Festive lights are brightening up dark winter evenings in all corners, shopping fever has gripped the nation, and the party season is under way. It can only mean one thing – Christmas is just around the corner. Whether you prefer to curl up by the fireside, or party like it’s 1999 (or maybe a bit of both in just the right measures), here we share our take on how to make the most of the busy festive season.

On the first day of Christmas

If you haven’t already got a head start on your Christmas shopping, panic not! With less than two weeks until the big day, here’s our Christmas shopping survival guide. Leave early to snare a parking space, and then treat yourself to brunch before you hit the shops. Layer your clothing, so that you can handle the heady combination of the cold outdoors and the heated stores. Take a stylish shopping tote (5p per carrier bag, remember!). Make a list of ideas before you go, so that you minimise deliberation while you’re out. Aim for stores that offer something a little more unique and eclectic. The Shop at Bluebird gets our vote for a beautifully edited product range to suit everyone on your present list.

On the second day of Christmas

Luxuriate in a deep hot soak in the bath. You’ll have earned it after a long day’s Christmas shopping. And no bath is complete without one or two essential accessories. Relax back onto a bath pillow, lose yourself in your favourite novel, and indulge the senses by lighting our Library candle. Let the scent of cinnamon, clove buds, cedar and moss all recall the quiet decadence of a stolen afternoon, lost in the world of a long forgotten book. And with 40 hours of burn time, you’ll be looking out for many more excuses for a long soak.

On the third day of Christmas

Nothing beats the breath-taking beauty of the English countryside on a crisp sunny winter’s day. Grab your cashmere and your camera, and head out in search of inspiration for those perfect Christmas card shots. Winter berries, the perfect frost, or a delicately perched Christmas Robin; they all have the makings of the perfect homemade Christmas card. And long after dusk has fallen and you’ve retreated indoors, our Limited Edition Evergreen Scented Candle is the perfect muse to inspire you as you write your cards. With green top notes of fir balsam, crushed pine and a warm, woody base of cedar, musk and amber, Evergreen will encapsulate the mood and magic of a perfect winter’s day.

On the fourth day of Christmas

What better time of year than Christmas to capitalise on the opportunity for a bit of glamour and sparkle. As the party season gets under way, there will be more than one opportunity to get dressed up to the nines and pull out all the stops. While you get ready, set the mood with our exquisite Dressing Room candle. Powder-puff light yet elegantly enveloping, this expressive aroma has deep berry top notes with shimmering rose, violet and peony at its heart. Balmy musk, sandal- and cedar-wood evoke a dusky dressing room with its palette of perfumed potions.

On the fifth day of Christmas

Enjoy the perfect cosy winter evening curled up with a book in front of a log fire. And to keep the mood alive long after the embers stop burning, light our Fireside candle. With smoky top notes and a warm, woody base of cedar, musk and moss, this elemental scent recalls the timeless quality of a roaring fire. To us, it evokes sitting just that little bit too close, watching the flames, lost in thought. 

On the sixth day of Christmas

Enjoy the warm, nostalgic glow of recalling your own childhood Christmases. Re-create your favourite memories, and weave them seamlessly into newer modern day traditions. So, after you’ve tracked Santa around the world on the iPad, share quality time with the family playing traditional board games.

On the seventh day of Christmas

Flood your senses with the natural fragrance of Christmas at home. Cook up a storm, experiment with a mulled wine recipe, or craft your own Christmas wreath. Fill the house with the scent of all things festive -cinnamon, clementines, cloves, fir and pine. And of course, nothing beats the aroma of a real tree, stylishly bedecked and twinkling with lights.

On the eighth day of Christmas

Still missing those crucial final few gift ideas? Our beautifully packaged and fragranced candles are a perfect gift, with smaller versions available in travel pouches; ideal stocking fillers for those hardest to buy for. After all, who doesn’t love the indulgence and opulence of a scented candle.

On the ninth day of Christmas

If you’re sending out invites for New Year’s Eve, why not go for a nostalgic theme. Hark back to the glamour and style of the 1920s, and recreate the décor, the decadence and the dress of this era of wild and innocent fun. And, since every party needs ambience, don’t forget you’ll need to tone down the lighting, spark up the candles and get ready to pop those corks. 

On the tenth day of Christmas

Bring out your inner child. Immerse yourself in the myth and magic of Christmas. A sprinkle of fairy dust here, the tinkle of mythical sleigh bells there, a spot of elfin mischief. Why not bring it all to life with a visit to see Santa’s reindeer, or even a trip to meet the man himself as he busies himself across grottos. Whisper your secret wish to him, and you never know…

On the eleventh day of Christmas

List out your wishes and dreams for the year ahead. If anything were possible, what would you like to achieve, where would you go and what would you do? This year, make your New Year resolutions count, and 2016 could be full of adventure and excitement.

On the twelfth day of Christmas

“ ‘twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse …”

It’s time to find out who is on the good list and who is on the naughty list. Hang up those stockings, tuck the children into bed with the perfect Christmas story, and be sure to remind them to listen out for the sound of Santa’s sleigh bells. Then light the festive candles, pour some mulled wine, and enjoy a Merry Christmas from us all at Birch & Brook.