22 December 2015

How To Get Into The Holiday Spirit & My Two Christmases

While editing this post I was multitasking and reading lovely Christmas-inspired updates from my blogger friends. Most were overjoyed and excited about Christmas. A few were stressed, exhausted and not at all in the mood to celebrate. You know what, I can understand both sides perfectly and will chat in detail about my take on it in the 'view full post' part. Now, let's take a minute and read again the title of today's post. Nope, I am not going to try and turn someone from a "grinch" into a "Santa's helper". As cheesy as it might sound, I just want to spread a bit of holiday cheer and give genuine, not generic, advice for you this Christmas. As for the second part of the title: if you're like "huh?!" right now, I promise there's nothing too cryptic about it. Read on and let's get festive together!
Every year the whole world is going through the same thing. It's either "I'm so excited about the holidays" or "I'm so stressed out and overwhelmed". There is actually the third category which is extremely sensitive. It's the tragic circumstance when people lose a loved one around Christmas time. I can't even start to imagine the pain and the grief and, as a result, not wanting to take part in any festive activities. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are in that position. Just today I read a little article by a fellow blogger how she's so frustrated about how fake bloggers can be close to the holidays. You can only see cozy mittens, fuzzy socks, Christmas movies, Christmas markets and the similar symbols of Christmas "flooding" Instagram (and their blog). She, on the other hand, is running around like mad trying to get all the Christmas preparations done while juggling her full-time job and other commitments. While I would never want to criticize the "happy-go-lucky" blogger friends, nor those who have too much on their plate now, I would like to say that it all comes down to ourselves. I know for a fact that most bloggers who I follow CANNOT wait for Christmas. They genuinely enjoy "Elf"/"Home Alone"/"Love Actually" on their sofa while sipping their hot chocolate. And I love them! I love their happy personalities and appreciate the positivity they spread. I also can understand people who are insanely busy with anything else (plus blogging) and I can confirm "I hear ya, girl". Juggling commitments, money issues, seeing how "fake" someone else is - it all can easily bring you down. It's essential, though, to stop looking at what others do/have/can afford, and appreciate what you can be thankful for.  It all comes down to the basics: self-reflection, your positivity/happiness/gratitude, time management, getting your priorities straight and, last but not least, how high is your "Clausometer" - this "Elf" ref is so 'on point' :)
So, if you are super happy and excited this holiday season or not feeling your best, I'd love to remind us all why Christmas time is so lovely and give tips on how to get into the holiday spirit (without forcing yourself).
1. Visit Christmas markets (and/or get yourself outside for fun reasons!). 
This one goes without saying. There are so many lovely Christmas markets around this time of the year! Just take a look at these fab posts by Gabrielle and Kathryn. Twinkly lights, yummy treats, hot drinks and happy faces surely will get you into the holiday mood. Other than that, just go outside! Not to go to work/uni/school but to enjoy the snow (if you have it), a walk in the park or at the beach (beach can be awesome not only when it's hot outside).
2. Get your tree up and decorate the place where you live.
Captain Obvious, right? :) Nothing makes you feel more "Christmassy" than your Christmas tree - huge or tiny - and all the pretty decorations. Go as small or as big as you personally like. Once it's trimmed, your place is tidied, you must make time to enjoy the company of the loved ones or relax on your laptop reading blogs. So what if you share the apartment with 5 other people or live together with your husband's parents. Make your little corner festive, throw some fairy lights in there, light a candle. Small things make a big difference ;)
3. Watch Christmas movies & listen to Christmas music.
So trivial YET so important, and, let's face it, FUN! No time? Make it if you really REALLY want it! We are all sometimes running around like mad trying to get every item of our to-do list done, get those presents sorted, or conquer the world in under 9 hours. You sure wouldn't want to live your life like that non-stop. Take a breather, turn off that phone and have a laugh watching your favourite holiday film. Driving to work sleepy & grumpy? Blast that Christmas song and sing out loud :) Just do it. Remember those who you love, let all the cozy Christmas memories fill your mind.
4. Write your Christmas cards and send them.
Yes, it's 2015 (almost 2016), but who cancelled handwriting and being thoughtful. Exactly, no one. Emails make our lives efficient and robotic at the same time. Please, don't send a Merry Christmas email. Get a card, pick up a pen. Everyone who gets a little message from you will appreciate the thought so much. Plus, you will get cards in return! Sign and post as many as you would like. Include the elderly, your neighbours and even your favourite hairdresser ;)
5. Plan and organise: Project Christmas.
This is a big one! Once you have all the presents bought and wrapped, you can finally breathe! But hey, what if you still have a tonne to buy and can't even afford half of them. It's a struggle, and I understand the stress. That's where the planning comes in. I'm not saying I did my Christmas shopping 2 months in advance. I did not. But I made sure I got time on my hands and bought items on sale, Black Friday, using coupons or special codes. A bit of creativity and a lot of effort - and you're golden. The point is don't leave it to the very last minute. Planning doesn't come down to shopping only. It's anything and everything you are doing this season. Take a notebook, write your thoughts down, assign a date/time and get it done, girl ;)
6. Have "me" time. 
People tend to get a bit stressed around this time of the year. Either you got annoyed by the crowds at the shopping centre, your boss wants you back at work on Boxing Day or you just simply can't manage to juggle it all - take a break. It's OK to pause whatever needs to be done and have some "me" time. Have a bath, read a book, watch a movie, bake or simply take that well-deserved nap. Happy and refreshed you = more holiday cheer.
7. Spend time with family and friends.
Everyone's circumstances are very different. But if you're lucky enough to have your family on an easy-to-reach distance, go visit them. Not only you will have an amazing time, but it will mean the world to them. Once again, I don't know your family situation and I apologize if it's a sensitive topic. I better give my personal example. My family is 3000 miles away. I have the most amazing mum and dad and I miss them more than anything. Last Christmas I surprised them with a visit (on Christmas Eve). They didn't expect to see me up until March! So that was incredible. Like you probably remember from my Christmas Decorations & Traditions post, Christmas is in January in Ukraine. Hence, the title - I have 2 Christmases :) We celebrate one, though. The point is, if you can, see your family and/or friends around this time of the year. They will make sure to keep that smile on your face.
8. Give and show kindness.
One of the last tips but an extremely important one. No, Christmas is not just about material gifts. Ask yourself from the bottom of your heart if you helped anyone this month (and every month!). Have you visited someone who needed a visit? Have you donated to a great cause? Have you reach your hand out to the one who fell? Helping is very personal. You can help with a pound/dollar/euro, a kind word or even a hug. Hubby and I make sure to visit the elderly and people from the church not only around Christmas but more or less regularly. There is also a project we are involved in which is aimed to help those in need in Ukraine, especially the refugees who escape the war in the east. There's always work to be done. To sum up, think what you can do to help someone now.
9. Look back and be thankful.
With the amount of 2016-inspired posts flying around, we forget it's still 2015. Pause, reflect, look back. Was it a difficult year? Was it exciting? What did you like about this passing year? What did you learn? Finally, did you give thanks? You woke up this morning, you had food, there is a roof over your head. Aren't we happy, lovelies? Anything and everything we have we must be thankful for. A thankful heart is a happy heart.
When I was growing up we didn't have much. If I got a bar of chocolate for Christmas, my happiness level was shooting through the roof. My parents simply couldn't afford gifts. There was even one time I couldn't get to a school event. Being a kid (well, young teenager) I cried and thought the world was over because I didn't get to the dance. Later on my dad told me they didn't have money for petrol and saved every little penny & coupons to afford food. But guess what... I never lacked anything. I felt like I had everything I ever needed. My parents were showering me with so much love and care that I had no interest in the new phone or makeup. I was (and AM) thankful they did everything to give me the most important and essential things, material and not. So many kids, teens and even grown-ups today take things for granted. What if the designer bags, expensive palettes, fancy phones are gone - what is left? Even though I am able to afford more than a bar of chocolate now, I just want to remind myself and us all that we have to concentrate on what MATTERS. It's not tangible nor physical. It's the love that lives in your heart

Hope you enjoyed this post, my loves.
Are you in the holiday spirit?

All the photos are from my phone & Instagram.
All the faces (apart from moi & hubby) are blurred for the privacy purposes.
Collage 1: Christmas markets, twinkly lights & Christmas trees at the shopping centre, our wreath, cozy fireplace & movie time with my hubby.
Collage 2: Our Christmas decor goodies, planning at the laptop with notebooks & to-do lists + a little sneak peek at our Christmas cards.
Collage 3: Time with my amazing hubby, friends, wrapping presents, Christmas table and wrapping selection boxes for kids at the carol service.
Collage 4: Making cake pops with my sweet mother-in-law, coffee for one (because it's "me" time lol), my furry rascal who I miss so much, flying to Ukraine & visiting the refugee family with a bag of gifts. 

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!
Have a lovely time this week!
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Leave a comment and let me know if you enjoyed this post.
What do you think about my tips on how to get into the holiday spirit?
What kind of Christmas did you have growing up?
What are you thankful for in 2015 or in your life every day?
Any special plans for this week? ;)
I am thankful for you all this holiday season.
Merry Christmas, loves!
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129 comments

  1. Awee I just love this post! So many wonderful ideas i just love spending time with my family and friends and doing fun things!

    http://xoxobella.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Bella :) Christmas time is perfect for the family to get together <3
      Merry Christmas, hon!!
      xox

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  2. This post is SO important. I never really liked christmas for several reasons (I am such a scrooge) so it's overwhelming and stressful at times. There's just something about the christmas music that makes me sad and I love giving gifts year round, so I never fully understood why I have to limit this to December. I totally feel for families that lose people around the holidays as well. Some of my good friends lost a family member too soon and it makes Thanksgiving and Christmas really really difficult. Either way, I do really love your tips to survive the holiday season! It's soo chaotic and it's easy to get lost in what other people are doing (or make it LOOK like they're doing) that it's easy to feel inferior. For the sake of time and money, my Fiance and I aren't giving gifts this X-mas and we are just enjoying each other's company and planning a stay-cation :) I also read your story about having very little around the holidays and growing up, and I want to say that I'm so happy that you rose above it all and you understand what's important out of life because you're right... What's left if all the fancy electronics and money is gone? It's hard to understand as a kid, but it's an invaluable lesson when you grow up and realize that everything is a gift :) You're way ahead of the game! Thanks for the inspiring and REAL post! I always enjoy what you write! Hope you're doing well, Nadia!

    -Rachel
    www.blonderhombus.com

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Rach :) You are right, as much as gifts are nice to get, it's not about them this time of the year or any other season. It's good to take a look at a far bigger picture. Thank you so much again for your kindness. Really glad you enjoyed the post. I tend to get very wordy but hopefully it doesn't throw anyone off too much :)
      Hope you & your fiance have a lovely time, Rachel!
      xox

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  3. Aww honey, I loved his post. Those tips of yours to get into the Christmas spirit: so amazing! And exactly the right things to do :)
    And wow, that story of yours from when you were growing up, so real! Love is truly the only thing you really need. And of course all the pressies are also signs of love, or so I like to think, but it's so true that we should think more of love in it's most simple form. And to show you love somebody you don't need pressies or anything else fancy. Kind words, cuddles and support when needed are the most important. <3
    Stay warm sweetie. I want to send you lots of cuddles! <3
    Emma xxx

    www.wellemma.com

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    1. Super glad you enjoyed it, sweetie. I just wanted to share a bit of my own experience to make this post more personal and relatable <3 I agree honey, love and care go above any presents.
      The thought matters the most. I would never want anyone to spend too much on me, especially if I know they can't afford it. Lots of hugs your way, hon!!! Hope you are having a super lovely Christmas Eve!!
      xox

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  4. This is a lovely post! It's amazing you get so much charity work done, and it's definitely something I want to do more of in the future too. It's very true that at the end of the day all that matters is the things you did :)

    Velvet Blush

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    1. Thank you, hon :) I do think it's so nice to give, even if it's little. A lot of people think that celebrities or huge businessmen are the only ones who should help others. Once I came across a little granny in Ukraine who literally had nothing as in she was surviving on bread only, yet guess what...the first thing she wanted to do when we met was to give me a few apples from her garden. What an example you don't need to have a lot to give and help others. Giving is something we all need to be doing <3
      xox

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  5. Really great post! I think the bottom line is that whether or not it is the Christmas season or any other time of the year, that you remain honest and transparent with your blog readers or social media followers. If that means you are happy and are enjoying life there is no reason to share this on social media, but if you are having a rough time, it's okay to let that part show too. I understand the pressure to sometimes fake happiness, and some things that happen to us that are not so positive are very personal and we have every right to keep these parts of our lives private, but I think if our goal is to take a happy positive cozy existence that isn't factual, then we have lost the meaning of what blogging and social media should be about. Glad that you are able to view this topic with an open mind and understand both sides! Thanks for the holiday tips as well and hope you have an amazing holiday season! I am currently watching Harry Potter with one of my best friends while doing work as I always like to re-watch the films during Christmas.

    Rae | Love from Berlin

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    1. Even though I am among those who is excited about Christmas and is posting all the happy photos (they are 101% genuine, don't want anything fake coming from me), I never rush to judge nor ignore what others might feel about the holiday season and their level of honesty. At the end of the day, fake happiness hurts those who pretend.
      I love HP, hope you enjoyed watching it, girl!
      Happy Christmas & woohoo for 2016 :)
      xox

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  6. What an incredible honest and heartfelt post. I think everyone has a different way of looking at the holidays and the way they show it. I am not upset with people posting nice pictures on their instagram as I am a positive person and love to see happy things anyway. Even if they are running around like mad behind the scenes. LOL! This post is a wonderful reminder to appreciate the people in our lives and the little things in life!

    Rebecca
    http://www.winnipegstyle.ca/Blog/default.cfm

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    1. It is lovely to see all the happy & cheerful photos, I agree, and I am also definitely glad to see that people are excited :) I love sharing all the positivity too :)
      But it's definitely important to appreciate the ones we love and care about + others too. So important to help and support those in need <3
      xox

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  7. What a great post! I think it's so great that you acknowledge both sides of Christmas - the ones who are so excited and the ones who are overwhelmed - because I usually see one or the other. Since I've gotten older it's harder to get into the Christmas spirit, but I love what the holiday brings in terms of decorations outside and spending time with family. Christmas movies definitely help me get more into Christmas, but I have to be careful because if I watch them too early I get overly excited at the wrong time haha. Your thoughtful paragraph at the end about what you're thankful for and what really matters is also really inspiring!

    Happy Holidays :)
    Sam | http://mybeautycloud.com

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    1. It is definitely so important to look at both sides and try to put yourself into other people's shoes. Not everyone is going to be having a nice spread with a turkey and lots of presents or even their loved ones beside them. I am so thankful for what I have and treasure my family & friends so much!
      Thanks for your super lovely comment, Sam <3
      Happy holidays, girlie!
      xox

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  8. I love this post, especially the holiday spirit list! I am guilty that I have not put up the Christmas tree yet!! Need to get to that asap!! I just started wrapping presents last night. I love picking out Christmas cards, that really gets me in the holiday spirit! Have a great holiday hun!

    xoxo Emily
    http://www.ditchtheheels.com

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    1. Oh girlie, defo that tree up ;) I did enjoy picking out our Christmas cards and wrapping is actually my favourite part. I would wrap all day if I could :)
      Thanks so so much for your sweet comment, lovely. Happy holidays!!
      xox

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  9. Such a great and inspiring post Nadia! I too can understand both sides, both the excitement and the stress but I think it's just the general feeling in the air that sort of brings that together! I for one can often feel a bit stressed at some days but super excited the other! :) Merry Christmas!

    Filippa | Always a Dot

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    1. I defo understand sweetheart. Hope you are doing super good & will enjoy your getaway!! Enjoy the sun and get a lovely tan, girlie ;) Merry Christmas hon & happy New Year!! Muaaaah
      xox

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  10. A great thing to address among all the other Christmas posts going up. I do like and enjoy Christmas, but I am not that overly excited and I have never been one fro Christmas movies. But family and time to relax are really important to me (all year round, to be honest), so I couldn't agree with you more. Christmas is not about the presents, and the greatest gift we can give each other is time and love, just like you received from your parents.
    Happy Holidays!

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. Anne, you put it just in the right way - family and friends matter the most and ANY (and every) day of the year :) Thanks so so much for your lovely words, hon. I truly appreciate how much love I got from my mum & dad.
      Happy holidays sweetheart!
      xox

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  11. These are all great ideas! I love this time of year and reading your post got me that much more excited! Merry Christmas, Nadia!


    xo, Liz
    http://lipstickandconfetti.com

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    1. Aww I am so glad it did, Liz :) Hope you are having the best time, girl!!
      Happy holidays! Merry Christmas :)
      xox

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  12. You don't need presents to show the love you have, even a sincere hug can be way more better than many gifts. We should just be glad for what we have and always appreciate. You gave great tips for getting into holiday spirit! I hope you are having a great week! xx

    www.elabellaworld.com

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    1. I couldn't agree more hon. Appreciating what you have is essential. Have to try our best and stay humble <3 So glad you loved my tips, sweetie. Happy holidays, merry Christmas & happy New Year :)
      xox

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  13. What a lovely post- definitely needed by many from what I've seen on Twitter and heard from friends. And a great message about loved ones at Christmas- one that is definitely forgotten by some.

    Have a lovely Christmas x

    Claudia Harriet // Student Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Thanks so much, Claudia. Really appreciate your sweet comment. I think Christmas (and basically any day of the year) is the time to be thankful for the loved ones and be there for them. Hope you had a really happy Christmas, girlie <3
      xox

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  14. As a Christmas-Crazy, I love this post!! I agree with you on the "sensitive" aspect...I've sung for a few funerals this holiday season and I can't imagine how hard it is to lose a loved one during what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

    Jasmine | The Sixth Disney Princess

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    1. Yeah, sadly Christmas isn't the best time of the year for many, Jassy. I LOVE the holidays and time spent together with my hubby and family. It's truly the most amazing time of the year since we are all together and enjoying each other's company. It's the time when all the work, all commitments are put aside, and we celebrate love which came down at Christmas :)
      xox

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  15. What a truly emotional post! This post is so important around this time of year. Nadia, you're an angel and that you so much for writing and sharing this with all of us.

    Mallory // Perhaps Bananas

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    1. Thanks so so much for your kind words, lovely Mallory. I am glad you enjoyed it, sweetie. Hope you had a great time at Christmas! <3
      xox

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  16. Awh Nadia, I really liked this post! I can relate to feeling like bloggers can get "fake" with the holidays, I'm all for going all out, and obviously some aspects of holiday posts aren't the same as real life, but I like these types of posts more.

    This year we chose not to really celebrate Christmas, we're just having dinner together and I'm picking up the check haha. But shopping for presents and wrapping does seem stressful!

    I love that it wasn't about material objects for you growing up, I sometimes lost sight of that when I was younger. Kudos! <3

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

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    1. Christmas or not, happy or the very opposite, as much as I love seeing all the cheerful and positive posts, I do appreciate the honesty :) So important to be real, to others and most of all, yourself.
      Hope you are enjoying the holidays, whatever you are up to honey, thinking about you & thank you for your support <3
      xox

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  17. Thank you so much for this honest and heartfelt post, Nadia :) I really enjoy reading all of your posts because you always have such a genuine heart, and it really shows in everything you write, especially in this Christmas piece. Thank you so much for presenting such great little tips for others to get into the holiday spirit <3 Hope you're having a warm and safe holiday season as well :D

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

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    1. Elizabeth, I really appreciate what you said, hon. When I started blogging I knew that's the route I wanted my blog to take - honest and genuine, no matter what kind of a post it is :)
      Thanks so much for such great feedback, sweetheart. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ;)
      xox

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  18. I really enjoy your post. Have a great day!
    http://starlingdays.blogspot.com/2015/12/fionastyle-young-ukrainian-designer.html

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  19. Aw, this is such a wonderful, beautifully written post, dear! <3 Whilst I do like Christmas, I'm not super excited about it. I appreciate Christmas as time to spend with my family, but I haven't been feeling overwhelmingly festive this year. I'm looking forward to some time off work and good food, but my boyfriend is working a 12-hour shift on Christmas Day so I won't get to see him at all, and obviously for the reason he hasn't been feeling particularly festive this year, either. I will probably be spending the day at my parents' as they are actually the only family I have here. And I'm pretty sure they have to work some of the day, too. =( I think Christmas is awesome, but it all depends on personal circumstances as to how much we can actually enjoy it, if that makes sense! x But it makes me happy to see how excited other bloggers are about Christmas! :) <3

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I completely understand what you mean, sweetie. It's not easy to enjoy yourself to the fullest if your loved ones are working or away. But just gotta make the best out of it and I do hope you had a lovely time yesterday & enjoyed Boxing Day as well. I am one of super-crazy-excited about Christmas & NYE kind of peeps, and will be sharing my excitement & cheer with you, babe :)
      Happy holidays!!
      xox

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  20. Спасибо за чудесный пост дорогая!) Ты всегда пишешь с душой:)
    Я как-то не подготовилась и не написала ничего в блог о предстоящем празднике. Может, это потому что я вообще к праздникам спокойно отношусь) И тем ни менее предновогодняя суета всё равно касается всех, даже тех кто не хочет. Все эти гирлянды, мандарины, ёлки.. невозможно остаться равнодушным, как мне кажется:)

    pinkrabbitbeauty.blogspot.com

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    1. Spasibo, Verochka. Ochen ochen priyatno chitat takie teplie slova :)
      Nadeyus, elochka uzhe stoit krasivaya, mandarini zakupleni i nastroenie pred-Novogodnee ;)
      S Novim Godom, solntse, i Rozhdestvom <3
      xox

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  21. Nadia, What a beautiful post. It is so important to slow down and enjoy the season and help others. It is easy to get caught up in the commercialization, but the last 2 years I have tried not to buy as much but to instead do things like adopt a family or give to needy children. I am truly more blessed by doing those things. I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas!!!

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    1. That's a great way to spend money at Christmas, Mary! Helping others is so much more rewarding and amazing than getting presents yourself :) I agree we are more blessed when we give.
      We had such a fab time all together. Great company, good food, friends & family beside, games & laughter :) Best times!
      Hope you & your family had an amazing time at Christmas, hon!
      xox

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  22. Very well thought post, love the tips. Your photo collection too is meaningful and tells a story.

    www.busyandfab.com

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    1. Aww thank you, girlie. I am glad you liked the post & the photos.
      Happy holidays!!
      xox

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  23. Really enjoyed reading this posts. It is important to acknowledge those who suffer during this time as well. And I really enjoy Christmas time and think that it is actually all about giving love and joy to those who we love and have around. It's simply the moments what matter and we should really look at ourselves and appreciate things, people that we already have. I absolutely love making other people smile and happy, so I love getting them presents, even a little ones, and watching their reaction when they unwrap them. It's just makes me so happy that I am able to do something that puts a smile on their face and maybe is only one source of happiness (I do have friends like that).
    And for New Years, I have no plans still. But I am sure as hell not making any resolutions as they are pointless in my opinion. I just want 2016 to be even more amazing than 2015 :) x

    Happy Holidays, Nadia!

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

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    1. Honestly, I am exactly the same :) I couldn't wait for my hubby & family members to open their presents + it's so good to visit people who don't have much with a little goodie bag. Kindness is so appreciated. It's not about having a lot or giving a lot, even little matters. However, I would love to be able to give more and more with every coming year to those who need a bit of extra help or care.
      I always think of goals for a new year, not resolutions. I think resolutions are very vague or uncertain while goals is something you plan to achieve. I do it every month anyway ;)
      2016 will be fab, hon ;)
      Happy holidays!!
      xox

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  24. I love visiting the Christmas markets! I loved how Christmassy this post was! A lovely place to get ideas! X
    http://christbelle.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Glad you enjoyed all the ideas, Christie!
      Christmas markets are special, so sad they are closed for yet another year.
      Well, just gotta find other fun things to do now that we're going into January :)
      xox

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  25. Barely feeling Christmassy! I need to try watching some Christmas films! xx

    Jasmine || http://www.blogsallbeautyy.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hope you had a great time on Christmas Day & Boxing Day, Jassy <3
      xox

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  26. I love this post :) It totally got me in the festive mood! I seriously love to blast the Christmas music and start baking. There is nothing better. And it's not Christmas unless I'm watching It's A Wonderful Life and While You Were Sleeping! xo

    Kelsey | www.abalancingpeach.com

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    1. That's an amazing thing to do, Kelsey ;) I love listening to Christmas songs and just doing stuff around the house. Wish I could do it all year round without neighbours thinking I'm a weirdo lol :) Hope you had a great time this Christmas, hon!
      xox

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  27. I love this post! Somehow, this year, I definitely did not feel festive and sort of wished to skip the entire holiday season altogether. But you fixed me! I definitely feel more festive now. :) My favorite tip has to be "Watching Christmas/holiday movies and listening to Christmas songs". Those always get me in the mood.
    Happy holidays!
    Love, Amelie xo
    http://awanderersadventures.wordpress.com

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    1. Aww sweetheart, I am glad you loved this post and it helped you ;) Hope you got to enjoy the Christmas day and are enjoying the holiday season. Big hugs & love your way!!
      xox

      Delete
  28. Aw, such an inspiring post. Really got me in the mood of Christmas

    Happy Holidays Beautiful!

    Kisses,

    BLOG | Taislany

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    Replies
    1. That's brill it made you feeling festive & cheerful, girl. That's the whole idea - being happy and thankful :) Happy holidays!
      xox

      Delete
  29. Agh! My internet at my parents house keeps cutting out! (not sure if my previous comment went through)
    It seems like you've been up to a lot this December! I'm hoping that next year I'll feel more prepared for Christmas, for some reason it always feels like it sneaks up on us...

    Merry Christmas Hun! :)

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

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    1. It does feel like it sneaks up, doesn't it? Aww hope your internet is better now, hon. Have you enjoyed Christmas & Boxing Day?
      Hope you had a super lovely time!!
      xox

      Delete
  30. Мне очень нравится предпраздничная суета и подготовка! Надя, счастливого Рождества и исполнения желаний всей семье! Целую

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    1. Spasibo ogromnoe, busechka! Schastlivogo Novogo Goda i Rozhdestva tebe i tvoyei semye, Ami <3 Cem cem cem!! Spasibo eshche raz za podderzhku i teplo <3
      xox

      Delete
  31. Какой приятный, уютный пост!
    Замечательные советы! Пора составлять праздничный плейлист и список фильмов обязательных к просмотру :)
    Спасибо за настроение!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ochen rada, chto post ponravilsya, solnce!! Nadeyus, ti uzhe gotova k N.Godu ;)
      Mi otlichno otpraznovali Rozhdestvo <3
      Celuyu!!
      xox

      Delete
  32. Such a thoughtful post full of great ideas! I always celebrate Christmas with the family but it gets me down that I can see my boyfriend and his family. To combat this we have a second Christmas on Christmas Eve and then celebrate with his family on Boxing day! I love being able to see everyone, even if I'm always shy haha, it lets the festivities last longer! Hope you and your family have an amazing Christmas hun!!XX

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    1. That sounds great, Sophie! It's nice to celebrate with everyone you love, even if it's not on the same day - the most important thing is being together. We had a lovely time together, thanks hon <3
      Happy holidays! Hope you are excited about NYE ;)
      xox

      Delete
  33. Hi there! Woah, thanks a lot for this long, looong post. Even though I don't really need to get in the Christmas mood (I mean: I'm ALWAYS excited for Christmas!!!) this will be great to show my mum as she isn't always as excited as I am. Hah! Have a great Christmas eve, xx Sjoukje from www.lemontierres.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hope you enjoyed it despite the fact that it was indeed a bit wordy :)
      How did your Christmas go, girl? Welcome to my blog ;)
      xox

      Delete
  34. Very well said and such amazing tips! I am one of those people that easily get stressed out during the holidays. I plan to cook and rent some movies this year to watch with my hubby and kids. Also, thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures. Have a Merry Christmas xoxo
    fashionphases.com

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, girlie :) Glad you enjoyed my tips & personal experience, girlie. Hope you had a fab time at Christmas :)
      xox

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  35. I'm completely on board with your values here Nadia, Christmas is absolutely not just about the lights and gifts - though they sure do go a long way in making the season special! I often think of those who are not able to get into the Christmas spirit and would never dream of pressuring someone into being cheery when they don't feel like it, though if I can in any way help someone feel a little more 'Christmassy', I tend to give it a go! :) Thanks so much for featuring my Cologne Christmas markets travel diary in this post by the way, so sweet of you! Merry Christmas!!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x

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    1. Thanks so much, sweetie. I am really glad you enjoyed this post. I am normally the one Christmas-obsessed and doing everything holiday-related. It is such a great thing to put a smile on someone's face, you're right honey :)
      Hope you had a super amazing Christmas!!
      xox

      Delete
  36. Ahhhh I LOVEEE this post.. I needed some ideas for movies and music! I need to watch The Holiday! Looks funny.. and cant believe I havent seen it.

    Happy Holidays!!!
    Sabrina | www.gypsytan.co

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    1. lol Sabrina, hope you managed to watch The Holiday, girlie. It's really sweet & Christmassy. I may be guilty of watching it even in the middle of summer :D
      Happy holidays, girlie!
      xox

      Delete
  37. this is such a lovely post! you have a way with words, Nadia ;) there are certainly so many ways to enter into this season and social media tends to only promote the cute-sy side. being away from family and treating ourselves to travel instead of buying presents, we tend to miss the crazy shopping aspect of it and miss the guilt that comes with 'what the heck am i going to buy this and that person?!?!' since then, our month is much more calm and allows us to appreciate the sweet, simple traditions of the season!

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    1. I couldn't agree more with every word you said, Annie :) So glad that I discovered your blog shortly before Christmas. I will make sure to reply to that lovely comment you left for me. Hope you had a great time at Christmas, girlie!!
      xox

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  38. Thank you for sharing your tips. I think social media can be bad. -Hanna Lei

    Latest Post: Review PMD Personal Microderm

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    1. Glad you liked the tips, Hanna Lei :)
      xox

      Delete
  39. Наденька потрясающий текст и фото, так настроение здорово поднялось, прямо чувствуется веяние счастья и праздника!
    http://www.mosaictrends.com/

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    1. Spasibo za kommentariy, Natashenka!! S nastupayushchim, busechka!!
      xox

      Delete
  40. yeah i agree with you that its also a stressful time as one is juggling between all the things but hey its christmas and the moment it starts i feel happy..music helps a lot..its makes you fell festive and joyful..and decorating the tree is the most joyful time...very nice article..And Merry Christmas to you

    http://perkymegs.blogspot.in/

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    1. It's lovely when we are naturally excited about the holidays, without pushing ourselves into feeling festive :) I love to share that 'cheer' with everyone I know but again without pressure :)
      Hope you enjoyed your Christmas time, Megha :)
      xox

      Delete
  41. This post is absolutely spot on. You're so right in that Christmas can be totally dependent on circumstances and what you make of it. I've been so stressed out with blog work in the lead up to Christmas but I've still tried to be as festive as possible and get into the spirit. Like you, I can't even imagine how horrendous it must be for the poor people that lose loved ones at this time, the most horrendous thing at a time when there is so much cheer. Really loved this post. Hope you have an amazing day <3

    Ellie
    www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

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    1. Thank you for such a kind and lovely comment, Elle :) I am glad you enjoyed it, girlie. My goal was to write from the heart and I am so happy so many could relate. It is good to remember about those who are extra vulnerable during the holiday season. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas, girlie. Will make sure to pay a visit to your blog once we are back home ;)
      xox

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  42. Christmas can be a tough time depending on what's going on but I really hope you have an absolutely fab Christmas, and your kitty looks adorable!!

    Robyn / Phases Of Robyn

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    1. I had a really great time at Christmas, hon. I hope you did too :) Aww, thanks, I miss that little rascal a lot, she lives with my parents now <3
      xox

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  43. Great tips! Christmas music always gets me excited!
    WritingMonique

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    1. I love all the Christmas songs, wish it was appropriate to sing them all year round :D
      Thanks, Monique!
      xox

      Delete
  44. You are so sweet Nadia! I hope you have a wonderful christmas, people who get to spend time with such a wonderful person are very lucky indeed! I admit I haven't been in a christmas mood this year, but hopefully after watching a few christmas films I'll feel better :P

    Pauline
    pawlean.com

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    1. You are just so amazing, Pauline. Thank you so much honey. Your comment really touched me, babe. I hope you got to enjoy yourself at Christmas, sweetie <3
      xox

      Delete
  45. Great post Nadia. Everyone has their own way of celebrating the Holidays, whether it be family time, gifts (large or small), or whatever. Such is life, everyone is unique and has a story. I love how you presented this on your blog because it's easy to get swept up into the madness of it all. Much love to you and your family this Holiday season!
    xo Annie
    http://collectivepassions.com

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    1. I like the way you said it Annie - everyone is unique and has a story. Just have to be thoughtful and considerate towards others. Hope you enjoyed yourselves at Christmas, honey! Lots of love your way!
      xox

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  46. The Christmas for me is a season for share and give~ But nor for share only selfies or expensive shoes is aseason for give love and kindness and for share time. Time for yourself. Time for love. Time for sleep and time for relax. Lovely post
    xx

    www.sakruanko.com

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    1. Thanks girlie, it's important to remember to be thankful <3
      I hope you have enjoyed yourself at Christmas!
      xox

      Delete
  47. This is a great post with great tips. I wasn't in the holiday spirit to begin with, but it has changed after meeting with friends and families in Austria. :)

    http://missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. That sounds great, girlie. Hope you enjoyed yourselves in Austria :)
      Happy holidays!!
      xox

      Delete
  48. Nadia this is such a great post, I love how honest your posts are and ur blog is truly a breath of fresh air. I think the people that don't necessarily enjoy seeing all the cheer around Christmas are usually the ones that could possibly be going through something, and that's ok, nothing is perfect. Or they just have another way of celebrating. Although I love seeing everyone around me getting excited for Christmas, it's definitely not for everyone. I know to get me into the Holiday spirit I always want to do a fun activity with friends, such as attending a parade or even going ice skating. But not every Christmas has been perfect, but I know there's always next year for a new chance:-).

    I hope u had a lovely Christmas!

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    1. That's so nice to hear that, Elizabeth <3 Ao thankful for such feedback girlie.
      It's great to enjoy yourself during the holiday season spending time with family and friends :) Parade and ice skating sounds like a lot of fun!
      Hope you enjoyed yourself at Christmas hon & that you will have a lovely NYE!!
      xox

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  49. Love watching Christmas movies! The atmosphere in whole December is so wonderful! All the lights, candles, smells awaken the Christmas spirit! love it! <3
    Simimaus

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    1. I love December a lot as well girlie :) It's nice to carry that happiness and excitement throughout the year with you if it's possible :) Hope you are having a fab time this holiday season!
      xox

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  50. I cant believe its over now! I'm obsessed with Christmas and cant wait for the next one.
    Happy Holidays!

    http://thelondonthing.co.uk/

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    1. I know, right? lol
      Hope you are having a lovely time as NYE coming up. Any special plans, girlie?
      xox

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  51. Hey hunnie, what a beautiful post! Loved reading through it.
    Hope you had an amazing day yesterday?
    I completely agree with your ideas on how to get into the "mood". It's sad that i think some people no longer send them anymore due to how times have changed, but i love writing and receiving Christmas cards. So much more sentimental than an email or "e-card"!
    I also agree that you do need to stop at some point and just have some "you time" to relax and chill. Shopping and getting everything ready can get so stressful and overwhelming, you just need to take some time out from it all.
    This time of year definitely makes me realise how lucky i am. Although i may not have everything in life, compared to others who have nothing i am extremely thankful. As my way of showing my appreciation, i set out and made up 5 "goodie bags" for the homeless this Christmas. No i don't have money, but from buying deals/offers, i was able to spend around £25 and put a smile on a few peoples faces this christmas, who would otherwise have nothing. It was a late thought in November, so my aim next year is to try and put aside a little each month so i can do it again next year.
    Enjoy your boxing day hun, speak soon..

    Love Hannah xx

    hannahhawes.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Girlie, that is amazing. So great to read about what you do around Christmas time, and it's so great you help those in need, hon. It will be so greatly appreciated! I think it's an amazing tradition to stick to every year. A little act makes a HUGE difference!
      Hope you had a fab time around Christmas, babe!!
      What are your plans for NYE? Lots of love your way!
      xox

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    2. It is lovely to know you're putting a smile on someone's face! Thank you sweet Christmas was great and it's been a nice break too as been off for 2 weeks just relaxing with "the boyfriend".
      Don't have any plans to be honest. Do like to go down London to see the fireworks but with the weather being pretty crappy think we may just go to a high point near to us to watch them from there. Won't be the same but at least we won't have to walk for hours after trying to get home!
      How about you chick? What you got planned?

      Love Hannah xx

      Delete
  52. I love going to the mall and markets where they play christmas songs.
    It's hard to celebrate here in uae especially when you are far away from your family

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

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    1. Aww girlie, hope you had a fab time anyway. Any special plans for NYE? Hope you will have a blast!!
      xox

      Delete
  53. What an inspiring post! I hope you had a nice Christmas :)
    http://carolinapage.eu

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    1. Thanks so much, lovely. Hope your Christmas was a lot of fun! Have a great time at NYE :)
      xox

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  54. Hi Nadia and thank you for your visit. I hope you had a very happy Christmas. Christmas is a time that I really like. I try to spend time with family, relatives, friends. These are the most beautiful things of Christmas, at least in my opinion.
    I like the music, colors, sounds and smells of this time of year.
    I just want him to be happy and carefree. That's it.
    Kisses from Italy,
    Eni

    Eniwhere Fashion
    Bloglovin of Eniwhere Fashion

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  55. Gorgeous ways to get into the festive spirit! Love the pictures!
    Fashion Soup

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  56. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas lovely, love the idea of visiting Christmas markets & spending time with family & friends :) & little things like doing kindness is absolutely lovely!

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year <3

    Serene | I Am Serene L

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  57. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas lovely, love the idea of visiting Christmas markets & spending time with family & friends :) & little things like doing kindness is absolutely lovely!

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year <3

    Serene | I Am Serene L

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  58. I love this post, it's so positive! I have a few people around me who are all Bah Humbug and while I get the frustration and stress, I still love Christmas time. My way to get in the mood is to play Christmas songs and light a candle. Love it!

    coffeeslag

    COFFEESLAG New Year, New Coffeeslag

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  59. Nadia,I'm loving that tips! Your colleges picts are lovely too!
    Happy holiday lovely :) <3

    Marisa
    http://summersnackies.blogspot.co.id/2015/12/towards-end.html

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  60. Girl, this post is on point. I've never experienced the super-stressed version of Christmas, but I have definitely had the happy-go-lucky Christmas seasons as well as Christmas seasons that have been tinged by the loss of a loved one. But I love your advice here. Just remembering things to be grateful for, taking time to be intentional about the season (whether it's decorating or writing cards or doing Christmassy activities). So yeah, this post is great! Atta girl! :)

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  61. This post really made me smile :) I think your story is really inspiring and I totally agree that Christmas is all about family and sharing the love. It really annoys me when you see bratty 7 year olds wailing that they didnt get the newest I phone!

    I watched waay too many holiday movies in the build up to xmas- home alone had to be my fave :)

    I hope you had a fab Christmas hun and wishing you all the best for the new year!

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

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  62. I'm so sad Christmas is over now! Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

    Lauren Ashleigh xx

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  63. What a brilliant post! Nothing makes me feel more festive than a good Christmas Market, I love them!

    Lilies and Lipbalm
    xx

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  64. What an inspiring post! It is definitely super important to spend time with your family and loved ones at Christmas. I also love visiting the Christmas markets and watching Christmas movies, they definitely both make me feel super happy and festive! :)

    Toni x
    www.clarkecouture.co.uk

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  65. Lovely post! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas :)

    Yousra | Mystic Tales

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  66. These are actually really good tips! I wish I had of read them BEFORE Christmas haha. I also can’t even begin to imagine the pain of those who’ve lost someone during this time. I can totally understand though if they don’t like the festive time of the year!

    TFM BLOG

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  67. Aww this is just the loveliest post Nadia! You are just the biggest sweetheart, always so full of love, spirit and positivity and it shines through in this fabulously festive post. I'm not really big on christmas at all, but this year I've spent it with those that matter, and that's good enough for me. It's so nice you are relating to people on all spectrums, one of the things I dislike is the fact that people are a little fake, happy, overwhelming and joyous which can be a little isolating if you're not into christmas all that much, so it's wonderful to read your gorgeous post, full of honesty, understanding and most importantly, your fantastic feelings on getting festive and what really matters most come Christmas. It's so lovely you have such good values, show such kindness and really appreciate everything and everyone. I totally agree that christmas movies and music are always good and me time is the best too. I spent some of christmas on my own this year for a drive; the roads were so isolated but I loved the freedom and space it brought! This post sums up what the season should be about, just lovely :D

    I hope 2016 is full of happiness, love, laughter and sees all your dreams, wishes and hopes come true. Lots of love to you beauty! <3

    Sophie | soinspo xo

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  68. Such a positive post taking into account both sides of the story! I think the festive season is definitely commercialised alot, but we should stop and think about what matters the most - family of course! As a child I was so grateful with even a pair of socks, as I was taught that family mattered the most, but unfortunately nowadays it's a competition for who got the most expensive item or money...

    Happy new year!

    Pop over to my blog!

    Sarah
    sarahinks.co.uk

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  69. Lovely post and great to come across such a diverse post! My Christmas was great but stressful, after just moving house I wasn't as organised as I normally am to get presents and cards sorted but luckily managed through it :) I hope you had a nice one and Happy New Year xx


    Jenny | Krystel Couture x

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  70. It feels funny reading this now that Christmas is over - but I still loved it! You made such a great point (that applies all year round really) that we really don't need much to be happy, just love and family. :) Some very wise words and a great post my love!

    Musings & More

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  71. Love this post!!

    Happy New Year :)

    x Arwa | cremerose.blogspot.com

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  72. I know that Christmas was weeks ago, but life has been crazy and a little bit of holiday spirit is always a good thing (yes, even when it is not the holidays)! I just wanted to let you know that I found you via another blogger and have followed you with Blog Lovin, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram! I do hope you'll connect with me, as well!
    : signe :
    : the daily savant :

    ReplyDelete

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