Christmas Treats & Crackers fillers
November 2017, posted by Emma
‘Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you’
As the old nursery rhyme reminds us, the festive season is drawing near. For many of us this time of year is full of nostalgia - decorations, trees and food often trigger memories of childhood Christmases.
For my sister and I, Christmas was one of the rare occasions that our parents let us eat sweets, a huge treat! Candy canes, chocolate santas and boxes of chocolates (where, mysteriously, only coffee creams remain by Boxing Day) are still part of many people’s festive experience. To help you prepare for this year’s festivities we’ve devised some bath and body treats to conjure up nostalgic aromas of childhood sweets. Of course, favourite sweets vary between families, regions and countries, but these gift ideas make lovely gifts regardless of which sweetie aromas you grew up with. Christmas selection boxes have never smelt so good!
Fruitylicious Bath Bombs
Our fizzy bath bombs conjure-up memories of chewy, fruit sweets. This aroma takes me on a swift journey to the alleyway next to my house in the 1970s, illicitly chewing sweets that my mother certainly didn’t approve of. The uplifting citrus aromas of this blend are designed to bring an impish, child-like smile to your lips. Despite being a low dilution be aware that lime oil in particular is phototoxic. The usual guidelines are to avoid direct sunlight for at least 12 hours after using, though this shouldn’t pose a problem to Europeans in December. Many thanks to Aromatherapist friend Julie Lever for sharing her favourite nostalgic blend recipe with us.
Bath bombs are easy to make and fun to use, but measure your ingredients carefully. The water content must be just right – not enough and your bombs won’t stick together, too much and they’ll fizz too early. This recipe makes approx. 8 x 20g bath bombs, or will fill an average sized ice cube tray. You can buy your bath bomb making kit, with all your essential ingredients, from us here.
You’ll need:- to make 10 to 12 bath bombs using the size mould (4cm diamter) provided with the kit
1-2 40g plastic bath bomb / silicone moulds. You can re-use moulds when making bombs from the same batch, or use an ice cube tray.
150g citric acid
300g bicarbonate of soda
8g water – use a small measuring cup or a pipette to make sure you don’t over-water your mix.
Decoration – optional. As its Christmas why not invest in some biodegradable glitter (avoid usual craft glitter, as it will end up being washed down the drain which isn’t good for our delicate eco-system). Alternatively, flower petals or seeds look lovely.
Essential oils ( Allow 6 to 8 drops of oil / bomb)
11 drops May Chang (Litsea cubeba)
11 drops Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
32 drops Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
32 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
- Thoroughly mix the bicarb with the citric acid in a large bowl. Bicarb can get lumpy, so either sift it or break up any lumps with a spoon.
- Mix in the glitter or flower petals, if using.
- Add the drops of essential oil and mix well
- Add the water with pipette sprinkling over the mixture and mixing quickly to prevent fizzing.. Your mix should still look fairly dry but should stick together when you squeeze it.
- Fill both halves of the bomb moulds. Push the halves together and compress. Brush off any excess mix. Make sure the moulds are fully filled with no gaps.
- Gently open the moulds and remove the bombs (you might find it easier to let them dry in the moulds for a little while before removing them). Leave them for a couple of hours to dry completely before wrapping.
(6. If using an ice cube tray simply fill the tray, pressing the mix into each ‘cube’, so that there aren’t any air gaps. Wipe any excess mix from around the edges. You can let them dry in the tray before gently popping them out.
- When ready to use, simply drop a bomb into your bath, inhale the sweetie aromas and enjoy the fizz!)
Chocotastic Body Butter
Consuming chocolate is almost compulsory in December. Add citrus fruits, particularly oranges and tangerines, and you’ve got a festive crowd pleaser. This butter is inspired by a favourite childhood Christmas treat of mine, which I still love to tuck into come December. The key chocolate-like ingredient here is mafura butter with its smooth, buttery aroma. Hailing from the southern most parts of Africa this luscious oil is cold-pressed from the bright red seeds of the mafura fruit.
You’ll need a 60g jar.
25g mafura butter
15g shea butter
10g coconut oil
5mls avocado oil
Essential oils @ 2% dilution:-
15 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
7 drops Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium fol)
8 drops Benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis)
First, slowly melt the coconut oil in a bain marie (place it in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl). Once melted add the shea butter, followed by mafura butter. When all 3 fats have melted remove the pan from the heat and add the avocado and jojoba oils. Carefully pour the vegetable oil mix into your 60ml jar. Add your essential oils – stir quickly and thoroughly (the benzoin may sink to the bottom of the jar if you don’t work fast). To minimize any benzoin sink pop your jar into the fridge to speed up your butter’s setting time. Keep your butter in a cool place, as it will melt if it gets too warm.
Delightfully Rosy Shower Gel
Turkish Delight has been a UK Christmas favourite for decades. Bright boxes of high street varieties shine from confectionary aisles at this time of year. A trip to this sweet’s country of origin as a teenager revealed that ‘real’ Turkish Delight comes in a myriad of colours and flavours, all a far cry from the garishly pink, sugar-rush sweets of my childhood. Our body wash / shower gel combines luxurious, exotic ingredients with a touch of the high street version’s aroma, for that nostalgic kick!
60ml body wash base
Essential oils at a 2% dilution:-
4 drops Palmarosa (Cympopogon martinii)
4 drops Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum)
3 drops Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
2 drops Rose Otto (Rosa damascena)
Mix your essential oils with your shower gel base. Then invite your lucky gift recipients to enjoy a trip to the Middle Eastern trip, via a favourite British sweet treat, as they take their morning shower.