How to prepare for a calm Christmas

Homemade bath bombs

Homemade bath bombs - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Janey Lee Grace, health expert, shares some festive tips

Sheila's Natural Products

Sheila's Natural Products - Credit: submitted

Is it possible that the words calm and Christmas can go together? I will put it out there – yes they can – it just needs a little preparation!

It’s obvious that over the festive season we are all going to want to indulge somewhat, and there’s always the risk of getting a tad frantic as we try and fit everything in, but ensure that at least part of your festive preparations are ‘imperfectly natural’. With some forethought, presents can be that bit more special – and imagine how great you will feel if you don’t leave everything until Christmas Eve...

Homemade gifts are always great and even if you are not a domestic goddess you can craft a lovely jar of herbs and oil, make your own beeswax candles or fizzing bath bomb. Alternatively seek out a handmade artisan gift from one of the many excellent stalls at the county’s farmers’ markets. I love the bustling St Albans Market on the second Sunday of each month where there’s usually live jazz, and alongside a freshly cooked ostrich burger – yes, really – enjoy a cup of hot apple juice; the kids love it!

There are lots of craft markets too, with many special Christmas ones this month. In addition to the huge events at the gorgeous stately homes at Hatfield and Knebworth, check out school festive fairs, which are also a great source of gifts and have a lovely atmosphere. People come from all over the county to the Advent Fair at Rudolf Steiner school in Kings Langley, a huge event with all manner of crafts and gifts on sale. There’s usually more than 140 stalls, great cafes and live music. Children can enjoy the enchanted cookie house, the Father Christmas grotto and there the is to-die-for vegetarian food and a BBQ outdoors.

Don’t forget the Christmas party preparations. You’ve seen the recent furore around microbeads damaging marine environments, so make your exfoliator is a natural one or use a natural sponge from Herts company Konjac ( And check out the awesome Platinum Award-winning natural moisturising creams from Herts-based Shiela’s Natural Products from

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