Christmas: my best practices

Christmas: my best practices

I am totally, hopelessly in love with celebrating Christmas. For me it is not so much a christian holiday, as I do not identify as a Christian, but it is about spending time with my family and loved ones and really taking time to enjoy each others company. And for me, the run up to Christmas is just as much fun as the actual holiday.

Preparations

It all started at the beginning of December (and okay, to be fair, even a little earlier). I started asking everyone’s wish lists and started to think of a theme for the decorations. My living room has a leafy, dark green wall, so I decided to stick with this color scheme and order white, golden and green decorations.

I don’t have space for a big tree, so I have a tiny white one with black and golden baubles. Around it are all the gifts I bought for everyone in white, green and red paper. In my ficus however, there are also some silly baubles.

On a shelf, I put all the Christmas cards I received and I bought tiny poinsettias that are now visible all throughout the house. I also hung pinecones on the handles of all my cupboards and wreaths above the dining table and on the doors of the display cabinet. I have black and white pictures all around the house throughout the year, so for Christmas I swapped some of them with Christmas themed posters, for instance with a pine cone on it and one saying ‘Oh deer’ with deer horns around the ‘O’.

Advent and cosy rituals

Since my birthday is in October, I asked for an advent calendar for my birthday. Therefore, this whole month I already felt showered with gifts and Christmas has not even begun yet. However, it does get me in the mood already, just like the decorations all around the house. It gives the perfect Christmas feel, especially when the candles are on and I am on the couch watching the most cheesy Christmas movies, which I have been doing every night I had time. I also love baking and cooking around Christmas, so my colleagues and friends all have been enjoying muffins and cookies for the last few weeks. This was all in preparation for the Christmas dinner later!

 

This brings us to the first big Christmas tip: start on time!

By starting at the beginning of December, I got all of my presents and decorations on time. This way, I don’t have to go through the last minute stress of buying presents in half empty the stores. Stores are not my favourite place to be in this time of the year, since many people are stressed and rude. I used to work in a store, and found that some people tend to be at their worst just before Christmas. You would not believe how store personnel gets treated this time of the year, so please: be kind! It is Christmas after all!

I also try to get my menu done in time and buy the ingredients on time, this is of course a little harder, but worth it. You don’t want to miss out on that essential ingredient, because you did not go soon enough.

 

First Christmas Day

This day is relatively easy for me, since I’ll have dinner at my parents’ house. I also took care of my outfit ahead of time. This year, I will wear a black jumpsuit from H&M with black heals. Since the outfit is pretty simple, I glam it up with a bright red lip and a white/light pink eye and winged eyeliner. My hair will be clipped to one side. We do some of the presents in the morning. Then my mother starts cooking already, whilst I will probably watch a Christmas movie with my ‘waking up mask’ from The Body Shop on my face. Then around 13 P.M., I will shower and change, so I can help setting the table afterwards for my parents, my grandmother and myself.

We always celebrate Christmas in fancy attire. This, I think, is an important part of Christmas, when you decide to have dinner at home. I personally feel like when I would just wear a jacket, I would not feel like Christmas was anything special, since I would also wear that to the office every day. I do love ugly Christmas sweaters, but I prefer to wear them in the days leading up to Christmas or the Christmas morning.

Second Christmas Day

On the second day, my parents and my boyfriend will eat at my place. This means I will spend a large part of the day cooking. I chose for a little unconventional dinner, with a lot of small bites instead of a three course dinner. The benefit of this is that some things can be made ahead of time. This leaves me time to dress up at and set the table about 15 P.M. I will wear satin black pants and a lace blouse. For make-up, I chose a simple smokey eye, since it takes me less time.

The table will be quite simple. I bought a white tablecloth with green wine leaves printed on it. The same leaves are printed on white napkins with red berries printed on them as well. I have a candle holder with golden leaves and white candles on the table. The glasses have golden stars on them. Since I will have a lot of dishes and the rest of my house is already very Christmassy, I decided to keep the table simple like this.

For entertainment, I already have a jazzy Christmas playlist made on Spotify. I also have a gingerbread house that we can make afterwards as a dessert. We will probably feel quite full after all the food anyways, so a break is very welcome. We will unpack the gifts after dinner, whilst enjoying coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

For gifts, I kept to the same budget for everyone. In addition, I have the same amount of ‘real’ gifts and ‘silly’ gifts for everyone. This is actually my second important tip. Since it is often much easier to buy for some people than for others, a ‘rule’ like this helps you to divide everything equally. You don’t want people to feel left out. A nice other tip is something I started last year and it is to do something personalised for everyone. For instance, l wrote a card for both my parents to thank them for everything they did for me. However, due to hosting my own Christmas day this year for the first time (EXCITING!), I decided not to do it this year due to time pressure.

 

So…

Christmas for me, is all about being together (and eating). Therefore, this is the perfect lay-out for a nice Christmas for me. I will be with everyone I love, whilst getting to shower them with food and gifts. Everyone should of course do (or don’t do) Christmas or something similar in his or her own way, but for me, keeping it pretty simple is the best way. It does take up a lot of my budget for November and December. That is fine to me, since it is my favourite time of the year and it fits with my way of showing love: caring for people.

I hope you liked reading this! I am really curious to know how you guys celebrate Christmas, so please let me know in the comments below!

Lots of love,

Lisa

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Hi there! My name is Lisa and I am the author of Mind and Body Intertwined. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. During my study, I found out how much the mind and the body are connected and it fascinated me, which is why I started my blog. Would you like to join me on this little corner of the world?

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2 Comments on “Christmas: my best practices

  1. I love reading all about other people’s Christmas days and little traditions, thanks so much for sharing! Having a bit of a plan and starting on time is so important, makes the day so much less stressful and more enjoyable!

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