Christmas Day survival tips


6_cover_1200x600As kids, it’s that one magical day we spend all year looking forward to. But for many adults, Christmas loses its lustre and turns into a source of stress and anxiety. The collision of scorching summer temperatures, the arrival of extended family, and perhaps one too many glasses of champagne can leave you with a festive hangover … in more ways than one.

Short of booking an overseas holiday, how does one survive the big day unscathed? Here are our top tips to enjoy the festive season.

1. Be sensible about gifts

Finances can get stretched to the limit at Christmas, particularly if you’ve got an extended family and friends you want to share the joy with. This year, set yourself sensible price limits and think about practical, useful gifts you could give instead. Set up a Secret Santa tradition with the extended family, too, so you don’t have to buy gifts for all the nieces and nephews.

2. Get outside

We’re lucky enough in the southern hemisphere to have some glorious summer weather over the festive season. If you aren’t eating your Christmas meal outside, make sure you take time to step out and enjoy the sunshine. Tempers can quickly fray and family tensions surface when the clan is cooped up around the air-conditioner. Take a walk to burn off Christmas lunch and breathe in some fresh air.

3. Share the jobs

Make sure whoever is hosting your Christmas gathering doesn’t end up saddled with all the tasks – from stuffing the turkey to baking the perfect pudding. Guests want to feel useful, so give them something to do to help the day run smoothly. Share out the meal preparation in advance, and get everyone to help with table clearing and cleaning up.

4. Limit the booze

From champagne breakfasts to brandy soaked puddings, it is easy to overindulge in alcohol on Christmas Day. It might be the great social lubricant, but we all know it does your old Uncle Arthur no favours. You’re probably not going to be able to control what everyone else drinks, but try to limit your own alcohol consumption and make sure there are non-alcoholic beverages on offer. And maybe give Uncle Arthur a wide berth…

5. Make your own traditions

Sometimes Christmas can start to feel like one long marathon social engagement, fitting in all the family lunches and dinners. It’s not always possible to do it all, and you’ll end up exhausted. Take the time to reflect on what you most love about the season and start your own traditions – perhaps a simple picnic at the beach or a rousing rendition of Christmas carols around a campfire. Whatever works for you.

(And, if the turkey’s drying in the oven and the kids are going feral in the backyard, don’t despair. Keep a soothing sniff box up your sleeve and take a few deep breaths. Christmas calm will be restored in no time.)


5 tips that make scents these holidays

Scents of the holiday season can be incredibly evocative. Citronella and sunscreen take us straight to summer holidays spent by the water; while cinnamon and cloves transport us to family kitchens where delicious Christmas feasts are lovingly prepared.

Of course, every family in Australia will have its own scented memories of the holiday season. It depends very much on your family’s culture and traditions – while the redolent waft of summertime barbecues fill some people’s homes, for others the rich scents of roasted turkey and Christmas pudding pervade.

If you are looking to create new memories for your family, here are some ideas for introducing beautiful fragrances into your festive season.

1. An aromatic Christmas tree


How good does a real Christmas tree smell? There really is nothing quite like the natural, earthy pine aroma of a freshly cut tree – it fills the house with the scents of Christmas and puts everyone in a festive mood.

Or, if you don’t have the space or inclination for a real Christmas tree, you could get crafty and make a eucalyptus wreath to adorn your front door. Get your hands on some fresh cuttings of the dusty green leaves, weave them into a grapevine wreath, and enjoy the distinctive scent every time you come home.

2. Guestroom heaven


Welcome your holiday guests with a divinely scented candle in their room and a freshly washed towel on their bed. Little touches like these go a long way to making your guests feel extra special.

And don’t forget to pop a diffuser in the bathroom. It can get a little busy in the bathroom over the holidays, with so many people coming and going. Choose an aroma reminiscent of Christmas to keep the festive vibe going throughout your house.

3. Gingerbread delights

Bee on Lavender

When was the last time you baked gingerbread? This delicious festive treat is a Christmas classic! It’s heaps of fun to make and decorate with the kids, or go solo and enjoy the rich gingery scents wafting from your oven as you bake another tray.

You could wrap up cute collections of gingerbread stars or angels to give as gifts to your neighbours, or keep a fresh stash in the pantry for when guests drop around for a festive cuppa.

4. Light up the room with candles


There’s no better way to end a long day of festivities than with flickering candlelight. Choose candles with relaxing aromas and light them up to help everyone unwind after a long day of celebrating. Or go with spiced aromas to perk everyone up … with a glass of bubbles in hand, you’ll all be singing carols by candlelight well into the night.

5. Wrap it up


Add a sweet, scented touch to your Christmas wrapping. Instead of going for gaudy colours that have rolled off a production line, give your gifts a beautiful homemade touch by using recycled brown paper with your own unique touches. Eucalyptus leaves and raffia; lavender and twine; or perhaps sweet cinnamon sticks secured with string. With brown paper as your canvas, you’re only limited by your imagination!





Meet Leanne, co-founder of Urban Rituelle

Bee on Lavender

Spending your working life surrounded by invigorating scents is a pretty good gig, we reckon. No wonder the team at Urban Rituelle are so happy all the time! Here, we take a peek into this highly successful, award-winning home fragrances business.



1. 100% Australian made
What’s not to love about a company that began in 1999 at an inner city Sydney market? Urban Rituelle’s handmade soaps are made in Australia and sold around the world.

2. Enviro credentials
Urban Rituelle is an environmentally aware company, with the credentials to match. They have never tested products on animals. Their beautiful ingredients are completely natural and ethically sourced. Their packaging is completely recyclable. And they continue to reformulate existing products as more sustainable options become available. What’s not to love about that?

3. Bright and bubbly team
We adore the fact that founders Leanne and Scott always have time for a chat, despite the fact that they are running a global business. And the fact that our main contact, Lauren, always makes us giggle. It’s nourishment for the soul.



Do you have a favourite fragrance, and can you describe it in three words?
It’s very hard to choose and my ‘favourite’ changes from week to week! This week, it’s our Flourish Organics Lemongrass blend. It’s made with a divine blend of lemongrass, lemon myrtle, grapefruit and eucalyptus essential oils. I would describe it as uplifting, invigorating and fresh!  

What is the favourite part of your daily ritual?
I love calling in to my local café, Sister Fox, every morning after school drop-off and before I hit the office. Here, I cross paths with many wonderful people in my community.

What are you most excited about right now?
I am super excited about the launch of our new collection, Scented Offerings! It has been a dream of ours for years to design and create our own unique and individual glassware for our Home Fragrance collections. We took a risk, and it has paid off. The finished product looks sensational, and we are so proud of the quality.

Browse Urban Rituelle’s range