Smother yourself in the festive season

Posted on: 31st December, 2013

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

"Who says that giving a gift of a candle is boring? I object furiously to that. You can never have enough candles, they add warmth and intimacy to any room."

It’s that merry old jingle bell time again, it didn’t just creep up on us it drove straight into us this year! Come on, wake up, leave all your troubles and your worries behind and smother yourself in the festive season. Yes, of course, everyone has less to spend this year than ever before but what that really means is that we will be ever so careful what we spend our money on. No ‘thoughtless’ gifts, I think that most of us are looking for quality or practical gifts and it is no surprise that the shops are reflecting that.

Bystander apathy is something that I abhor and believe me there is plenty of it about at the moment! On that note might I suggest that we all pay particular attention to those ‘who have not’ this Christmas. As it is the ‘season for giving’ and most of us have everything we already need and want, change your focus and give back or ‘pay it forward’. If you can stretch your purse give someone/anyone who is struggling in our ‘shitty economic climate’, through no fault of their own, the gift of heat, a few bags of coal, some timber or even a supermarket voucher. Yes guys, things are that hard for some and we have a responsibility to help. It doesn’t matter if you hardly know the person or have just heard a story in passing, give anonymously! All that matters is that you know that you helped out rather than nattering over a coffee how terrible it is that so-and-so is struggling to stay afloat and you chose to do nothing. So the absolute best present that you can give this year is some help, be the bigger person, nobody needs to know and these are the things that help to put you straight off to sleep when your head touches the pillow at night! Kill ‘two birds with one stone’ and I insist that you shop local – give a deserving gift and buy it in one of our hardworking local shops; complete satisfaction all round. Do this kind act, let it be the first ‘big’ present that you buy this year and, trust me, the universe will reward you tenfold.

Now don’t be alarmed when I say that close to the top of my Christmas wish list is one of those chic jumpers/sweaters that are popping up all over. Take it from one who is terrified of getting the ‘flu’, I welcome with open arms this seasons’ rekindling love of jumpers that are both funky and definitely practical. Cable knits, stripes, fluffy or just elegant wool, the choice is yours and the cropped ones look fab over just about anything…short dresses, skirts and jeans.

I absolutely know that wearing a hat can wreck your ‘do’ but when the cold hits it’s all about staying warm and anyway, who could resist a ‘bobble hat’. Yes they are reminiscent of certain tea-cosies that we had to knit in fifth class but oh how funky just the same. These hats are a wonderful stocking filler ’cause you can buy them for as little as €7 or €8 or you could give a more expensive one (€30) as a main and much appreciated present. I want one!

Realistically speaking we all have lots of little ‘party’ dresses or sparkly bits to see us through the Christmas party season so what you should be spending your money on is ‘good day wear that you can transform slightly to wear in the evening as well. The monochrome look is everywhere, so what?; it’s still wonderful and easy to wear. While we are re-visiting this style, the new twist is to accessorise with bright shoes/jewellery or bags for extra wow. The golden rule is that wearing a monochrome piece means that everything else needs to be a solid colour and yes of course the temptation is always there to wear it with black — and why not, it looks fantastic. Be careful if you are carrying a ‘little’ weight, this pattern can exaggerate it so choose the smaller print; it’s a bit more subtle. A goddess-style fitted dress in monochrome looks sensational, not flashy just really elegant. Look for a dress with some solid black panel-ing down the sides, it will give a great shape and work wonders on your hips.

There is lots of lovely ‘blue’ about. An easy colour to wear during the day yet it can also be so elegant in the evening. Don’t be afraid to mix different shades of blue together or different textures and it’s a winner on blondes, brunettes or redheads so pick yourself up a few blue bits!

Who says that giving a gift of a candle is boring? I object furiously to that. You can never have enough candles, they add warmth and intimacy to any room and when you find one that has an incredible aroma then you might simply have been given a glimpse of heaven! I have to say that you should avoid the artificially scented ones — they are a headache waiting to happen — and there is an endless variety of natural oil candles out there. I have two favourites, Max Benjamin and L’occitane candles, not cheap but the feel good factor is ‘through the roof’ and it is all about feeling good, isn’t it?

Perfumes are always a ‘safe’ gift and when I say ‘safe’ I don’t mean boring, I mean that every woman or girl loves getting a gift of perfume. The ultimate gift for any One Direction fan, whether she is seven or 17 is a beautiful pink box, covered in the boy’s faces of One Direction Perfume. You have a choice of two size/prices, €28 or €40. This ‘fruity’ fragrance is sure to put a big smile on any girl’s face.

For the man in your life, there is always Gucci’s Premiere Gift Set; he will smell good enough to eat because it is glorious. For your dear friend, have a look at Dolce and Gabana’s The One. It’s classy and elegant with just a hint of power, the perfect gift. Finally every Christmas wish list should have a Clarins Gift set on it. I’ve had a ‘root’ around and if you want quality at an incredible price then Clarins Top to Toe Pampering gift set is a steal at €55, it normally sells for €110. It has a full size hand and nail cream and a beauty flash balm and trials of One Step Exfoliator, Eye Contour Gel, Hydraquench Cream and Moisture Rich Body Lotion. It’s the ultimate gift set by a company that ensure satisfaction and results.

Now go merrily and safely and really enjoy what Christmas is really all about – huge fires, too much food, lots of laughter, lots of tears, wrapping paper everywhere, no fixed schedules  and connecting with people that you hold dear. Make the absolute most of it!

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