I have a winning Christmas mantra this year that goes, “I refuse to stress”. There are many reasons for stress during the holiday season, and I believe that without kids, I am spared of most of them.
Hi, My name is Johanne, and I refuse to stress. I also run a blog focused on sustainable fashion called www.bedremode.nu, and I am happy to share my thoughts on traditions and presents.
But the biggest stress factor for me I believe — like for many others — are my own expectations. Expectations taking the shape of homemade Christmas cookies, a clean and well-decorated house, the perfect gift for grandma and attending fabulous Christmas parties.
So this year I said ‘no’ to the alarming voice in my head, and decided only to participate in the traditions that bring me the most joy with a stress-free mindset. Totally Mari Kondo and all.
My Most Loved Scandinavian Christmas Traditions:
- Finding my old Christmas decorations and scattering them all over the house. Our decorations don’t necessarily have a theme, but each piece has a history, a story to tell. These knitted Christmas balls were a gift from a friend, who learned to knit them all by herself.
- Having bowls of Christmas snacks standing out. I don’t know about the rest of Scandinavia, but in Denmark we eat so many clementines in December, and I eat my fair share along with cacao covered dates, marzipan bites and nuts.
- Lighting candles and just hanging out at home. I think December is best enjoyed in slow motion, and candles need paying a little attention in interior. So I light some, then find a good book (or blog) and just enjoy the cosy, dim-lit atmosphere at home.
- Going for an evening walk through the city centre to enjoy the lights. I make sure to go after the stores have closed and the stressful shoppers have vanished. That way I can take a good friend for a walk and just enjoy the decorations, merry atmosphere and festive lights.
- Contemplating the perfect present for my grandmother. This year my family decided to draw names from a hat and only buy presents for one family member. Much more stress-free! I drew my grandmother, and I am determined to get her a great sustainable present she will remember for long.
"But the biggest stress factor for me I believe — like for many others — are my own expectations."
Get Creative with Stylish and Conscious Presents
When it comes to presents, I like giving a mix of practical and stylish. I have picked some of my favourite conscious presents this year.
Soy candles are much better for your home’s air quality, so stacking up on them for you and your loved ones can make a better, cleaner and more cosy Christmas. Since I switched I haven’t looked back. http://webshop.mirins.dk/collections/candles/products/soy-candle-recharge-lemon-ginger-lemongrass
Luxurious socks are great for people who don’t want anything. I don’t believe many people would buy expensive socks for themselves, but once they try these, they might become addicted. So be aware. https://www.aiayu.com/collection/accessories/aiayu-friends-single-pack.html
Yoga pants in organic cotton for the sister or friend, who is always on the move. These from Danish The Baand are made from soft pima cotton, and look good for both workout and relaxing. http://www.thebaand.dk/collections/yoga/products/melissa-rib-leggings
Window farm starter kit for the garden lovers who live in the city. The Urban Garden Company have made starter boxes with organic seeds which makes getting your green thumb on so easy, it’s hard not to want to start growing. http://urbangardencompany.dk/collections/startboxe/products/basis-startbox
Recycled beanie. If I was gifting a guy this season, I would get this hat from Swedish brand Nudie Jeans — they have been sustainability forerunners for years, and I love how they are turning cotton waste into great hats. https://www.nudiejeans.com/product/nicholson-recycled-beanie-blackmelange