Peace Christmas Hearth

Oh, Christmas…

For all the joy and magic of this festive season, there’s no doubt that Christmas brings with it a good deal of extra work and things to do. There are the parties and visits to and from friends and family… Then there’s all that present planning and buying, wrapping and giving… There’s all that extra food shopping and cooking and baking… And on top of all that, there’s also a considerable seasonal serving of extra housework.

Now, before I get all Ebenezer on you, let me just stress that I am a huge fan of Christmas. I absolutely love it. I think I enjoy it even more now than I did when I was a child. Having two small children of my own definitely adds to the magic and sense of excitement and wonder, but even in the quiet moments of planning and organising, the Christmas season always makes me smile.

This is in spite of the extra work, though, rather than because of it.

So, in my attempt to get maximum enjoyment from the festivities with minimum amounts of stress and frantic frenzies, I have a few ideas for a Calmer Christmas Karma. These are lessons I’ve learnt about what makes for a happier time for all concerned – not least, myself. (And why not, Christmas is for grown-ups, too!)


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 girl put your records on

Any regular readers will no doubt be aware that I have a natural aversion to housework. This is not to say I don’t do it – I want to live in a pleasant and comforting home, so needs must etc… But generally speaking it’s not top of my list of things I want to do.

So you probably won’t be too surprised to discover that when I do eventually shift my gears into housework mode, I race about at a frenzied pace, trying to get the jobs done and dusted (literally) as quickly as possible.

Now there is nothing wrong with working quickly, if that’s how you work happiest. Also, there may be times when a brisk pace is essential (ie impending guests are looming). Quite often, though, I have no need to rush the housework, other than my in-built urge to get it over with. And I have also noticed that these domestic frenzies don’t leave me feeling satisfied and competent, instead they actually they wind me up. They make me anxious and tense. So not only do I begrudge the work as I’m tearing through it, but when it’s over, I feel slightly glum or more than a little snappish. Hardly domestic bliss.


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What if….?

I am not a natural-born bedmaker. When I see an unmade bed, I am not overwhelmed with an urge to make it. I am more often overwhelmed with an urge to go into another room.

However, I do admit to a slight blip of happiness when I see a beautifully made bed. I love to see a sumptuous and inviting slumber-zone, with plentiful plumped-up pillows and creaseless sheets (a la the gorgeous Beachy Cottage).

So, how to combine this love of bedded-bliss with my strong housework-avoidance streak…?


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Some days, for no particular reason, you’re just in a slump. You’re human. It happens. So, for these occasions, you’ll need to bypass logic and go straight to emotions.

Cue my Top Ten Emergency Uppers…

1. Look for the silver lining. However bad things are, there is always something positive you can focus on. If it’s any consolation, there will always be someone worse off than you.

2. Find clues in the opposite. If things are getting you down, that’s a clue to what would bring you up – so focus on that. Collect images of how you would like things to be. Select pictures or photos of your ideal situation. If the state of the house is depressing you, look at pictures of beautiful interiors. If your children are driving you mad, look at a photo of them being angelic and adorable.

3. Know your Rescue Remedies. Make a list of all the things that always make you smile, no matter how low you go. It could be books, places, people. Look for the sparks, those little gems of life that always bring a smile to your face. Only you know what they are.


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