Christmas Cheer

Christmas Cheer

Sometimes, you just need to make your own feel-good, your own brand of JOLLY-NESS. We're almost at the end of 2023 and may ask where has the time gone? I always believe in generating our own magic and self-belief; even when life feels tough, it's your response that matters.

Breaking out the Christmas cheer early can be a way to lift your mood. Christmas has vital social, cultural and religious functions. Christmas holidays bring people together, says sociologist Emily Durkheim. She calls it 'collective effervescence', the positive mood that comes from the joy of sharing activities with others. However, without intention, the Christmas rituals can become empty, therefore, injecting some meaning offers focus. For example, the Christmas tree symbolises rebirth, the branches immortality and alludes to the Garden of Eden. Decorations were simple, candles and pine cones; now, candles have been replaced by lights, symbolic of the source and bringing this light into our homes.

Aroma is another deliciously potent ritual to shift your mood and inject the atmosphere with a warm, uplifting ambience. Through exploration, you can paint the sensory-scape that resonates best with your needs at different times. Sweet Orange will quell anxiety, Lavender will calm, and Geranium will liberate. Incense and candles transport you to childhood memories, while Frankincense and Myrrh,  suggest ancient rituals, Fir needles, a fresh high-altitude aroma in contrast to the deep, dark smokiness of Vetiver's smell of mulchy forest floors. 

Scent can be infused through cooking, too, whether it is the comfort of spiced cinnamon buns or the rich aroma of a dark chocolate ganache. Spices like clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon evoke a cosy, inviting atmosphere. So many traditions are representations of ancient rites and customs that have filtered into our psyche. They offer comfort and connection with old familiar rituals that mark significant times in the year and our lives. 

Whether a ritual is shared by many, a family or on your own, it still holds enormous positivity and power, creating stability and structure that offer great psychological benefits when anxiety levels are soaring. Sharing a collective intention becomes a powerful lifeboat. Rituals are individual actions repeated in a specific pattern, imbued with personal meaning and symbolism. Festivities highlight the things to be grateful for, and this gratitude also increases our sense of well-being.