Some weekends are made for quiet pootling, just a little shifting of location or a shuffle through some magazines.
Others are made for having a list and checking it twice.
In my determination to have Christmas sewn up, wrapped and ready to roll on December 1st, I’ve been getting a few things ready steadily during the month. Readers will remember that I’ve been making an Advent Journal Box inspired by one I saw online. I’ve been painting, prepping and putting things on one side to prepare. This weekend it was the turn of the box top itself, and the journal cards inside.
The wreath and tree need decorations, but otherwise I’m happy with the effect. And there’s a space next to the nisse/tomte/gnome (delete as preferred) that I’m going to use for a quote: “I will honour Christmas in my Heart”.
And I spent a few hours compiling the journal prompts for inside the box. I’m going to print these out on cream paper, probably in small squares that fit into the daily cards, and then I can juggle them round from year to year, so I never do the same prompt on the same day.
They’re arranged by theme, so this year I will be following them strictly in order. Next year… well, who knows?
Christmas and Winter
- Which season of the year is your favourite, and why?
- How do you add cosiness, warmth and comfort to your home for winter? What else would you like to do?
- What simple things make you happy? How can you make room in your life for experiencing more of them?
- What does a perfect Christmas season day look like to you?
- What’s the signature scent of your home at Christmas? How do you do this?
- If you could compile a day filled with your favourite meals, what would they be, and why?
- Today is a day off for you to do exactly what you want. You wake up, look out the window and it’s snowing. What are you going to do?
Gratitude and Simplicity
- How have you simplified your Christmas celebrations? Are there things you could do to make it even better?
- What one thing would you like to add to your life during Christmas or the winter that would make it better?
- What are your top three ways to relax and unwind at Christmas?
- What does a peaceful life mean to you?
- How do you add gratitude and gratefulness to your days?
- List 50 things that you are grateful for.
- Think back to your favourite Christmas childhood memory. Describe what you felt. What makes that memory so special? How does it make you feel now?
- What do you miss most about being a child?
- If you could live any day from your childhood one more time, which one would it be? What made it so special?
- What was your favourite Christmas book from childhood? What made it special to you?
- Which three scents sum up your childhood Christmases? How can you incorporate them into your life now, assuming you want to?
- What sounds do you remember from your childhood Christmases? How do they make you feel now?
- What was your favourite Christmas food as a child? Do you like it now, do you ever have it? Why did you like it then?
- What’s your favourite Christmas scene from a book? What makes it speak to you?
- Which Christmas song is your favourite? Is it the song or the artist that makes it so?
- Which Christmas movie would you most like to crawl into and live in, and why?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go? Describe your perfect day in that place.
- Describe your perfect Christmas Day. Is it the same as, or different from, the one you have now? Can you do anything to make reality and ideal closer?
Romjul or Twixmas: Rounding off the Year Well
- What’s your favourite coffee shop or restaurant, and what makes it so special?
- How do you express your creativity?
- Are there any creative skills or arts you’d like to have or improve on?
- Have you ever felt ‘flow’ in your life? When was it and what were you doing?
- You can spend a day in any way you like, as long as you are ‘expressing your creativity’. What would you choose to do?
- What have you done so far this year that you are proud of?
- Someone has asked you to compile your 10 Rules for Living Well: what are they?
- What is your perfect winter season day?
- When was the last time you felt in awe of something?
- How would you like to be remembered after you’re gone? Write your own eulogy, your funeral farewell speech.
- Write a letter to yourself dated for a year from today. What are you hoping to have achieved in that year?
There are 36 questions: enough to see you through to Twelfth Night, with a day off for Christmas Day. I don’t intend doing every single one every single year, but enough to let me capture Christmas and enjoy the experience. I’d love it if you’d join in as well. Let me know below if you keep any sort of daily/ special event journal especially around the holidays, or if you record your holiday memories in any other way!
I’m in the middle of a busy week at work, but hopefully later on I can get back here and attach a pdf of the prompts in complete form, when I’ve printed them out for my box. I’ll slide one each into my daily gnome cards, and that’s the Advent box almost ready.
And I finally found a daily craft to do!
The Crafty Kit Company had a felting advent calendar on offer, with 12 complete projects to make. I quite like the idea of having only 12 to do: Christmas can be stressed enough already without placing extra stress on to do something crafty daily. The bag came last week, and it is beautiful: 24 numbered parcels, a book of instructions and a range of projects. I think December will be even calmer this year, especially if I get to stick needles into felt and take out all my frustrations every other day!
Today’s header is simply the top of my advent box again. I will finish it tonight, tomorrow and possibly try to capture some decent photos of it again next weekend.
How to Hygge the British Way is my gift to the world. I don’t get paid for writing it, I’m not in it for the kudos, financial rewards, to become an influencer, work with brands or otherwise make any money from the blog. That’s why there are no ads, and any products I mention and recommend have either been gifted to me or bought by me with my everyday wages or donations from supporters. Every book I review has been bought and read by me, unless stated otherwise.
I do get a couple of pennies each time someone buys from the Amazon links on my page, as an Amazon Affiliate, but otherwise if you’d like to support me, I like to give something back in return. That’s why I write books. It always feels good if you get a book back in return for some money. You can find a full list of my books at my Author’s Page on Amazon, but especially recommended for this time of year are:
Cosy Happy Hygge: Setting up a rhythm to life and rituals to enjoy it to make for a more balanced life that handles waves and storms better. It has daily, weekly and monthly ideas for ways to craft a life that supports you in living happier.
Happier: Probably my most personal book, it’s the story of how I used hygge and the little things in life to help boost my happiness. I still go back and reread to remind myself what I need to do to be a happy human.
And how to Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas? Christmas is about the small things in life, much as hygge is, and establishing what you want from Christmas and then being able to say no to the excess is important. The book has hints and tips that hopefully will help you enjoy what is, too often, a frantic season.
Available as just an ebook, and a short, sharp read, is Enjoying a Self-Care Christmas: Easy Ways to keep the Joy of Christmas, and your Sanity, intact. It’s an easy read, with ideas and hints to keep you sane through the season. The self-care advent calendar is one I’ve followed for a few years now, and it really is a small daily dose of calm in a manic month.
And on the basis that we may well find ourselves in Lockdowns or unable to enjoy an absolutely normal Christmas under Covid regulations if numbers spike, why not read and plan alternatives? Celebrating a Contagious Christmas was written in response to the pandemic last year, and will need updating soon, but it is about celebrating whatever the situation, and does have good advice on stocking up an emergency cupboard, celebrating when travelling to relatives is impossible and putting the heart of Christmas back into the heart of the celebrations.
If you’d like to support me, but don’t want to buy a book, I have a Paypal.Me account as Hygge Jem. Every little helps, so even a few pence goes towards the books, goods and courses I use and recommend on the site. I’m grateful for every little bit that brings me closer to my dream of full-time writing, and I know I couldn’t still be writing if it weren’t for the support of many readers and friends out there. Thank you all for every little bit of support, emotional, physical and financial, you give me.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it or save it so others can enjoy reading, thinking about and living hygge as well.