked goods or activity packages for the littlest members of our family. Even simply lending a hand in the big present tidy-up or cleaning the kitchen up after Christmas dinner are other nice ways to feel accomplished at what can be a particularly stressful time of year.
Go easy on the decor SHop
I’m a total sucker for super Christmassy decor at the best of times, but one thing I’m not a fan of is the thought of buying a whole new range of decor pieces that are only going to be tossed to the back of the loft once Christmas is over and never to be used for any Christmases after. My boyfriend and I had to buy a tree and all new decorations this year to start of our festive decor collection (many pieces of which I actually bagged back in the January sales) and I’d love to keep them for use in years to come.
I do have some special items that cost a little more apiece than I would usually allow the expense for, but I bought them with the mind to bring them back out each year. That said, it can also be a little too easy to splurge on the cheaper decorations that might cause you to end up with too much stuff, and numerous things that will eventually go out of fashion anyway. Save your money, cut down on waste and reap the satisfaction of owning decor you’ll love to bring out every Christmas.
Dine In More, Eat Out Less
‘Tis the season for making sure we see as many friends as possible and this year I’m planning on hosting friends at home rather than eating out. With the work Christmas parties and all the meals with friends to organise, sometimes eating out can get a little uncomfortable for our wallets. Unless you simply can’t refuse a good deal, why not go to the work do anyway and decide to have friends over for snacks and drinks at yours instead? If you’re quite the culinary champion, show off about it and create a marvellous spread of festive delights for your guests.
If you’re not especially keen on cooking, the supermarkets always have great deals on festive platters you can rustle into the oven. No one will judge you for it - in fact your guests will usually be just as relieved that they didn’t have to pay for all those meals out either.
I hope these tips have inspired you to feel a bit more festive, and that they keep you feeling good about Christmas in many ways - from your wallet, to making people smile (really smile) and being mindful of our impact.
If you enjoyed this post, look forward to seeing more holiday content coming up in the weeks before Christmas and keep me with the festive jitters by chatting with me on Instagram. I look forward to this time of year so much and love to share it with others!