Editor’s Letter | Christmas Made Easy
8 minutes read
We have gathered our very own Beauty Daily dream team of contributors, colleagues, and cohorts to ask for the best ideas and tips on taking (some) of the stress out of Christmas and how to live beautifully during the festive season beyond.
Whether you love or dread festive family time or the holidays, we tend to put extra pressure on ourselves this time of year. So, I put this problem to the brilliant Dr Richard Reid, Psychotherapist and Mental Health Expert at Pinnacle Therapy, who gave us a checklist of what we should all take on board and use as mantras during this time for a happy and healthy Christmas.
Change Your Expectations and Keep Things in Perspective
Refrain from putting yourself under pressure to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Instead, spend only what you can afford, do something meaningful for others instead, and decide to spend time with supportive people.
It is OK to say ‘no’ and change the things you would typically only do out of obligation or tradition. However, the more stressors you can remove, the more opportunity you will have to relax and enjoy the period.
Be Mindful and Live in the Moment
There is no point in worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Instead, focus on what is happening now and celebrate the things that bring you joy, no matter how small. Being mindful can help centre your mental, emotional, and physical self and promote better mental health.
Talk About Your Feelings
Talking with a friend, relative or mental health professional about the things that are worrying you can help you to realise that concerns may not be as important as you thought or can help you focus on one or two things that may be at the root of your worries.
If there is tension between your family and friends and an unrealistic expectation of having to ‘grit your teeth and smile’ to get through, consider strategies to make the experience more comfortable for everyone.:
Break up celebrations to limit any clashes – for example, if possible, catch up with one group of relatives on Christmas eve and the other on Christmas day
Plan an activity to keep people distracted and engaged, such as a board game.
Limit Alcohol, Eat Well and Keep Active
If you want to feel well throughout the festive season, limit your alcohol, eat well, and keep active. While it may be tempting to cope with stress by increasing alcohol consumption, the fact is alcohol acts as a depressant which can induce anxiety and increase stress.
Similarly, overeating sugary food can leave you feeling sluggish and low. If you consume sugar-laden (or refined carbohydrates) as comfort food to help manage your emotions, you may only make your feelings of sadness, fatigue, and hopelessness worse.
The best recommendation is to eat vegetables, fruit and lean meat and drink water between the occasional festive indulgence.
In addition, a brisk walk will release endorphins, helping you feel relaxed and happy, as well as helping boost your immune system.
Healthy recipe from Petersham Nurseries
Talking of healthy, there are plenty of recipes around for gluttony – however, I thought I would deliver something tasty, easy and nutrient-rich. So we’ve teamed up with the Petersham Nurseries to share their recipe full of vegetables, fibre and vitamins. It’s delightful, works for a lunch and light supper, and looks so pretty for easy entertaining.
Winter salad with Romanesco Broccoli, Pumpkin, Radicchio, Fennel and Chilli
Part of the brassica family that includes cabbage and broccoli, Romanecso is also known as Roman cauliflower, and its lime green, spiralling flower heads add zing and crunch to any salad. This recipe pairs it with rich red radicchio and golden pumpkin for a dish that captures the glory of winter.
200ml white wine vinegar
100g caster sugar
¼ pumpkin of your choice (about 200g), skin on, finely shaved on a mandoline
1 head of romanesco broccoli, cut into florets
1 head of fennel, finely sliced
1 head of radicchio, leaves separated (we like to use a mixture of varieties)
10 fennel tops and 25 leaves of pennywort to garnish
salt and black pepper
for the dressing
100ml olive oil
50ml red wine vinegar
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a small pan, combine the vinegar, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Place the pumpkin in a small bowl and pour over the pickling liquid. Cover and leave to cool to room temperature.
Roast the Romanesco, fennel and half of the radicchio leaves in a baking tray with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for about 15 minutes or until tender and slightly charred.
In a large bowl, mix the charred vegetables with the remaining fresh radicchio leaves and the pickled pumpkin.
Combine the olive oil, vinegar and chilli and pour over the vegetables. Check the seasoning before serving.
This recipe is extracted for the Petersham Nurseries Book by the Boglione family (£65), out now. BUY HERE
If you are prone to over-indulgence then check out our Digestive Health tips for the festive season – so hopefully you won’t be reaching for the Gaviscon quite as much.
The really easy wine pairing guide
When it comes to wine, we all have the old favourites we stick to. I live between London and Kent, and there are plenty of boutique wine merchants like Corkk, and we are surrounded by some of the best vineyards the UK has to offer.
Remember Chapel Down; they served the sparkling pinot noir, Brut Rose, to the 500-plus guests at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding. However, it’s more than just my taste (or celebrity/royal recommendations, for that matter) that we should be concentrating on.
“It’s the food and guests!” says Emily Acha Derrington, Head of Wine at Manteca. She is the wine buyer for manteca and Smokestak restaurants in London, which means she has the delectable job of choosing the restaurant wine lists. She says, “I’ve worked in the wine industry for 15 years, and it’s my job to know what works with what and how to choose ‘great value’ wine.”
What’s her mantra when it comes to grape shopping? She says, “Firstly, I always buy sparkling wine but not to pair it with anything in particular – it’s more a sipping drink for me. Second, I’ll usually buy a good crémant from Burgundy or the Loire rather than Champagne. It’s made in the ‘traditional’ way, like Champagne, but you’ll get a lot more for your money and taste a lot better than the cheap Champagne you find.”
So what flat white or reds should you serve during the Christmas season? Derrington says, “My go-to Christmas white is Riesling. Riesling is a refreshing ‘zingy’ grape variety, often lower in alcohol as it’s often from cooler climates, like Germany. It sometimes has a touch of residual sugar to work with a wide range of food, from rich, fattier meats like goose or roast duck and cheese sauces, to sushi and even spicy Thai flavours. The lower alcohol is beneficial when filling your glass up all afternoon. On reds, I stay clear of heavier, full-bodied reds unless I’m eating something like beef; at Christmas, lighter reds that are fruiter and have lower tannins, like tend to work more with turkey, sausage rolls and party food. Pinot Noir from California or Beaujolais from France is my choice here.”
Here is a quick recap: snap a photo or screenshot and take it with you when shopping.
Smoked Salmon: Crémant de Loire, or Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire valley
Roast Turkey: Beaujolais or Pinot Noir
Cheese course: Riesling or Fino sherry
Sausages: Italian Reds like Barbera.
Christmas pudding and mince pies: Tawny port (big tawny port fan for food matching!)
Ultimate gift guides for all
Gifting, presents, and stocking stuffers – we have so many resources at Beauty Daily, and we can safely say: ‘Gift-Giving‘ is our thing. So, whether you’re after relaxing gifts for the stressed-out man in your life, brilliant budget-friendly fillers or want to know the eco-friendly and sustainable Christmas buys to make your festive season more green – we have everything you need under our handy ‘Christmas‘ tag.
The best in beauty make-up and nail inspo can be found here – with Christmas nail colours and manicures, Christmas Make-up Looks – a flash of Gold Eyeshadow or Red will not go unnoticed! And if you need help with creating a certain look, then book in for a beauty consultation.
The cost of living crisis has affected us all. So, if you are looking for tips and tricks to make your Christmas more affordable – here’s how.
And if Magic FM’s 100% Christmas and the flurry of snow hasn’t got you into the festive mood, then this will. Heat the easiest Mulled Wine recipe – and check out The Best Christmas Markets for festive feels – and the fun, weird and wonderful Traditions other nationalities embrace at this time of year.
If all else fails – here’s advice on how to get into the party mood – it’s the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling frazzled…
Enjoy! And Merry Christmas & Festive Season to all,
Sarah Joan Ross – Beauty Daily Editor