The Christmas break should be a magical time. But have you ever listed those magical elements that makes it particularly special to you, ensuring you emerge from the holiday break feeling restored?

No, perhaps not, so for this piece I’m going to share some of mine…

Being honest, over the years quite a few of my Christmas breaks haven’t always been that happy, beaming family time that we see reflected in the media.

Some were extraordinarily needy because my father hated Christmas (and I so wanted him to enjoy it). Then others culminated in total exhaustion through my determination to provide the perfect Christmas memories for four children. One year was just utterly bleak as my treasured marriage finally ended moving into separate homes a week before the holiday break. And then there were all those silent Christmas days I’ve spent alone, unable to bear visiting friends comfortable in their rich family dynamic.

Looking back I can now see, that despite everything, there have always been magical threads running through each of those tough holiday breaks. By identifying those threads, I’m able to weave into my Christmas a richness that carries me forward, whether I am with family, with friends or alone. They allow me to tune into myself more deeply too, linking my past with the present.

So here are some of my magic ingredients for Christmas…

  • Knowing that on 22nd December the days start to get longer
  • Allowing myself time and space to reflect quietly on the amazing variety of the last twelve months – people, places, activities, ideas
  • Finding quiet space and time to talk at length to the those that truly matter, whether on the phone or curled up together on the sofa
  • Not getting caught up in partying or seeing people that impact badly on my emotional or mental well-being
  • Taking a long candlelit bath to cherish my body, complete with my own version of a pedicure, manicure, skin buff, oils
  • Treating my taste buds to flavours redolent of Christmas past – mince pies, ginger wine, chestnuts
  • Cooking together with my children and friends
  • Walking outside in the cold, cold air of a winter afternoon, with the pinch of frost on your nose and fingers, looking at the black tree silhouettes, and the lights starting to blink on
  • Lit candles on my desk, beside my bed, on the table – hygge at its best
  • Glass tree decorations sparkling in the light – I don’t need a tree to relish unpacking these beautiful objects each year ready to decorate my home
  • Understanding that for millenia this time of year in the northern hemisphere is about dark, reflection, quiet, cold to allow yourself time to bide a while
  • Vibrant red amaryllis lilies in a vase

This is my list, but what matters is that you identify your own magic threads… Understand what is important for you to focus on at this time of year, whether life is amazing, or a bit hard going. Use this magic and this time of year as a secret battery pack to regenerate your energy so when the new year approaches, you are rested, mentally and emotionally restored ready to make the most of that exciting time of planning and renewal.

I wish you a magical Christmas woven from the threads that matter to you.

Erica Wolfe MurrayAbout the author

Erica Wolfe-Murray works across the creative, cultural and tech sector helping companies to innovate through imaginative use of their intellectual assets/IP.  Referred to by as ‘a leading innovation and business expert’, she has recently published ‘Simple Tips, Smart Ideas : Build a Bigger, Better Business’.  Full of easy-to-use advice on innovative ways to grow your business. Available from Foyles, Amazon and all other good bookshops.

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