Friday 27 September 2019

Christmas is coming: inspiring gift ideas to share with your family

This post is a collaboration to put food on my table, written by Ale Roman. It has some great tips and ideas. I've added some of my own images...

October is almost upon us, and that can only mean one thing… Christmas is just around the corner. Already you might start to see the familiar flashes of red and white on the high street as stores start to show their Christmas wares nice and early for excited consumers that are looking for the best gifts for this beautiful season.

While you may not even be thinking of Christmas just yet, rest assured that it’ll be here before you know it! And with just a little planning, you can ensure that you and your family have an amazing time around the tree, by the fire, at the dinner table and wherever else the festive season takes you.

Whether you’re the kind of early bird that likes to plan well in advance, or whether you just want to start feeling Christmassy to brighten up the gloomy Autumn days, we hope you’ll find some inspiration in our ideas.

Here are some suggestions to help make sure that you get the very best out of Christmas 2019...

Think outside the box when it comes to gift giving

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Christmas has become too commercial. It’s become all about businesses thinking up ideas for the latest “must have” presents and consumers blindly buying. While every now and then you’ll find one of these products that just so happens to be something that someone close to you genuinely wants. But all too often it’ll just be taking up cupboard space by February.

Why not try and buck that trend by taking the time to find thoughtful Christmas presents for the whole family. There are so many more personal and unique ideas that you simply don’t find in the same old shops that occupy our high streets.

Is it time to get your Christmas wardrobe in order?

Fashion enthusiasts know that finding your Christmas cheer comes when you open your Christmas wardrobe. ‘Tis the season to start looking out for nice cosy warm jumpers, woolly sweaters, cosy slippers and other seasonal comfy clothes so that you can wrap up warm when the big day rolls around.

Now’s the time to start looking for new festive wear before demand pushes the prices up in the shops.

Get out of the house as often as you can

It’s only when you spend some quality time outside that you can truly appreciate the warmth and good cheer of the great indoors. So, find as many excuses as you can to take yourself to the street (be sure to wrap up as much as you can, of course). Try to do something other than shopping, too. Grab yourself a coffee (it’s almost eggnog latte time), sit in the park and people watch. Or take yourself for a long winter walk in a nearby park or garden.

Then when you come home you can enjoy the festive sights sounds and smells within. Which brings us to...

Why not create a multisensory Christmas experience within your home?

Think back on some of your favourite Christmas memories from over the years. Can you only remember what you saw? We’re guessing not. You likely also remember little nuances of touch, taste and scent that all came together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to form those perfect remembrances that make you feel all warm and glowy inside.

Why not try and transform your home into a multisensory shrine to the festive season? Aside from the usual roaring fire and hanging stockings try…

Setting up a real tree. Sure, it costs a little more but the scent and the feel of a real Christmas tree simply can’t be beaten by their synthetic counterparts.
Playing Christmas music in the background. A playlist is fine, but for that timeless nostalgic feel, any Christmas fare you have on vinyl is even better.
Light the home with festive scented candles. This will not only fill your living space with a rich, Christmassy scent, it’ll help create a more ambient and relaxing atmosphere.
Or, better yet, boil up a festive aroma pot filled with apple juice, orange slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Leave this to simmer throughout the day and your home will smell of Christmas in the most delicious way possible.

Get to know the neighbours a bit better

In the digitally enabled world of the (nearly) 2020s it seems as though we’re all getting a little more private and insular. It’s a rare moment indeed when the family sits around the dinner table and nobody has their face buried in some mobile device or another. In these antisocial times it’s important to spread as much Christmas cheer as you can (you never know who might need it). Take the family carolling to brighten up your neighbours’ Christmas or send out invites for a nice get together over coffee and mince pies.

Christmas can be a difficult time for a lot of people. You may never know the difference that it makes in someone’s life.

Institute a zero-tolerance policy on mobile devices on Christmas Day

If you have teenagers in the house this might seem like instituting a zero-tolerance policy on right arms. Nonetheless, the best memories (the kinds we carry with us for a lifetime) are not those we capture on a phone screen. They’re the moments when we look into the eyes of people we love. When we hold hands and hug instead of liking and retweeting.

Your day will be all the richer for it when phones stay in bedrooms.

Christmas is the time for giving! Who can you give to?

Above all, it’s essential to remember the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not to receive and amass gifts, it’s to give to others and show them how much we care. And that shouldn’t just extend to friends and family. You have plenty of time to decide who you’re going to give to this year and what you’re going to give them.

It can be something as simple and humble as taking a batch of freshly cooked gingerbread men to your next door neighbour. Alternatively, it could be something as impactful as giving up a few hours of your Christmas day to volunteer at a shelter for the homeless or an animal sanctuary.

You and your family will come to know that the earnest joy of giving always trumps the fleeting thrill of receiving.

1 comment:

  1. I just love Christmas time. It is time to get organised xx


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