Somehow, it’s almost the end of the year. And what a cool, laid-back and fun-filled year it’s been. Just kidding, it’s been a living nightmare. So if you need a little more effort than normal to feel festive, we have some tips.
An interesting trick of adult life is that October lasts for approximately 20 minutes and then we land all too quickly into Actual Christmas Season. This is partly because, emotionally, Christmas descends earlier every year and partly because due to the pandemic, lockdowns etc have taken away our sense of time (yes, that is an actual thing). So now we have to go from zero to 100 on the Festive-o-meter but that’s no problem, because Capsule has been training for this our entire lives.
1. Lower your expectations.
Absolutely nothing about the past almost three years has gone smoothly, so expecting a perfect Christmas period is a fool’s errand. The goal is to live through this year, feel festive when it’s possible and feel grateful for whatever version of you still exists on December 25th. Keep it simple and keep it kind – and that means kind on yourself as the first priority.
2. Get decorating.
Because the markers of a normal year have been blurred – birthdays, anniversaries, etc – it can be hard to feel any different as we get closer to Christmas. Here’s where you need visual clues to remind you it’s Christmas – dig out the decorations that mean something, put up the Christmas lights… anything that makes whatever space you have feel a little bit special. You know how small children get excited by sparkly things, even if they don’t know what it means exactly? Let that be a trick that works on you as well.
3. Put that tree up whenever you damn well want.
People will get rarked up about many things at Christmas (just bring up Mariah Carey versus The Pogues around this way for a festive debate) but the ultimate line in the sand is real tree versus fake tree. Like in life, you can change your mind along the way – I (Emma) was a fake tree person until three years ago, and now I am real tree forever. People will tell you that you should wait until December to put up your decorations but time is an ILLUSION. Do what you want!
4. Festive accoutrements.
Tis the season for a little kitsch and boy, are there some great options out there. A Christmas jumper, maybe? Some ridiculous dangly Christmas earrings, perchance? Matching Christmas pyjamas for the family (and the pet)? Or if you’d like to feel the festive spirit in a subtle way that only you’re aware of, please consider this Christmas underwear from Thunderpants. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a festive outfit.
5. Send some love.
Even though technically we can travel now, the pandemic is still very much ***here*** so people might still not feel comfortable hopping on a plane, or sweating alongside a group of 50 in one room. So write a Christmas card, send a Christmas email, set up a Christmas Zoom with someone who needs it. Simultaneously watch a Christmas movie with your loved one from a virtual distance and spend the entire time ranking your Love, Actually boyfriends.
6. Break out the Bublé.
There’s a reason we all associate Christmas with Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey and look, don’t fight it. In the same way that seeing special decorations and twinkly lights are a visual reminder that It Is Christmas, so is listening to the opening bars of Cold December Night. There are so many Christmas playlists on Spotify – maybe you’re feeling jazzy? Maybe you’re feeling a bit emotional? Maybe you’re feeling horny? (there’s a market for everything).
7. Cook something festive.
The particular scents of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are enough to awaken the dormant festive elf that lives in your brain. Gingerbread, sugar cookies, peppermint bark… there are so many delicious treats that will make you feel festive but also make for wonderful gifts. Need some cooking inspiration? Check out our our past book club pick, The Little Library Cookbook, which covers festive recipes AND reading recommendations.
8. Light a candle (in the darkness).
We have a running joke at Capsule that our tagline could be ‘mental health plus candles’ (possible title of our business memoir?) so we are WELL versed in the best Christmas candles. You can’t go past the OGs: Ecoya’s Fresh Pine At Dawn, $54; Glasshouse Fragrance’s Night Before Christmas Dancing Sugar Plums, $59 but please check out other festive candle stories for some candle highlights.