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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Isn’t it?
Well, it should feel like that but let’s be honest with ourselves here (ok, we’re going to be really honest).
The festive period is a hectic time of year. We all seem to get caught up in the running about and wrapped up in plans.
We want you to have the most beautiful time of the year, so we have pulled a bit of a cracker and prepared an Advent Chill Out Calendar that will take you from the start of December all the way through to Christmas Day with lots of time on how you can not only survive the occasional curve balls that get thrown at you but enjoy every day and of course the simple pleasures of the big event itself.
Caorunn Advent Chill out
The lists. Make your Christmas list of to-dos and split it into six lists – gift list, cooking list, shopping list, home list, appointments and commitments list, fun list and plot it out over the next 25 days so you can manage everything in your time.
Caorunn & Tonic. Now you know all the tasks and commitments you need to get through over the next three and a bit weeks, take a moment to relax and raise a glass to the month ahead – it is the festive season after all. A Winter Spiced C & T is the perfect warming pour for a cold December evening.
Short cuts. Not everything has to be homemade, like TV cooking programmes. If you can find some easy ways to save yourself time (and money) – do it, and spend that quality time with your friends and family rather than on a solo kitchen quest for culinary perfection!
Elves. Feeling like you might need a few extra hands (and jingle bell feet!?) Recruit some elves by way of family and friends who can help you out and combine socialising and catching up with decorating your home and present wrapping.
There is a joy to be had in the wrapping. Divide your presents into two piles – adults and children. Decide what kind of Christmas wrapping theme you want to go for – are you Scandi reds and whites this year, grown-up gold and sparkle, minimalist white with silver or something a bit homespun and crafty. To those who say, ‘It’s what’s inside that counts’, we say, ‘Only if it comes beautifully wrapped and looks EXCITING’… We like the presents that have a little extra treat stuck on to the front of the gift, even if it’s just a small chocolate Santa – kids (big and little) LOVE all the little surprises and extras.
Click-click. What shopping can you do while wearing your pyjamas (and we don’t mean doing the famous ‘turkey trot’ flying around the supermarket at 7 am on Christmas Eve in your slippers and jammies. What pressies/shopping can be bought on the comfort of your sofa with a cup of tea, a laptop and a couple of clicks?
Thanks but no thanks. Unless you have a convincing body double, our guess is you’re going to be pulled in all directions this festive season. You can’t be everything to everyone and everywhere at the one time. Prioritise what’s important and say no to the things that will deplete your energy supplies at what is one of the busiest times of the year. It’s ok to turn down invitations if it causes too much stress on your diary and you don’t want to go!
Cranberry Smoothie. Stay strong and healthy and give yourself a boost to get through the party season by eating well and giving your body the nutrients it needs to cope with the demands of the season.
500ml cranberry juice
1 frozen banana
1 apple, cored
A handful of frozen berries
½ tsp cinnamon
Whizz it all in a blender and serve immediately.
An early night. Sleep makes a difference to everything, so bank these zzzs because you can guarantee there will be a few late nights coming up in the weeks ahead!
Instant calm. Bright lights, jangly music, people, noise, the hustle and bustle – sometimes it all just feels a bit much. Take a step off the Christmas carousel and pause. Do nothing. Occasionally just stopping, gathering thoughts and refocusing is all you need to move on to the next task. This simple meditation works wonders:
10 Count Meditation
Inhale count 1, exhale count 2…
Inhale count 3, exhale count 4…
Inhale count 5, exhale count 6…
Inhale count 7, exhale count 8…
Inhale count 9, exhale count 10….
Repeat for five minutes
Imperfect reality. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all make Christmas happen just like it does in the adverts with a click of a finger, a puff of glitter and zero stress? The reality is creating perfection takes a lot of time and money, and actually, both of these things are rarely in abundance for most people at this time of year. Keep it simple and enjoy the company of loved ones without stressing whether the crackers are matching. Embrace cosy, lovely, relaxed, stress-free imperfection.
Salt bath. Stress drains the body of magnesium so pop a cup of Epsom salt into your bath and replenish your magnesium levels. This will, in turn, produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical and create a feeling of calm and wellbeing. Ahhh – chilled!
Walk. A brisk walk will get you heart rate up, clear your head and boost your endorphins – like pressing the reset button on life. It’s amazing the difference even a half-hour stroll in the fresh air can make to your mindset.
Movie Time. Watching a Christmas movie in the glow of the Christmas tree and flickering candles, a Caorunn Tonic in one hand and bowl of popcorn in the other. December was made for movie nights like these!
You time. Whether it’s a massage, a swim, an afternoon nap, curling up with a magazine or getting your nails done – take some time out where the focus is entirely on you.
Create. This is a great month for getting crafty. A could of hours spent creating something Christmassy is the perfect stress remedy, and that feeling of finding your flow as you craft and create is so relaxing and rewarding. Switch off from the ‘have to do’ and focus on the ‘nice to do’.
Music. Yes, we know there is no escaping these Christmas tunes, but it all sounds entirely different from when it is your favourite tunes. Create your Christmas 2019 soundtrack as a sure-fire way of making sure these tracks you cannot bear to hear another time stay well away from your ears and will lead you perfectly into our next day of advent.
Kitchen disco. Feeling like you’re slaving away for hours in the kitchen these days? Turn your kitchen into a ‘disco for one’ with a Christmas cocktail and some dance floor tunes to add some glitterball and sparkle to your Christmas prep. May we recommend the Golden Spritz to add a bit of glitz to your chopping and stirring?
Mince pies. A late afternoon mince pie the days just before Christmas…it’s that lovely feeling of ‘let the treats begin’! Pair with a warming Caorunn cocktail – the Alexander is perfect with a little grated nutmeg on the top for extra spiced festiveness!
Hydrate. Central heating, the dash around the shops, work, cooking, cleaning (and the rest…). Make sure you keep your water bottle topped up and in your bag. You’d be amazed at how quickly we can become dehydrated at this time of year and the impact this can have on your energy levels.
Christmas Market. Find out what markets are on in your area and take a stroll around with family and friends to absorb the merriment and cheer. A ‘must-do’ in these final days before Christmas Day when you start to enjoy that ‘it’s almost here’ feeling!
Laugh. The perfect stress buster. See a comedy show (even better, a Pantomime!) or Netflix something you know will make you switch off from doing whatever it is you feel you should be doing and enjoy some giggle time.
Chocolate. The staple of all advent calendars – go on, break that selection box open for old school style treats or if you’re feeling fancy, a higher content dark chocolate pairs particularly well with Caorunn (if you can find a dark chocolate with raspberry, we’d say you’ve pretty much-entered gin/chocolate pairing nirvana!)
Pyjamas. There is just something about a brand-new pair of pyjamas for Christmas. Padding around on Christmas Eve, cosied up in some new jammies, the twinkling lights of the tree in the background, a cocktail and some canapes on the go. Well, it’s pretty, much our idea of ‘night in’ perfection. Something lovely to look forward to we think.
Merry Christmas! You will, of course, have arrived at this point calm, stress-free, chilled and feeling wonderful and able to enjoy every minute of your special day.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very special Christmas.
It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all!