This post is in an advertisement feature in conjunction with Boots UK. All thoughts are my own.
It’s official, Halloween and bonfire night are out the way and in my mind that means one thing – CHRISTMAS!
If you’re a Christmas scrooge type who doesn’t even like to get a whiff of a mince pie before December 23rd then you might want to look away now as I’m going to be taking you on a festive rollercoaster ride of Christmas joy.
Because that’s the thing for me – Christmas isn’t about one day of extravagant gifts and gorging, it’s about a whole festive period of lots of lovely things, little joys that brighten up each day, literally and metaphorically. Christmas for me is the smell of spices and pine trees, meeting up with friends, surrounded by Christmas lights, and getting cosy under blankets watching films about the children of competing Christmas tree farms falling in love and living happily ever after.
That’s not to say I don’t love buying and wrapping presents, in homemade Christmas wrapping paper if I’m feeling extra wholesome, but it’s about everything else besides. It’s also about making those gifts count when money is tight and thinking about how to use gift-giving as a way to create special moments for other people, without breaking the bank. It’s why the new Little Joys Christmas campaign from Boots is perfect for me – meaningful gifts on a budget, that show people you care, whether it’s small secret santa gifts or big presents for under the tree.
No more googling ‘Christmas gifts for him‘ and buying the first golf themed shaving kit that pops up, let’s put some thought into it this year people.
To help you get into the proper Christmas spirit, I’ve pulled together a few ideas for ways to find those little joys at Christmas…
Get yourself an advent calendar
There is no simpler way to make Christmas last a whole month than to buy yourself a decent advent calendar. I know the world has gone a bit crazy with advent calendars lately, but I don’t think you have to open a bottle of craft gin every day, or try a different artisanal bag of pork scratchings – I am a fan of a good old fashioned chocolate advent calendar.
A couple of years ago I got myself a Ferrero Rocher advent calendar and I’m telling you, the Ambassador has it spot on. I’m spoiling myself again this year. Thank you Boots.
Find some Christmas lights
If you thought advent calendars were a trend, Christmas illuminations are a festive bandwagon I have well and truly jumped on. I’ve been to Westonbirt Arboretum’s festive lights a couple of times, and last year our local – Hestercombe Gardens – started their own Christmas light display called Illuminate, which was very pretty.
This year I’ve discovered that you can do illuminated steam train rides on the West Somerset Railway AND the Dartmouth Steam Railway and I am giddy with anticipation.
Choose gifts that bring joy
This seems a bit of an obvious statement to make, but so often we just buy stuff that’s going to sit on a shelf or in a cupboard somewhere, just for the sake of giving a gift. What about if instead we bought presents thinking consciously about the joy that they could bring people? I did this as I browsed the Boots ‘Christmas gifts for her‘ section. I realised that often it wasn’t about how much something cost, but the value that something could bring to someone.
Toiletries for example have a bit of a bad rep for being something you get for people at Christmas when you can’t think of anything else, but the older I get the more I value them for what they represent – the opportunity to focus on yourself for a change, to do something for you over Christmas, rather than just for other people.
I absolutely love the Baylis & Harding light up bubble bath glass decanters for this. You’re not just giving someone bubble bath, you’re giving them a reason to take an hour, to run themselves a bath, and switch off from the world. AND they light up, which is just the most delightful thing ever, as you can enjoy your bath by bubble bath light.
Embrace Christmas smells
I have often considered having a pan of mulled wine on the hob throughout December, just to make the house smell of Christmas. Expensive? Maybe. Slight risk of being asleep every day by 2pm? Quite probably. There are other ways though to help your home ooze festivity. Like candles.
Buying someone a scented candle is like buying them a memory, or a feeling of warmth and cosiness. For years now I’ve been buying a seasonally themed candle for myself every Christmas from an expensive high street shop that shall remain nameless, but this year I’ve discovered that Boots do their own version and it’s AMAZING – hoorah! It’s just as good as my usual one, only better, because it has a subtle hint of my Grandma and Grandad’s floor polish when I was growing up.
The ‘White Collection’ winter spice candle is only £8 and it’s in the 3 for 2 offer where you get the cheapest free. So so good. Buy these as stocking fillers, buy them for yourself, maybe even buy them for your neighbours and use it as an excuse to get to know them and build yourself a little festive Christmas community? Before you know it you’ll be hosting a mince pie and mulled wine evening and talking about getting together to plant a communal tree. Proper joyful stuff.
Boots has a massive range of gifts this Christmas, many as part of their fantastic 3 for 2 offer, and with plenty to choose from to help bring little moments of joy to you and your loved ones. Have a browse on their website or pop in and give the winter spice a good sniff.
I promise you won’t regret it.