• Andrea Jones

DIY Christmas Gifts

I love to give gifts during the holidays, but sometimes the budget doesn't allow for me to give as extravagantly as I would like. In addition, we have really spent the last few years simplifying our holidays and that means we have had to get creative in the gift department. 

Not only do these make great crafts to do with your kiddos, but they make WONDERFUL gifts! I LOVE to pair essential oils with my DIY projects because they not only smell amazing, but they provide the body with amazing benefits.

If you like science and learning about the human body, then you will find this fascinating. “Incoming smells are first processed by the olfactory bulb, which starts inside the nose and runs along the bottom of the brain. The olfactory bulb has direct connections to two brain areas that are strongly implicated in emotion and memory:  the amygdala and hippocampus. Interestingly, visual, auditory (sound), and tactile (touch) information do not pass through these brain areas. This may be why olfaction, more than any other sense, is so successful at triggering emotions and memories.”

“A number of behavioral studies have demonstrated that smells trigger more vivid emotional memories and are better at inducing that feeling of 'being brought back in time' than images.”

The holiday season brings back a lot of wonderful memories for me. Cinnamon is a popular scent during the season. If you have had cinnamon around during past holidays and have had great experiences, then when you smell cinnamon, you will likely be brought back to those good memories.

You can, of course, sub out any essential oil for the cinnamon. Pick a scent that brings you back to a warm, cozy, happy place! I also love Christmas Spirit or Northern Lights Black Spruce.

RECIPE:

1. Soak pine cones for about an hour to get rid of critters if you got them from outside. 

2. Lay the cones out on a foil-lined baking sheet and pop them in a 200º oven for about 30 minutes. This helps the cones open up. 

3. Once they have cooled, place them in a ziplock bag. Sprinkle about 30 drops of Cinnamon Bark essential oil on the cones in the bag. Cinnamon bark/Clove is also a great combo. 

4. Let them sit in the bag for 1-2 weeks. Place in your favorite holiday bowl and enjoy the amazing holiday scent!


Holiday Room Spray

ROOM SPRAY BASE

8 oz water

2 oz witch hazel

Add Young Living Essential oils for scent: see suggestions below.


Cozy By The Fire

20 drops Orange

15 drops Cinnamon

10 drops Clove


Candy Cane scent

30 drops Peppermint

20 drops Wintergreen


Sweet Mint Scent

30 drops Peppermint

20 drops Spearmint


Gingerbread

20 Ginger

15 Clove

10 Nutmeg

10 Cinnamon


Spiced Cider

20 Cinnamon

15 Orange

10 Ginger


Christmas Tree

30 Northern Lights Black Spruce

10 Pine

10 Idaho Blue Spruce


BATH SALTS

Baths are the perfect way to wind down at the end of a long day during the holidays. Gifting your loved ones bath salts is the perfect way to show them they deserve a little R & R. Bath salts can double as a foot soak for those who aren't bath people! 

BENEFITS OF TAKING A BATH


1. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE

The warm water of a bath can slightly raise your heart rate, increasing oxygenation and circulation. It can also lower your blood pressure for those without prior heart disease.

2. REDUCES PAIN AND INFLAMMATION IN JOINTS

Bathing loosens and relaxes the muscles, soothing aches and pains without any adverse effects.

3. DECREASE STRESS AND IMPROVE SLEEP

A bath before bed can reduce the level of stress and anxiety in the body and improve your mood. This increased relaxed state can calm your nervous system and improve sleep.

4. REDUCE SUGAR LEVELS

Reduce sugar levels from extra holiday desserts.

A recent independent study has shown that bathing may reduce sugar levels in the blood, which could help people who suffer from diabetes to manage their weight better.

5. IMPROVES IMMUNITY

Taking a hot bath can kill bacteria and improve immunity. It can also promote slower deeper breaths, increasing oxygenation and improving circulation

6. CLEANSING AND MOISTURIZING

Hot water opens our pores and causes us to sweat, which is the body’s natural way of cleansing itself.


Now that you have been convinced that taking a bath is in your best interest, let’s talk about the benefits of bath salts and pure essential oils!

Bathing with Himalayan bath salts stimulates circulation, hydrates the skin, increases moisture retention, promotes cellular regeneration, detoxifies the skin, and helps heal dry, scaling, irritated skin.

ADD SOME AROMATHERAPY TO YOUR LIFE AND YOU WILL BE A WHOLE NEW PERSON!

Aromatherapy is using the scents of oils for your wellbeing.

As you learned earlier, essential oils have the ability to pass through the olfactory bulb and head right into the brain where your memories are held. They can help calm occasional stressors AND release memories and emotions, bringing you into a calmer state. This is both needed and wanted more than ever during the holiday season. 


Here are some of my favorite Young Living oils to use during a bath to promote a calm experience to improve your overall emotional wellbeing:

  • 4 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce & 4 drops Frankincense

  • 4 drops Peace & Calming & 4 drops Stress Away

  • 2 drops Lavender, 3 drops Cedarwood, 4 drops Gentle Baby

  • 4 drops Roman Chamomile & 4 drops Frankincense

  • 3 drops Frankincense, 3 drops Sandalwood, & 3 drops Lavender

  • 2 drops Ylang Ylang & 4 drops Stress Away

HOLIDAY TIP: Put bath salts  and essential oils in a cute clear ornament for a simple yet effective gift!


DRYER BALL SNOWMAN

This is the perfect gift for anyone. Who doesn’t do laundry!? Plus, it is such a cute way to provide a safe and effective way to soften and freshen clothes!


Fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain chemicals like benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), and other chemicals that are known carcinogens, and neurotoxic.

These products are intended to get trapped in your clothes, which means they rub on your skin constantly, seep into your pores, and get into your body. These toxic chemicals can cause all kind of health problems. It’s time to cut out those dryer sheets and fabric softeners and make the easy switch to dryer balls. Gifting them is a great way to share the love of health! 


Write a little thank you note and let them know, “This little snowman will replace the need for dryer sheets. Mr. Snowman can be beneficial to your health because he eliminates toxic chemicals hiding in your dryer sheets. Toss him in the dryer with your clothes. When the laundry is dry, pull the wool balls out, apply 5 drops of oil to the wool balls, toss them back in and tumble for 5 minutes for soft fresh scented clothes.”


You can grab your dryer balls here

Include a bottle of any essential oil you wish. Some laundry favorites are:

- Purification

- Lavender

- Citrus Fresh

- Thieves

- Tea Tree

More info on chemicals in dryer sheets here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/greener-laundry/

To your wellness,

Andrea Jones

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