Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

How can we keep the cosy vibes going after Christmas…?

Posted on: December 18th, 2019 by samdrawsthings No Comments

ponderings banner by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

I find winter hard.  I’ve written on my Instagram about how much I prefer Halloween to Christmas…. although this year does feel easier.  My mental health is much better, AND I’ve created the HiberNATION to celebrate the cosy, dark vibes of this time of year.  So I’m feeling a lot more chilled out about the Christmas part of winter (you can read about the Christmas I stayed in bed and ate pizza here!), but I’m wondering how we can create some intentional rituals to fight off the post-Christmas blues….

join the hibernation illustration by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.co.uk

Christmas day comes so close to Solstice; here in the UK it’s bang in the middle of the darkest time.  We’re celebrating the returning of the light.  But it’s a slooooow return, and still a way to go before hibernation time is over.

Once the decorations come down on Twelfth Night, it can feel kind of bleak, can’t it? We been collecting and doing things that helps us survive the winter and lift our spirits – pretty lights, evergreens, socialising, exchanging gifts, eating comfort food – and then at New Year BAM! We give them all up again, even though there’s a lot of winter left.  Astrologically, Solstice marks the START of winter!

I used to work with a lovely lady called Mel, who would countdown to Valentines Day, because from that point she knew she could pretty much always drive home from work at 5.30pm without her headlights on.  It’s a nice measure of when the evenings begin to get lighter again.

So, what can we do to look after ourselves and each other as we wait for the light to come back…?  Here are some ideas:

  1.  January Decorations! Apparently, the tradition of taking the Christmas decorations down to avoid bad luck is a Pagan one, linked to the evergreens and their foliage – you could deck the halls, but you had to get them back outside by the 6th of January or the tree spirits would start to get antsy.  So last year we made sure we got the tree outside, then kept some of the fairy lights, and jiggled around some of the not-to-festive decorations.  It definitely helped the house to feel warm and welcoming.  Other years, I have purposefully made January decorations to replace the Christmas ones, to brighten the place up and celebrate the New Year.
  2. Join the HiberNATION.  Recognise that it is still winter, all the things that helped us before Christmas ARE STILL ALLOWED!  Pyjamas, chocolate, snuggling, catching up with friends, bingeing on box sets, knitting and/or wearing all the warm knitted stuff… keep making time for the cosy things that nurture your heart and soul.  This is the best time of year to enjoy this stuff!  You don’t have to stop just cos it’s not December any more 🙂
  3. Look for the beauty.  Right now, my garden is a muddy quagmire.  Every time the dog comes in, we gain some indoor mud too.  Sometimes I have to search out the beauty of this time of year.  But it’s there.  The resting quiet, like the pause in between breaths.  The silhouettes of trees against pastel winter skies.  Ice, frost and snow.  And then slowly, the tiny signs that start to creep in of returning life and noise, like snowdrops and little shoots of green bursting up from the mud…
  4. Do some reflecting and look to the future.  I’m not one for full-on, high-pressure New Years Resolutions, but there is a ton of advice out there about setting intentions or themes for the year.  This year I think I will do a little bit of journalling to reflect back on the previous year, create a list of things to look forward to in the next year, and list some of the qualities I’d like to call in to my life for 2020.  (If you need some help, my friend Alice is doing a mini-course that could be just the thing!).
  5. Allow your feelings.  Winter is by nature a darker time, for slowing down, reflecting and planting seeds.  You don’t have to be ‘jolly’.  It’s ok to feel whatever you feel.   I think we can sometimes make things harder for ourselves if we fight what we truly feel.  I’m working on welcoming my emotions and seeing what they are here to tell me. And a lot of the time in winter, they’re saying ‘go slow, be gentle, plant seeds.’

And, as ever, allow time for self care 🙂

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⭐️message from the Comfort Fairy⭐️ . Step up your self care. . I’m learning about leaning in to opposites. Gently breaking my behaviour patterns by doing the opposite of what I use to do. The times when I have the most to do and that ‘busy busy busy’ vibe is ramping up are the times I need to claim some of that time for me. . The times when I am giving the most are the times I need to up my self care. . The times when I feel the most triggered and anxious and flighty are the times I need to slow down, feel and breathe rather than rush and run. . And it’s strangely hard; it’s like my inner martyr just kicks in and is ready to take the world on her shoulders until she breaks. But what’s the point of that?! Who can I help if I’m in a puddle on the floor? . I’ve been that puddle more times than I care to admit. It’s been a pattern for me; the hurtling followed by the crashing. . So I’m learning this new way to navigate. . I’m here to serve, I’m here to help. My calling to magicalise is powerful and exciting. But I’m remembering I can’t serve anyone from the puddle! . . . . . . . #ComfortFairy #StepUpYourSelfCare #SelfLove #MentalHealth #Recovery #FairyDog #FaeriesOfInstagram #Faeries

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The Christmas I stayed in bed and ate pizza

Posted on: December 20th, 2017 by samdrawsthings 2 Comments

ponderings banner by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

Pondering Christmas with the help of the Comfort Fairy

I have a little pattern of thoughts on loop at the moment that goes a bit like this…

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

No it isn’t.

“‘Tis the season to be jolly…”

No it isn’t.

Because, for me, winter isn’t this magical season full of jolliness and cheer. It’s the opposite. I live in the UK so…It’s dark. Grey. Cold. Wet. Bleak.

And I struggle sometimes to be festive.

Three years ago was particularly rough – I’d been through a break up, was living with my (very kind) brother and his girlfriend having left my home, and my dog was living with my (very patient) parents. Although I was in a good place in some ways, as Christmas approached I just felt sick. After talking to a couple of friends who never really ‘do’ Christmas, I opted out of all festivities, walked the dog, cried a lot and ate pizza. It was a tough day but I know it could’ve been worse. And opting out was what I felt I needed to do to cope that year; it needed to just be another day.

A realisation dawned on me as I thought about that year and everyone going through tough Christmases this year…

Winter is hard. Just plain difficult regardless of what might be going on in your life at the time.

Our systems are often run down, we’re not getting enough vitamin D, it feels like the sun has abandoned us and then we add in this sudden intense pressure to do Christmas Things in a particular way (be jolly, spend all the money, buy perfect presents for everyone, see family, overeat)…and that can just feel like too much.

But then I remembered…

We invented Mid-winter celebrations like Christmas because winter is hard.

The Christians were wise to move Christmas to match the pagan calendar to convert the Northern Hemisphere.  We need a celebration to mark the coming of the sun, as the nights stop lengthening and the days start lengthening instead. We need things like candles and warm food, evergreens, fires, companionship, compassion and sharing.

It’s not meant to be an extra stress or pressure; we didn’t invent it to make ourselves feel crap (there’s a whole host of reasons why it might have become that), but in its honest heart, it’s the opposite.

A time to take a breath. To recognise the darkness and that we are in its heaviest time. To find the light wherever we can. To be a light for others when we can.

And even though this year I’m feeling quite excited about Christmas, having those thoughts set me free.

It helped me to see that when I do struggle to feel happy and festive, that’s ok. If I don’t manage to send cards to everyone who sends me one, it’s alright.  If I can’t get my act together to give gifts, that’s ok too.  If I need to opt out, to reshape Christmas to suit where I am at the time, that’s do-able.

This year, I’m sending Christmas-time cards because I’ve missed the post.  And that’s ok.

So whatever the last year has brought you, in whatever position you find yourself in at Christmas; the biggest gift is to be gentle with yourself.

If we can remember that at the heart of these winter holidays is the idea of bringing light to the darkness, we might behave quite differently.  If you’re feeling dark and the fairy lights of Christmas are only making things gloomier, it’s ok to turn them off.

Launching my new collection

Posted on: October 11th, 2017 by samdrawsthings No Comments

A new collection from illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

I delighted to announce the launch of my magical new collection which will be happening online and in person at:

The Witches, Fairies and Hippies Fair

Sunday the 29th of October 2017

11am – 4pm

West Totton Community Centre, Hazel Farm Road, Southampton, SO40 8WU

Check out their event page here for all the info.

There’s a £2 entry fee and a fab raffle with loads of other wonderful stalls.

Come along and find the Sam Draws Things stand for illustrated goodies like cards, prints and original artwork as well as some gorgeous new gift ideas.

I’m busy working away on things to sell, including a range of things inspired by the Comfort Fairy 🙂

The Comfort Fairy by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

There will also be a collection of unicorns ready to find their new homes, and this will be the first time they will be out in public. It’s really exciting and I can’t wait.

Drawing on unicorns - by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

The new collection will be available in my online shop too, but this is a great chance to see things up close and fall in love, so pop along and say hello 🙂

You can see my page for the launch on Facebook here.

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Feeling festive…

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by samdrawsthings No Comments

I popped to the opening of the lovely Winchester Christmas Market with my mum on Friday night, and it really helped us both start to get in a festive mood.

I have added quite a few things to the Sam Draws Things Etsy shop recently, including some prints that could make perfect presents, and some Christmas Cards.  Do pop over for a look!

You can also sign up with Give as You Live and then shop – it’s a really clever way to support charities whilst shopping online.  Etsy will donate 2.5% of what you spend on Etsy to a charity of your choice, without it costing you a penny.

Christmas Cards by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com

Fox print by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com

First couple of illustrations….

Posted on: December 21st, 2013 by samdrawsthings No Comments

One of the first illustrations I’ve done with my new  illustrator hat on was for the Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce magazine. I belonged to the brilliant HR Sector committee when I was working for Froglife, and it was a bit of a leaving present to illustrate a short bit of news about the way views of women have changed.  In 1913, a woman couldn’t be a solicitor as she didn’t count as a ‘person’… Makes you realise the point of HR and employment legislation.

HR specialist Rosemary Green also got in touch after hearing I was going freelance to see if I could help with her company Christmas card.  The idea was Rosemary’s – Father Christmas turning up at Fly-by-Night Parcel Delivery with an employment tribunal form after years of unpaid work.  I added some other Christmassy touches:

card for Rosemary Green

Just a couple of little cartoons really, but fun to do and great to get my hand back in!

More Froglife cards…

Posted on: November 11th, 2013 by samdrawsthings No Comments

Getting ready for Christmas at Froglife with a new design and some reprints.  You can find them at www.froglife.org/shop

christmas-2013-websnow-toad-card

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