Without exaggerating, I think I can safely say that I am the biggest fan of Christmas.
Since I was little girl, Christmas has been my absolute favorite part of the year ; the most magical , enchanted time. And not much has changed since then. All year I am waiting for December to finally come around and spotting the first bag of Gingerbread in our shop around the corner, sometime in September, is all it takes to get me into Christmas mood. So when Advent finally comes around, I try to take as much out of it as possible.
I know that many people consider the time before Christmas as especially stressful, but I believe that Christmas and Advent are what YOU make of it!
To me it is a time for peace , quiet , for taking things slowly , for eating lots of good food , for not counting calories , for cozy blankets and candlelight , a time to spend with people you love and a time to celebrate traditions or even creating new ones !
Here is a list of things, that always make my weeks before Christmas extra special and will hopefully help you to get in the spirit of Christmas in no time :
Decorate your Home
If it was up to me I would probably set up my Christmas tree right after Halloween. But unfortunately I married the Grinch. And he won´t let me decorate until 1st of Advent. So no excessive Christmas decoration at our house. But a few candles here and a couple of pine cones there, won´t hurt anyone.
Not only because of the grinch , but also because I love the coziness it adds to our home. I usually go with simple , clean and rustic christmas decoration. But no matter if you are like me, and prefer natural hues and elements, like wood piece candle holders, paper star ornaments , cinnamon sticks , rosehips, chestnuts and mason jar lights or if you are rather the candy cane and reindeer type , a little festive touch will do wonders.
Advent Sunday Rituals
It has become one of my most favourite Advent traditions , to organize something special for our weekends during December. I love inviting friends over for Christmas afternoon tea or brunch, meeting up for a family dinner or for a cookie baking session , while listening to Christmas music and drinking homemade Glögg, or just visiting a Christmas market together .
There are so many special things you can do , the key is just to make it as relaxed as possible. So when you invite your loved ones over for a dinner or a brunch , ask everyone to bring along a little something or to put together a playlist so you don´t have to worry about everything.
Cook up some Gifts from the Kitchen
Don´t stress yourself about Christmas Gifts!
A little goes a long way and homemade gifts are always such a special thing to give away.
So why should you spend hours on the internet or in crowded shopping malls ,searching for the perfect gift, when you can create thoughtful and unique things for your your friends and family at home in your kitchen. A homemade chocolate bark or granola, some chai spiced fudge,a seasoned oil, or little Weck jars filled with homemade hot chocolate mix , the possibilities are basically endless .
Decorated with a personalised gift tag or a little note , they make the most beautiful give aways.
Listen to Christmas Music
I admit that I have a bit of an obsession with creating playlists. I create them for basically everything and anything, because what would life be without the perfect soundtrack, right?
So of course I could not let the chance go by to make a playlist for this very post . I have included all of my favourite christmas and wintery tunes, that go perfectly as the background music for your Advent brunch or dinner, a comfy night by the fire place or even for Christmas Eve!
Collect Pinterest Inspirations to plan your Holidays
Ahhh..don´t you just gotta love the endless possibilities of Pinterest? Personally , I think I have collected an amount of Pinterest ideas that would easily last for a lifetime. And although I am sure that I will never be able to try every single thing I pinned , just browsing through some holiday categories , collecting ideas for our christmas menue or advent wreath and soaking in the enchanted atmosphere of the countless beautiful images and ideas; makes me all excited for the magical weeks ahead!
The simmering Christmas Potpouri
The smell of Christmas will be in the air , as soon as you place your simmering pot on your stove. Filled with water , sliced oranges and apples , some rosemary branches, cinnamon sticks , star Anise and a bit of gingerbread spice the most delicious holiday aromes are cascading through the air, once heated ; creating the perfect atmosphere to cuddle up under a warm blanket , with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.
The simmering pot is incredibly easy to throw together : fill some water in a cettle or pot, add oranges, lemons, herbs, spices , just whatever smells like christmas for YOU. Slowly bring the pot it to a boil and turn down the heat to 1.This way you can have your pot simmering going for days, just make sure to add some water from time to time , so that it doesn´t get burnt.
Read Christmas Books
Although I love watching a good Holiday movie , reading Christmas books together on a candle-lit dark December morning has an unbeatable charm to itself. When the kids were born , I decided to create a Christmas library. We started out with one little book and every year I add one or two new ones, which we only take out when Advent comes around. Even if you don´t have children yet , there are many beautiful Christmas stories for grown ups as well or in fact any book that has a slightly magical touch is the perfect read for Advent time. I love to go through my volumes of Harry Potter once again, soaking up the enchanted atmosphere or reading some Sherlock Holmes stories and diving into dark and foggy victorian London while sipping on a hot chocolate .
Regardlessly of what you have planned for your weeks before Christmas ,just remember , that it is not about organizing the perfect event, but rather about spending time together, slowing down , enjoying each others company and having a good time.
I really hope that my little list of things has given you some sort of inspiration for the weeks to come and maybe you were able to find a couple of things that you want to add to your very own list of traditions.
What about your Advent rituals? I would love to hear about them , so feel free to drop me a line and tell me about them in the comments!
Sending you lots of love and wishing you a beautiful first of Advent,