It is an absolute delight to welcome back guest blogger Mandi-Louise Bate with her beautiful memories of Christmas.
Let me start by asking you a couple of simple questions. Can you remember the presents you bought your loved ones for Christmas over the past two years? Can you remember the parcels you unwrapped? Difficult isn't it: I struggle to remember. But I bet you can remember who you were with, where you were and what you were doing though; happy memories triggered by our emotions and senses.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
My favourite Christmas memory is taking my small son to see Father Christmas in Lapland. Sandwiched in-between a flight at the beginning and end of the day was a magical, enchanting time. We took a sleigh ride pulled by reindeer, threw snowballs (far too many for my liking!), made snow angels and drank hot chocolate with gooey marshmallows in the ice hotel.
The highlight was the breath-taking journey to the main man's house.
A winter jaunt to the Arctic Circle meant we never saw daylight, it felt quite surreal. We were whisked through the dark woods on a husky sled to reach Father Christmas. I clearly recall the thud of paws on packed snow, the driver shouting 'yip yip' and the rush of cold air whizzing past; a captivating trip which put a rosy glow on all our faces. The most mesmerising part of this journey was the hundreds of prancing flames from the tea light candles, either side of our path, showing us the way. The smell of the pine and the smoky fire burning in the distance was, and remains, so memorable.
And when we finally met Father Christmas the look on my son's face was priceless, he was completely starstruck. After the visit - more snowballs ... great!
It's my family tradition to brave whatever the weather and take a bracing walk to church on Christmas Eve. Our church is at the top of an exposed hill; you can imagine the cold stinging our ears, noses and cheeks. Once inside, the familiar smell of heady incense triggers a lovely warm festive feeling. I love the sight of the local children holding their hand-crafted Christingles made from oranges decorated with ribbon and cloves. Towards the end of the service, all artificial lights with their subtle buzzing noise are switched off and the church becomes still and peaceful, lit only by the children's candles. A time to reflect.
Time to Relax
December is such a busy month. We rush around squeezing so much into what seems like so little time. Remember to take time out - be still in the company of your favourite candle, indulge in tranquility, run away with your senses, immerse yourself in happy memories and spark inspiration.
The aroma and hypnotic flame of a luxurious candle helps me to unwind and reset my thoughts.
The Essence Of All Things Festive
Brown & Drury have captured the festive spicy and fruity aromas. You can bring theses traditional scents into your home using the Winter Spice tea lights, candles or diffusers.
Winter Spice has the comforting notes of warming cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, topped off with a base of uplifting fragrant oranges. Reminiscent of a truly traditional Christmas.
I love that Brown & Drury have gone the extra mile in helping us prolong our favourite candles. You simply return the empty jar for a refill. Makes me think of the Bangles hit - Eternal Flame. I bet this song stays in your head all day now ... sorry.
Happy Christmas everyone - make it one to remember.