If you are looking for some new rituals to share with your loved ones over the holiday season, look no further. We’ve hunted around for some lovely holiday traditions that all foster a spirit of togetherness, thoughtfulness and comfort. Whether you adapt these to suit your personal preferences, or wholeheartedly embrace an established ritual, we hope these ideas will bring a fresh energy and joyful time for you and your family and friends.
Jolabokaflod (Iceland) – Holiday Traditions
Iceland is well known to be a book-loving nation. In fact 1 in 10 people there will publish a book, they have incredibly high literacy levels and Icelanders place great value on the giving of physical books as gifts. So much so that there is a special tradition known as ‘Jolabokaflod’, in which families gather on Christmas Eve, give each other books and then spend the evening reading. People may take their books to bed along with a hot chocolate, or sit together in front of a fire reading quietly. We think this is such a wonderful idea, and a perfect way to calm any pre-Christmas excitement and help children settle down to bed (though we can’t guarantee it will prevent that 4AM wake-up call when they spot their stockings…).
We love the sound of Jolabokaflod, and to make it more affordable and sustainable will be buying second-hand books this year. We plan to combine this with the giving of Christmas pyjamas, so everyone can properly snuggle up before the big day (this brand are making special Jolabokaflod pyjamas if that’s your thing). You could also suggest that everyone reads aloud from a section of their book so you can all share your stories.
Farolito lanterns (Mexico) – Holiday Traditions
This Mexican custom is focussed on bringing light and happiness to the whole community. Intricate designs are cut into brown paper bags, then a candle is placed inside (resting on some sand to keep the lantern steady) and they are set out along pavements and windowsills around the local area. Some of these displays are large and impressive, but a small collection of farolito lanterns in your front yard or along your street could be a lovely way to light up your town.
Furniture fix-up (Guyana) – Holiday Traditions
In Guyana, and across the Caribbean, a pre-Christmas tradition is the polishing, fixing and cleaning of household furniture. Curtains are washed or replaced if they are tatty, furniture is waxed and polished and even covered over until the feasting on Christmas Day to keep it looking perfect. We like the idea of getting the house in order before the chaos descends. It’s often hard to keep the house clean when you are busy hosting, cooking, and endlessly tidying up piles of wrapping paper and new toys. With this tradition, at least you know you will go into the festivities with a spick-and-span home. Just don’t expect it to look like that by the end.
Ancestor worship (China) – Holiday Traditions
As the majority of the Chinese population are not Christians, Christmas is not a huge deal there. Instead, the main focus is on the Chinese New Year in January. Part of this is the celebration and remembrance of ancestors, and this could be a nice tradition to incorporate into your holiday festivities. Photographs and pictures of family members who have passed away are hung in the main rooms as a way of celebrating their lives and keeping them close at this important time. If you have pictures that you’d like to display, you could set aside an afternoon during the holidays to place these around the house, or on the mantlepiece, telling stories of your ancestors or just remembering people who are no longer with us.
In Finland it is traditional to visit cemeteries on the evening of Christmas Day, placing lanterns on the graves, with a similar intention of keeping alive the memories of lost loved ones.
Advent windows (Switzerland) – Holiday Traditions
This is a lovely, and very sociable, tradition that originated in Switzerland but can now be found elsewhere. The focus here is on Advent. Each house on a street (or in a village) is allocated one day on which to mark the coming of Christmas. The windows are then decorated on this chosen date, and the household hold a party for people in the village or on the street, offering guests food and mulled wine. This seems like a perfect excuse for 24 days of solid partying, and a great way to get to know people in your area. If the party aspect seems a bit too much, you could allocate each household on your road a day in Advent and ask them to make a window display connected to their number.
We hope these have given you some ideas if you are looking for new traditions or rituals to help you celebrate the festive season. And if you prefer a quiet, simple holiday time tucked up under a blanket with a plate of roast potatoes, then we wish you well too.
If you have any traditions you’d like to share, we would love to hear them. Just drop us a comment below.
Do you ever have that thing when, as the season changes, you look into your clothes drawers or closet and realise you have NOTHING to wear? The weather here changed so dramatically in the space of just a few days taking us from shorts to woolly socks seemingly overnight. And there seems to be very little in the closet that will actually work for right now. If you are organised, your fall/winter wardrobe will be stored safely awaiting this change in temperature and you can just switch them around. But if, like us, you just seem to have no appropriate clothes, here’s how to clear out your closet and make your wardrobe work for you this season.
To get started, empty all your clothes onto the bed. Hold each item in turn and ask yourself these questions:
In the summer you want easy-to-wear, comfortable linen clothes that work with lots of things in your wardrobe and that don’t need lots of special care. Simple, unfussy, hard-wearing items that you can throw on for a trip to the beach or a picnic, or just for pottering around the house. Linen really comes into its own in the warmer summer months. It’s lightweight, cool (it regulates your body temperature so you stay comfortable all day), easy to pack for vacations, easy to care for and looks great on its own or layered on chilly evenings.
If you are looking to add some linen garments to your capsule wardrobe, or need some beautiful linen clothes, linen dresses or linen tunics for an upcoming holiday, here’s our edit of essential things you will love this summer.
If you’ve been gripped by the energy of renewal that Spring brings, you may be turning to your home and tackling those areas that are in need of some TLC. Brighter, sunnier days can show up smeary windows that have been curtained off throughout the Winter. Bulky woollies might need to be stored away, leaving space for fresh, lighter clothes. Now that you can throw open the windows those tired corners can get a lick of paint, and heavy drapes can be replaced by lightweight linen curtains. Spring cleaning needed be a massive task – just focussing for 15 minutes on each room can bring some Springtime sparkle into your house, and even the busiest of us can find this small amount of time for some sprucing. To get you inspired, here are 5 Spring cleaning essentials to put the fun back into housework and the beauty back into your cleaning cupboard.
Linen makes the ideal choice for clothing and bedding in summer. It’s magically quick to dry, wicks moisture away from your skin, is breathable and lightweight, and perfect for travel (more on packing for a trip here). To keep your linen happy and looking beautiful this summer, follow these simple tips.
We at Linenbeauty are hereby proclaiming the linen tunic as a hero of our wardrobe. Linen is renowned for its moisture-wicking properties, its airy comfort and being quick drying, which makes it the perfect fabric to wear in summer. We all need those garments that we can rely on to make us look and feel great, whatever the occasion. To show you how versatile a linen tunic can be we have put together 5 different outfits that will see you from the office to the beach and happily into autumn.
With spring approaching faster and faster every day most of us start thinking about relaxing in the rooftop gardens, cycling around the city and late afternoon barbeques in the garden. When the burgers and hot dogs are ready, remember to think about several more things that you’ll need to make your barbeque just perfect.
Spring is already here, and so is the perfect time to change your wardrobe and loose those warm winter clothes. With shopping centres full of different types of clothing we’ve decided to lend a helping hand and give out some fashion advice for spring 2016. This spring comes with new styles and colour combinations and here are some of the most popular ones:
February is one of the months that give us a headache. Valentine’s Day gifts can become a real challenge when it comes to finding the perfect gift for your loved one. Well worry no more – we are here to help you out with the greatest romantic gifts for February that you could imagine.