You’re dashing from work on a cold crisp night when you spot a podgy Santa peering from a shop window and suddenly you’re filled with a warm festive glow. You’ve just taken your first sip of a Spiced Latte and suddenly it feels like Christmas is really here.
Maybe it doesn’t happen until Christmas Eve when you settle down surrounded by the family, all cosied up in blankets, watching a Muppets Christmas Carol with a belly full of baked ham.
As unashamed lovers of this time of year we relish nothing more than feeling truly Christmassy, yet experience tells us that no matter how much we try to force the feeling, that excited jangling of magic, excitement and nostalgia – all of the twinkling Christmas trees, cheesy 80’s songs, reindeer jumpers and tear jerking adverts for department stores in the world, won’t make us feel festive until it happens naturally.
That’s not to say that you can’t help it along a little. There’s lots of simple ways to slowly ease your way into the season, ensuring that you feel more of the Christmas love and less of the festive stress.
We like to start the season early and so a set of jewel coloured fairly lights is strung across the kitchen window as soon as the nights start to darken – suddenly making a cup of tea before bed becomes more joyful.
Our favourite seasonal scented candles start making their way around the house and are lit more frequently. On lazy weekends we like to wake up slowly, pottering around lit only by the glow of the Christmas tree and our favourite Hollyberry and Clove and Orange and Cinnamon candles.
They might not be in the same league as Home Alone or Love Actually but the Channel 5 afternoon Christmas movie, always set in a small snow covered American town, featuring a story line so schmaltzy it could melt even Scrooge’s heart, is a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. We recommend lighting the candles, curling up with a hot chocolate and embracing this guilty pleasure.
Speaking of festive drinkies, paying inflated Christmas market prices, shivering as we slurp a watered down mulled wine, certainly isn’t the best way to enjoy a Christmas tipple. Stock up on port, cloves and oranges to make yummy Hot Port Punch (just add some sugar and hot water) in the comfort of your own home. Or if you want to skip the booze, swap the port for alcohol free wine or apple juice, just as delicious.
We even enjoy writing cards and wrapping presents, it’s all part of the fun. Stick on some Christmas music (we recommend Smooth Christmas radio station on digital – yes, it exists!) crack open some truffles, pour the hot port and get busy like Santa’s elves. If financial woes are getting you down then why not set a budget for presents with family and friends – how many bath bombs and pairs of socks does one person really need anyway?
Finally, while making the most of the season, it’s important to remember that Christmas can be a difficult or lonely time for many. Whether it’s sending a box of gifts to children abroad who would otherwise receive nothing, or simply knocking on the door and chatting with an elderly neighbour who might be spending Christmas alone this year, let’s spread some joy and love as really that’s what the season is all about.
Happy Christmas Candle Lovers!