HOW TO PLANT
They thrive on neglect. When in flower, water only every other week — stand the container in the sink and use half a cup of water, letting it drain through. Never let water collect in the growing tip: this will cause new leaves to rot and kill off the plant. Place in dappled shade: an east or westfacing windowsill, shaded by a blind, is ideal. Too much light means fewer flowers. They need daytime temperatures of 18°C-plus, 12°C at night. Get delegating — right now. No one can sparkle when they’re shattered so share the tasks out. Even small children can help with this: making decorations, stirring the pud, adorning the tree, laying the table.
Embrace mindfulness. It’s meditation made easy. Whatever you’re doing — whether it’s peeling potatoes or putting up the decorations, become aware of what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, where you are. Every so often, stop and just take a few minutes to focus on your breath. You don’t have to change your breathing; just be aware of it.
Have fun and make some lastminute decorations. Huge swags of homemade paperchains are fun to make (children love them) and give your home a really individual look. Choose startling colour combos (fuchsia pink, leaf green and sultry black?) or go for glittery, sparkly silvers and golds. Check out your local craft shop. Thrifty souls will, of course, use last year’s saved paper and are fully entitled to look smug.
Instead of coffee, which increases cortisol levels and jangles the adrenal glands, sip one of Pukka Herbs’ gorgeous herbal or spicy teas. Peppermint and liquorice is refreshing while cinnamon and cardamom is revitalising and smells divine; available from good health stores.