Way way back in September I had a moment of inspiration: I saw Under the Rowan Tree’s excellent Advent Journal box, and loved the idea, but in the spirit of creativity decided that I would take the same amount of money (£75) and create my own reuseable Advent box.
I wrote about being inspired to create the box, about deciding on the mindful words to focus on each day and finally about the Christmas journalling prompts I would be using. Now, I’m ready to unveil the finished product:
Here it is, on the table next to my chair and ready to be put into good use next Wednesday. (since taking this photo, I’ve actually cleaned and reorganised the living room, so now it sits on a different table next to my chair: still accessible, still ready to go and still making me smile every time I look at it)
I’m very pleased with it. After the initial cost of the box and the Leuchtturm journal, everything else was pretty much budget. And it is ready to keep me mindful for a whole month at least.
The box was this wooden one from Amazon. I painted it using ordinary acrylics, and decorated the lid edge with Tulip fabric paints in white and red. It’s large enough to fit a4 size paper inside, so plenty big enough to hold a good selection of stuff.
The journal is a Nordic Blue Leuchtturm 1917. I love them, they’re my favourite notebook, and when I slide back into my notebook bullet journal planner, they’re my book of choice. Dotted, not lined, because I find them easier to draw in and decorate.
Tea wise, I finally plumped for Pukka’s Festive Tea selection. The flavours are spicy Christmas, with ginger, chai and cinnamon and apple, so good ones to enjoy as part of my Christmas self care.
A scented candle will help me focus as well, and I went for a local one: The Liverpool Candle Company’s Beside the Fire, which is a pleasant blend of cinnamon, amber and other soft scents. I’m saving this one only for my journal writing.
A daily nibble seemed like a good idea, so I treated myself to a couple of boxes of Turkish Delight thins and After Eight Mints. I’ve combined them, so every day I get a taste of an After Eight AND a Turkish Delight. I know how to live.
I had planned to put a daily craft in the box as well, but there isn’t enough space for the craft I eventually found, which is a felting Advent Calendar by The Crafty Kit Company. I’ll keep it in its original jute bag just tucked beside my chair and probably get on with it as I watch my daily movie.
Every day I have a journal question to answer, a quotation to consider, a recommended film to watch and an action to do, which may be either an actual action or something to think about. I’m writing a daily post which will go up early morning GMT. I can’t decide whether to share the films in advance with you, or not… what do you think?…. but you already have the journal questions in a previous post.
My intention is to do my journalling first thing in the morning, when I wake up. I’ll light the candle, open the notebook and spend a few minutes mindfully thinking about Christmas. The rest of my Advent fun will have to wait until I get home from work, around 4.30 or 5pm most days, when I will sit, after setting any meal preparation in place, and enjoy watching the daily Christmas movie, nibbling my treats and sipping my tea or making my advent craft for that day. I’m fully aware these times are likely to be altered, and I’m not such a perfectionist that I expect to do them every single day. Life’s not like that.
If you’d like to join me on my Advent journey to a mindful Christmas, these are the daily themes I’m following. I’d be honoured if you’d consider reading me daily, writing a response either here or on any of my social medias, or write your own blog and share with me. 2020/2021 has been a hard time for the whole world, and still seems likely to get harder. By being mindful, present, hyggering as much as possible and supporting each other whatever our own personal issues, we’ll stand a better chance of emerging intact. Use the hashtags #MindfulChristmas2021 and #MindfulHygge to link up.
Today’s header is my advent box in situ and ready to use. Roll on 1st December, eh? Although, I don’t know about you, but a little Christmas has been creeping gradually into my house week by week. My mantelpiece is already done, my living room has gathered gnomes from across the house and even my kitchen has Christmas aprons out… it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
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.