Lifestyle London Outfit

How to Handle Christmas

November 29, 2016



By Reem Kanj / In Collaboration with Etsy

I’ve  only really been ‘doing Christmas’ for the past couple of years, mainly because I’m usually away during this time of year, but me and Jenai decided that Christmas just isn’t the same when you’re not at home, and for us, that’s London. I mean it’s the only thing that really makes the cold worth it at this time of year. Last year was my first proper attempt at Christmas as an adult. We had finally moved into a space that wasn’t the size of a shoe box and there was enough space for a tree and dinner at an actual dining table. So needless to say I was excited to be a hostess. Even if my guest list consisted of one person – my husband.

Things didn’t go quite to plan… I was so unorganised and frantic with excitement and anxiety of ‘getting it right’ I didn’t have all the right elements in place in time and it ended up being a bit of a mess in all honesty. Although that didn’t take away from any of its charm, I mean it’s still Christmas, but this year, I’m on a mission to redeem myself.

Bringing me to my first holiday-related post of the season, I’ve teamed up with Etsy  to talk you through all the things I’m attempting for handling Christmas like an adult this year and I really hope my tips come in handy for you.



Christmas vibes for me, start with getting into the cosy spirit. There’s no better way to make the most of the beautiful atmosphere surrounding us then by being prepared for the brisk cold that comes with it. So this year I started stocking up on my knitwear early. I’ve been purchasing scarves, gloves and hats since September and one of my favourite new pieces has to be this beautiful blush coloured, hand knitted scarf by East London-based Etsy seller, Elfrieda & Jabir. I also treated myself to some 100% cashmere fingerless mittens from Silk & Grey, and with this kind of armour, I’m ready for the chilly weather without the risk of getting grumpy over being too cold.



As I mentioned before, last year, I left things so last minute and was not prepared in the least for a festive Christmas at home. I did get a tree, I bought one from Columbia Road flower market and lugged it home in an Uber, and like a little kid I couldn’t contain my excitement, but this was done so late that by the time I wanted to buy decorations for it, all the good ones were pretty much sold out. I also learnt pretty quickly that having a real tree in your flat is not as welcomed as you’d imagine. It gets messy straight away, and no, the smell of pine definitely doesn’t justify the constant cleaning.

Now, I’m not sure if it’s because it’s our first Christmas at home as an official married couple, or because Natalya will be flying over from Dubai to join us, but I’m just so eager to have everything as perfect as it can possibly be. So I’ve gone all out with the organisation and started prepping super early. I’ve bought an artificial tree this time around, decided on all the decor, prepped a festive tablescape for dinner and have already got all of our presents figured out with gift wrapping bought. I’m basically Martha Stewart over here.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know that everything I need is here, just waiting for an appropriate, non-premature time to get decorating with and in the spirit of being giving, I’ve included a few of my favourite buys from Etsy below to hopefully get you in the mood, if you’re not already, or to help you get things set in place for your perfect Christmas at home.


Personal Favourites from Etsy

Personalised Christmas Sign - £6.99
Initial Wooden Bauble Gift Tags - £1
Gold Personalised Bauble - £2.70
Advent Calendar Cotton Bags - £30
Personalised Star Bauble - £7
Personalised Present Sack - £27.99
Noel Christmas Note Card - £3
Christmas Tree Topper - £19
Tropical Christmas Trees - £14
Constellations Paper - £3.80
Chunky Knit White Stocking - £55
Luxury Hand Pressed Card - £3



One of my biggest personal challenges as being a business owner, is to actually get offline and focus on the present. Whether it’s for Christmas or any other special occasion of the year, I always find it so hard to switch off from work and relax. I guess it’s just one of the downfalls from loving what you do so much, so I try not to look at my workaholicism in a negative way, but I am aiming to be better at drawing a line for important off days like the holiday period.

In order to achieve this as stress-free as possible, I have been working extra hard on getting every kind of deadline met in advance or on time to make sure that there are zero distractions or panics during my days off at home. This isn’t just a habit I’m trying to make for Christmas, but something I’m really hoping to implement into my daily life for the new year. But more on that another time…

To make the most of those amazing lazy days on the sofa, eating every last chocolate from the tray, and cosying up in your favourite blanket, I’d highly suggest powering through as much as you possibly can to make sure that work life or anything non-friend, or family related is kept at bay for Christmas.

 I really hope you enjoy this post. I’m planning a few other Christmas related content for you coming up soon.