Let yourself be creative this Christmas!
We have entered the darkest time of the year. The blackness of the sky seems everlasting – it is there when we wake up and come back home from work. Back in the day, when people lived hand in hand with nature, this would be time to hibernate and rest. Yet, with the busyness of modern life and the cult of productivity, it seems almost impossible to stop and smell the roses. Everything seems even more hectic around Christmas time. Buy presents. Clean the house. Cook massive amounts of food. Visit shopping centres to see Santa and spend more money.
Sadly, we cannot stop the world and bury ourselves in dens as some animals do, but we can slow down this Christmas and be more grounded and less stressed.
We can invite creativity and hygge into our lives and turn them into family traditions of mindfulness, togetherness and rest. There comes a lot of relaxation from making things with your hands. The repetitiveness of creation may be meditative and grounding in the here and now. Creating together with your loved ones, be it family or friends, in a cosy atmosphere makes Christmas more fun, meaningful, and way less stressful.
Hygge is a Danish concept of appreciating cosy moments with your nearest and dearest, slowing down by just being in the company of others doing some simple yet creative activities. There is a massive focus on pleasing the senses, too: the environment matters – the smells, the textures, the visuals. Read on to discover how to make your Christmas time more chilled and hygge.
Decorating the tree with natural decorations
One of the best ways to invoke the feeling of hygge is decorating a real pine tree together (it doesn’t have to be a large one, even a few twigs would do) with natural decorations like star anise, cinnamon bark, dried orange slices with cloves, and pine cones. What doesn’t go on a tree can go to a scent bowl to intensify the wonderful fragrance. The room smells delicious, making you feel cosy, creative and Christmasy.
Lighting up a candle
To strengthen the gorgeousness of this olfactory experience, you may wish to light up a Christmas candle. Not only will it make your room smell even better, but it will also brighten the darkness. The playfulness of the flickering flame may warm up the hearts and invite snuggles on the sofa under a blanket with a cup of spiced tea and evoke some stories to tell or songs to sing.
Making handmade gifts and decorations
What is a better gift than one made with love? You can try needle felting, for example. It is not as complicated as it may seem. You sculpt the wool by stabbing it with a needle (it is a great way to relieve stress, trust me). Sitting around the table with your family, laughing at funny shapes you may end up with, enjoying the silence when you enter the flow, making, creating. Having fun, not rushing. Being here and now. No hustle and bustle of overcrowded shopping centres. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
You can try and make salt dough decorations, paint rocks and turn them into quirky ornaments or write a story and illustrate it yourself in a little notebook. The possibilities are endless if you let your imagination run wild.
Making bread or baking cookies
Measuring ingredients, pouring them into a bowl, and kneading the dough is so much fun. There is a lot of laughter when the puffs of flour drift in the air and tickle noses. Everyone looks like a snowman covered in white dust. Shaping the bread or cutting out various forms of cookies is creative and anchors you to the present moment. The smell of baking bread or cinnamon biscuits is mouthwatering, homey, and hygge. And what a satisfaction it is to share your homemade festive treats at the Christmas table! Not having to queue in a bakery or superstore is a plus!
Inviting creativity and hygge into your Christmas time may not erase all the stress of the Festive season, but it may make it calmer, more mindful and fun. It will root you in the present moment and help you to appreciate spending time with your loved ones.
After all, Christmas is about being together.