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Feeling festive right now is a rather big ask.

With a hearty portion of upheaval and uncertainty on our plates, and very little water in our drinking glasses, the approaching holiday season can seem rather less than sparkly.

But perhaps the conditions are actually perfect. ‘What!’ You exclaim, ‘Why?’ Well, because they allow us to re-examine what really makes the holiday season special.

This could be something as simple as getting a moment to lie back and do nothing for a day, or catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe it’s the pleasure of biting into your very first mince pie, or reconnecting with your family. Whatever the case, it’s an opportunity to bring the holiday season back in line with the notion that the whole shebang doesn’t have to cost a packet.

It seems that this idea (much like the furore over the size of the phone in Adele’s latest ‘Hello’ video) is going around. If you’ve spent any time on social media lately, you might have come across the term #handmadechristmas, which is really just Instagrammers and Twitter-ers cottoning on to the age-old premise that homemade gifts, food and decorations can be fabulous (and then slapping a hashtag in front of it).

From tree ornaments made out of ribbon and all the old keys you’ve got lying in the back of that drawer (who knows what they used to unlock) to ‘How Tos’ on making gifts yourself, from lip balm to chocolate vodka (yes, it’s a thing), shopping small and giving from the heart seems to be ‘in’ this season.

So rather than putting pressure on yourself to find the perfect gift for Great Aunt Doris, or buying the absolutely ‘right’ pair of shorts for an upcoming trip, why not think of ways to keep the cheer without the commercial lunacy?

Because let’s face it, after the year we’ve had, we all need a jolly good break.