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Spa a thought this Christmas Founder, Abi Selby, talks about how buying a little less can mean giving a little more meaning to your nearest and dearest.

The holiday challenge

Christmas is once again upon us, and with it the equal measure of joy and stress that goes with present buying, gift giving, festivity organising, party attending and so on and so forth.

There's a lot of simultaneous discussion at this time of year about the meaning of Christmas, the joy of giving and the value of quality time with loved ones. However, for all the good intentions it can somehow become a period in which so many people feel isolated, even in the busiest rooms.

Perhaps one of the reasons for that is the focus on abundance - lots of cards, lots of people, lots of presents. If that happens to be what you enjoy, have and can afford then that's a wonderful thing to be cherished.

However, if you find it all overwhelming, if Christmas is a time that highlights the absence of someone you love, or if the pressure to attend events and buy gifts for lots of people places undue strain on already tight budgets, then it starts to defeat the point.

Spa a thought: give the gift of relaxation this Christmas

The meaning of spa

For this reason, at this year we have adopted the phrase 'spa a thought this Christmas'. I have always stood by my belief that a spa experience is about so much more than pampering (although it's that too) - it’s an unspoken declaration of love - for yourself, for others, for the relationship you have with others.

A spa break is about caring touch, quality time, peace and quiet, getting back into your body and giving yourself the space to properly unwind. These are all things that carry meaning and significance on a scale that we often underestimate - mentally, physically and emotionally. Giving that level of care to someone is a deeply thoughtful, considerate thing to do. It's an incredible gift.

We are often told that a picture speaks a thousand words, but, my goodness, the message conveyed in giving someone the space to be themselves for a little while is infinite.

Spa a thought for yourself this Christmas: How to avoid Christmas burnout

Less is more

We can get so caught up in buying as much as possible for as many people as possible over Christmas. We think we have to buy presents for everyone in some kind of quid pro quo, but in giving for the sake of it we end up diluting the gestures for those we truly love, exchanging lots of meaningless bits and pieces that inevitably find their way to the back of a cupboard.

‘Spa a thought’ isn't about how much we spend but about the headspace we have for making meaningful gestures. In doing so, we can take the time to really enjoy getting something that we think a loved one will be delighted by on Christmas Day and beyond, and we also take back some of our own tranquillity by not rushing around trying to manically buy for everyone who ever gave us a box of chocolates. That's the thing about joyful gift giving - it really does reward the giver as well.

So, this year, spa a thought for your mum, your dad, your brother, your sister, your best friend, your partner, your employee, your colleague and yourself. Spa a thought for your bank balance, your head space and your valuable time, and instead of buying hundreds of unremarkable things, buy one or two truly remarkable experiences that really show how much you care.

I wish you a happy, healthy Christmas.

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