How to recapture the magic of Christmas!

How to recapture de Magic of Christmas!

I love the first snowfall, the Christmas decorations lighting up the early darkness, the classics we rediscover each year and sing along to while dancing around and decorating the tree. More than a month before Christmas, my daughter declared that with the first snowfall must come the tree. Never will the spirit of Christmas have arrived so early for us...

My mom heart sank a little. I knew it would come some day soon. My baby is 10 years old and has sadly realized that the Christmas elves are from the hardware store and not the North Pole! Does that mean the magic of Christmas has to disappear altogether? I hope not, but the time has come to explain to her that this type of magic is cultivated and that it’s up to us to make it last in all possible ways, because a Christmas without magic is quite sad, but a lifetime without magic is much worst.

Sweetheart, the time has come to grow from the enchanted to the magician. In a world where all that seems to matter is having more and having it faster, there isn’t much time left for being amazed and delighted. Becoming magic’s keeper is a little like mastering the magic of joy.

When this time of year approaches, my heart is torn between holiday cheer and the pressures of society, to a point where I sometimes wish I could skip right through Christmas…But if there is a time for magic, it’s the holidays, so I reason with myself and I try to make it special and MAGIC.

For some of you who may feel this same holiday pressure, I wanted to share some tips on having a simpler, greener and very magical Christmas!

1)     The Tree: Recycling and a forest hike

When I was little, in early December, we would walk through the forest with our sleigh to find THE perfect tree. This hike was our occasion for laughter, for siblings to bicker, to get some fresh air and then reward ourselves with donuts and hot chocolate when we got back. Today, instead of cutting down a tree, we collect the already fallen branches and, with a bit of rope or twine, make up our own tree…We still bicker and the donuts and hot chocolate are just as delicious! If you do decide to cut down a tree, remember to plant one back in the Spring.


2)     The decorations

Why not make a few decorations each year with things found around the house? Old sweaters, fabric, craft products, photos from the past year, and voilà. Every year, the tree fills up a little more while proudly showcasing memories from the years before.


3)     Local design

If you feel like treating yourself and updating your holiday wardrobe, ideally, buy from a local designer and try to buy clothes that you will wear a good thirty times before passing them on. Think of recycling or offering clothing you don’t wear anymore to make room in your closet for your new wardrobe.


4)     New traditions

If a certain tradition annoys or pressures you, make a new one! Why not have a pyjama Christmas party? Traditions are important, but nothing keeps us from reinventing them or making new ones to fit our values and budget.


5)     Rethinking gift giving

One great way to rethink gift giving is simply to talk about it, about the meaning of the holiday, the reason behind the gifts and the importance of appreciating what we already have. What do we really need? What would bring us joy? What are we willing to give? What would we like to offer? Some things we don’t use anymore could very much please someone else. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure


Offer your time: Some of our unique talents are worth sharing, whether it be teaching web skills, drawing, sewing or cooking lessons, being someone’s stylist or decorator for a day, etc. The possibilities are endless!


Make a list of things you need throughout the year and be patient ! Use the holidays as an occasion to give to the people you love the things they need. Whether it be bedding, tableware, clothing, new shoes or decorations, think of buying quality, organic and recycled products. Visit local merchants and take advantage of Christmas markets to buy from craftsmen. Most importantly, wait until Santa has passed through with his sleigh to offer them, a few weeks more or less won’t make much a difference…right?. Don’t forget to give or recycle the items which will have been replaced.


6)     Have some “YOU” time

I don’t know about you, but I tend to give more than I receive. Taking time for ourselves can mean taking a nap, reading a book, going for a jog or a walk, or a night out with friends. It’s a wonderful way to prepare our bodies and minds to give in return. Our energy is transferable but it’s a little difficult to fill a glass with an empty pitcher. Taking care of ourselves benefits those around us!


7)     Play with the kids

Board games, karaoke, dancing, pillow fights or winter sports; it’s time for fun and laughter. Set your ego and seriousness aside, and get back in touch with your inner-child.


8)     Eat, drink and be local

Cook within your budget using locally grown products paired with delicious wines, beers or spirits made close to home. There’s my way to relax; supporting local jobs and protecting the environment while preserving the meaning and the spirit of Christmas.


Long live Santa Clause and the elves and may the magic of Christmas remain!

What are your ideas for a simpler, greener, very magical Christmas?

Julie Rochefort