As a general rule in life, I try to find joy in the little things; taking notice of the good parts of the day and appreciating them. I have been attempting to use this 'rule' in my daily life, with varying success, for the last few years but really noticed the impact it had in my life last year when I took part in the 100 happy days challenge. I'm still working on it, and have by no means perfected it, but I can really attest to the fact that it has helped me to be more appreciative on a daily basis. It is also a 'rule' that can be especially useful to keep in mind over the holidays.
The older one gets, the more that Christmas has a tendency to lose some of its magic. It is easy to get caught up in the mounting tasks that come with this time of the year - hosting parties, endless cooking, simply getting bogged down in work and our busy lives and missing out on the fun, or fighting through the crowds to find gifts for loved ones and the festive season just doesn't seem so festive anymore. Now that I am in my mid-20s it is something that I notice creeping in on my holiday cheer. Because of this, I consciously made the decision to take certain steps to really enjoy Christmas. The following is a list of things that I enjoy doing in the lead up to Christmas in order to make sure that I both enjoy Christmas, and don't just let it pass me by without a second look.
1. Pick out some Christmas Films to Watch
Some old favourites (I re-watch Love Actually every year religiously), and some new releases, maybe some oldies that you've never seen before and watch one every few days (or each night...) You can check out what I have on my Christmas Watch List for this year here.
2. Eat & Drink accordingly
You know what I'm talking about - the gingerbread biscuits are out in the shops (here in Germany!), mince pies, hot chocolates in big mugs, mandarines now also have a strange relation to Christmas for me now that I've been in Germany for three Christmas Seasons. Whatever it is that makes you feel like it's Christmas - treat yourself to here and there!
3. Christmas Crafts & Decorating the House
One of the things that I do every single year is make paper snowflakes for the windows. Even though I could be more careful when peeling them off the windows and reuse them for the next year, it is something that I really enjoy doing so I just make them over each year, usually at night time while watching TV, or Christmas Films! Keep an eye out for a How To Post soon.
This year I have also made some little pinecone elves, winter scenes for the windows and some cinnamon stick candles (thank you, Pinterest), and still have a few other crafts up my sleeves to satisfy my crafting needs.
4. Decorate that tree
No more need be said.
5. Burn Candles & Fill your Home with festive scents
Thanks to the cinnamon candles, as well as cinnamon oil in humidifiers hanging on our heating our home smells warm and welcoming and festive as soon as you walk in the door and it is something that just makes me feel like I've been enveloped in a big fuzzy christmas blanket as soon as I walk in the door!
6. Make a Gingerbread House with your Significant Other
7. Bake Delicious Christmas Goodies! I have recipes for Cherry Shortbread here, Coconut Ice here, Rum Balls here, and for the Aussies, perfect Pavlova here.
8. Here in Germany, a must is at least one trip to the Christmas Markets where you should drink mulled wine, eat Candied Almonds and find perfect gifts for friends and family.
9. Why not have a go at making your own Cinnamon Candied Almonds?! They're easier than you think, can last for ages and make perfect gifts! (Blog Post Coming Soon).
10. Treat yourself to some Christmassy Items from Lush for Bath Time! Lush is great year-round, but the Limited Edition Christmas items are a really nice way to add a little touch of Christmas to your wind-down time.
11. Enjoy an Advent Calendar If chocolate's not your thing, there are all sorts these days, from playmobil (for the child at heart) to make up, skincare and nailpolish! Take your pick!
So there you have it! Those are a few of the things that I like to do. I would love to see what is on your "Christmas List"! Leave me a comment below!