Slow living: a slow Christmas
I’ve written about my plans for Christmas already here but I thought I’d share some ideas for a slow Christmas with you:
1. Host a gathering: gather your friends together for a Christmas celebration. we’re going to keep ours fairly simple because I wanted to focus on spending the time with friends rather than going to town on the hosting part and spending lots of money: it will be during the day (because children) and there will be biscuits, mince pies, hot drinks and lots of Christmas music. You could do it in the evening though and add in some cocktails or perhaps even host it outside: decorate your garden with candles and lanterns, serve up mulled wine to keep you warm and sing carols round a fire pit (be sensible with all those flames everyone!). The important thing is to prioritise enjoying the company!
2. Bake something. I’m not a natural in the kitchen and I don’t love cooking but for some reason come Christmas time I always want to bake stuff (I don’t always do it mind you: the fantasy idea of merrily baking away all day never quite lives up to the reality of it). However, if you do like baking now is the time for Christmas cake, gingerbread biscuits, any other sort of biscuit cut out with a Christmas themed cutter and decorated with icing, Yule log...
3. Make something: Christmas is such a good time for a craft and if you need some help there are loads of craft classes that pop up around this time of the year. I’m going for simple crafts this year: Christmas cards for the immediate family, upcycling some empty jam jars and I want to make a star garland for our living room. You could make a wreath, an advent calendar or even your own Christmas decorations.
4. Christmas trees and decorating - for the first time we’ve bought a real Christmas tree. I found a (relatively) local farm shop (that is eco friendly) to buy one from and it was a really fun trip going to buy it. I like to take time decorating the tree and house and make an event of it. I’ll put on Christmas films in the background, get out some mince pies and take my time faffing around with the decorations until I’m happy with them (happily for me my husband is quite willing to let me do them). My mum and dad always insisted on doing the Christmas tree lights and the nicer glass baubles that they didn’t want us accidentally smashing when we were little but after that we were encouraged to get involved - it’s rubbed off because I now love decorating the house as does my brother! I’ll let baby boy get in on the decorating action but at 1 I think I can delay having to share for another year!
5. Make a new tradition: one year I decided that I wanted to make a new Christmas tradition. Not being religious I don’t go to the numerous church events around Christmas time but I quite liked the idea of doing more than just Christmas Day with presents and food. I opted for watching Muppets Christmas Carol with homemade biscuits on Christmas Eve (once all the jobs are done and everything is ready for the next day) and my family quite happily joined in. When I told this to my husband the first Christmas we were together I’m pretty sure he thought I was nuts but went along with it. This year he’s already downloaded the film on to the sky planner just in case the DVD player acts up so I think this tradition is now settled! In the last few years my brother and I have also tried to spend a good part of this day together. You could choose anything for your tradition: it might feel a bit funny doing it the first year but after a few years it becomes a part of the celebration that you look forward to.
6. Taking five minutes; be it over that first cup of coffee in the morning or over a hot chocolate or cup of tea in the evening take five minutes now and again to just stop and breathe. Giving yourself the chance to just step back for a few minutes and get some perspective is one of the easiest ways to help slow things down.
However you choose to spend Christmas, I hope you have a lovely one.