I’ll be home for Christmas, and this year, it’ll be a serene one. Though the snow isn’t quite on the ground here in Burlington, as I write this, I can feel the forthcoming festivity in the air. I’m opening my new office right downtown; and from here, I can already see the city decorating trees with lights, storefronts dressing their mannequins in festive scarves, and our local Starbucks (who’ve brought out the red aprons particularly early this year, it seems). Hey, I’m not one to complain. If setting up for the holidays a little prematurely brings you joy, well, the more decor the merrier.
Our office is finally coming together. It’s been a labour of love, this last little while. Amidst the chaos, I decided to write to you; about combatting that chaos that so aptly seems to go hand in hand with the holiday season.
In your home, at least.
Create a Cozy Corner
Got a giant family like mine? Lots of little ones running wild fulled by sugar cookies, and anxious anticipation of St. Nick? Creating a quiet zone in your home where you can avoid the fami- I mean, take a break from the fun, is a huge life hack for me this time of year. It’s simple, but effective. Whether it’s a cozy armchair by the window, or a warm and inviting spot by the fire (I’m obsessed with our wood burning fire), having a designated place to relax and watch The Holiday, or to simply enjoy your own company, can be a welcome oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Bring your holiday decor into this special spot. Think less Christmas more seasonal. Cable knit, soft plaids, sheep skins, even stacks of logs and greenery. I’ll elaborate on this tip further in my next quarterly newsletter (sent out just for you, December 1st!). Are you subscribed?
Enjoy Nature Indoors
Real trees are messy, so no judgement (okay, maybe a LITTLE judgement) if you choose to forgo the traditional sticky kind. The family and I cut down our own real tree every year. And as much as I curse and throw it out the door after January 1st, I can’t help it, I’m a real tree woman all the way. However, if you’re in a bind, a sleek, modern tree paired with a pine scented candle works just fine as an alternative. I always appreciate homes with multiple trees, one where the kids can have their fun, and another that’s a little more elevated and grown up. Even if your primary tree isn’t of the living breathing nature, try to incorporate a small real one somewhere in your space. Pro tip: soaking your greenery is a game changer if you’re going authentic with your tree. It lasts way longer.
Not celebrating Christmas? No problem. The winter time can still be a wonderful time to add a little bit of tranquility to your space by bringing the outside in. Houseplants, a bouquet of fresh flowers on the kitchen island, inner tranquility flourishes when we connect with nature, even in little ways indoors.
Declutter and Organize
You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but just like daylight savings time, I believe in a big declutter moment twice a year. Gift yourself and your family storage solutions this year. Trust me. Not under the tree, but prior to the holiday madness. Especially if you have kids, you’re likely about to receive many thoughtful, generous, well-intentioned surprises that take up space in your home; like that Barbie Dream House my little one was gifted last year, or the plethora of Legos I still don’t believe were ever fully given a spot that isn’t right where I’m about to step. Christmas gifts aside, making room for yourself, and keeping things in their place, is a surefire way to invest in your own mental serenity as the year draws to a close.
Light a Candle. That’s It. That’s the tip.
I know I’m not the only one who takes solace in finally lighting a candle at the end of a kitchen cleaning spree. Make this time of year special, and invest in a few favourite candles to give your home a warm, festive feeling; to be used as a sole light source while binging Christmas movies on December 24th. Psssst. Take a look at The Bare Home, a selection of eco friendly, non-toxic candles await you. Oh, and you’re supporting a Canadian, female owned, independent brand…who just so happens to be my sister.
It’s a good time of year to reflect, I find. I don’t mean in the resolution type of way, necessarily. But finding gratitude in the moments of peace amidst the whirlwind, and focusing on how we can create more of those in our home. I wish you all a peaceful, merry, and organized holiday season.