New Homes Available in Chapelton

Chapelton is known for its strong community spirit, but the carefully chosen housebuilders are just as important for making the town a great place to live.

The five trusted house builders specialise in modern, practical and energy efficient homes and each boast a plethora of options to suit every buyer. As the development of Chapelton move apace, here’s a roundup of the latest homes available in the town.

AJC Homes

AJC Homes is a local house builder based here in the North East of Scotland. Homes are currently available in the popular South Wolrige Gardens – an attractive collection of properties including single storey and semi-detached homes, each featuring traditional features including harling and slate roofs.

All homes constructed by AJC in Chapelton are energy efficient with gas fired central heating and thermostatically controlled radiators throughout, giving you complete control of individual room temperatures to save energy.

When you buy an AJC home, you can be certain that you’ll move into a home with a brand new efficient and reliable boiler that will give you both peace of mind and lower heating bills.

South Wolridge Gardens, Chapelton

For more information on homes available at South Wolrige Gardens, visit the AJC website to download a brochure and make an appointment. 

If South Woldrige Gardens doesn’t feel like the right fit for you, AJC’s newest offering in Chapelton, Benton Crescent, will be available soon. Benton Crescent is a highly desirable development of detached and semi-detached, two, three, four and five bedroom homes. Register your interest on the AJC website to make sure you keep up to date with property news including Benton Crescent.

Places for People

In Chapelton, Places for People has launched a brand new phase of homes and out of the forty-nine new houses, seven are for sale already.

The homes have been designed to cater for a range of residents and feature new bespoke house types, giving customers in Chapelton a one-off opportunity to opt for newly designed two, three and four-bedroom detached, terraced, apartment and coach house property types.

These new properties really do cater for everyone – it doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time buyer or downsizing, there are homes available for everyone.

Places for People, Chapelton

To find out more about the homes available and to book a viewing, visit the Places for People website for more information.

Stephen

Few housebuilders have a reputation comparable to Stephen for excellent design and the most quality craftsmanship. The family firm has been established since 1935 and their philosophy has remained unchanged: insistence on the highest standards.

Stephen has complimented their existing range of two to six bedroom homes with the launch of several new two to three bed detached properties. The specification of these new style homes on offer has been carefully considered and offer an attractive option for those looking to experience life in a great location.

The Craignish home is a popular choice in Chapelton which offers three large bedrooms and a space of over 100 square meters, the perfect space to really make your own.

Craignish homes by Stephen Homes at Chapelton

If you are interested in a Places for People home in Chapelton, you can register your interest and book an appointment to visit their award-winning show home.

Brio

As part of our commitment to build a community that meets the needs of all, we were pleased to partner with Brio Retirement Living to bring a supportive retirement living community to Chapelton.

Landale Court at Brio Retirement Living offers both one and two bedroom cottages, apartments and bungalows – a place where you can really live life in retirement to the full, with a range of facilities.

The Campbell by Brio Retirement Living at Chapelton

There are various homes available at Landale Court, including The Campbell. The Campbell is a single-storey, one bedroom bungalow that features spacious living and a private garden.

The home automation system that comes with a Brio Retirement home will offer you the ability to control all the electrics and appliances in one place, making sure you only need to heat the areas of the home you need.

Properties by Brio Retirement Living in Chapelton are available to rent, buy, part buy or part rent. To find out more about Landale Court by Brio Retirement Living, browse their website and book an appointment to find out more.

Snowdrop

Our final homebuilder is the exclusive and renowned Snowdrop Developments who won Scottish Homebuilder of the Year this year.

Homes by Snowdrop in Chapelton are spacious and feature generous plots, right at the edge of the development that will really give you the country living feel with beautiful views, despite being just a few miles from the centre of the town.

Since joining Chapelton, Snowdrop homes have been in such high demand that very few properties remain, but the impressive Macallan home is still available. The Macallan home, just like Snowdrop’s other properties, hasn’t been bulk built and has features you won’t find anywhere else. Using the highest quality materials, all homes are efficient and have been carefully designed.

The Macallan home is highly efficient with gas central heating and even features solar photovoltaics, capturing the sun’s energy to convert it into electricity that you can use every day. Additionally, you will find underfloor heating on the ground floor that is a wonderful welcome home in the colder months.

The MacAllan Home by Snowdrop Homes at Chapelton

The impressive Coleburn is also available from Snowdrop, another five-bedroom home with great features and carefully planned layouts. The home features natural slate roofs and underfloor heating on the ground floor, in addition to cast iron rainwater goods and a wide range of other specifications that make Snowdrop’s homes really stand out.

The Coleburn Home by Snowdrop Developments

If Snowdrop’s homes currently available at Chapelton don’t quite feel right for you, there are two new sites going through the planning process and their new show home will be open in Summer 2022. 

For more information on the Macallan home or any other homes available by Snowdrop in Chapelton, visit the website to download a brochure or request more information.

Want to know more?

Find out more about the Chapelton vision and get in touch with us if you’d like to know more about the masterplan – we’d love to chat.


News from The Boxes @ Chapelton

It’s full steam ahead at The Boxes @ Chapelton. There is a real buzz in the air, with plenty of friendly faces, and furry friends, stopping by for a browse or to pick up some goodies.

Here’s your update on news from The Boxes @ Chapelton.

Wander & Graze

This spring, make sure you keep your eyes peeled on Wander & Graze. Our favourite deli store has announced they are looking to take part in some exciting collaborations over the next few months, as well as launching their new spring menu.

The business has also announced that they are introducing Mother’s Day Cheese and Charcuterie boxes, available to order now. A large sharing box is priced at £36, and small boxes at £20. And they look delicious!

Fits the Scoop

Did you know that Fits the Scoop is now open seven days a week? As well as being open throughout the week, the business has also partnered with ‘Prep on the Kerb’ to offer delicious brunch and lunch items.

The Omnia

The Omnia has got you sorted this Mother’s Day. From beautiful cards to stunning gifts – it’s the perfect place to pick up a special gift for your mum this year. And if you want to learn more about the business and its owners, read our International Women’s Day post here.

Clementine

Clementine of Chapelton continue to serve delicious locally sourced fruit, veg and soup. And who can forget those Wee Cook Pies… They’ve recently announced a slight change to their opening hours – they’ll be opening now at 10am on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

RedRocks

We have an award winner in our midst – a big congratulations to RedRocks who won Jeweller of the Year at the Top Tier Awards at the end of February. RedRocks is open Tuesday – Sunday each week.

Paul Hosie PT

Get fit for summer and join in with some of Paul Hosie PT’s new classes. Choose from a range of options suited to all levels of fitness and ability.

Paper Houses Design

A big congratulations to Mhairi at Paper Houses Design as she welcomed a lovely new born at the start of the year. Mhairi will be re-opening Paper Houses Design at the Boxes at Chapelton in April, so make sure you pay a visit for some stylish home furnishings and accessories.

Mr Dun

Look your best this weekend! Mr Dun has extended its opening hours this year. The barber’s will be open from 10am-6pm Tuesday – Friday, and 9am-5pm each Saturday.

The Cupcake Stop

The Cupcake Stop continues to sell mouth-watering treats and bakes for you and the family to enjoy. Pop in for some delicious bakes!

Pop-ups

This spring, there’s some really exciting pop-ups at The Boxes @ Chapelton. This week the Bob Tree is taking residence, selling original homemade local and Scottish inspired art. Seeing out March will be AB Wellness & Reflexology, so make sure to get down so you don’t miss out.

To keep up to date with all of the latest announcements, follow us on Facebook at The Boxes at Chapelton.


Celebrating International Women’s Day in Chapelton

Kelly, The Lounge

As part of our International Women’s Day mini-series, we’re excited to share another woman who is doing great things here in Chapelton.

Kelly Daun is the co-founder and co-owner of The Lounge, a hair and beauty salon based in Chapelton that has become increasingly popular since opening in 2016.  

Here, Kelly tells us more about launching her business, the values that she believes help to make it successful and what inspires her.

Happy International Women’s Day! Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m the co-owner of The Lounge in Chapelton, as well as a bridal make-up artist and a busy mum.

Tell us about your experience of running a business in Chapelton.

Chapelton has been a welcoming and lovely place to start a business. We have been here now for just over five years and have grown alongside the town and community.

What was your journey to starting the business in Chapelton? What gave you the idea?

I started my bridal make-up business first, and as I became more busy, I needed to find a permanent home to accommodate my clients.

My partner Norman was also looking for a business to invest in and together we came up with the idea for a salon. We wanted somewhere that was welcoming, relaxing and could offer a full range of services. The business continues to evolve alongside us and the team. We are always developing our skills and investing in new products and services to offer the best for our clients.

What inspires you, both in business and daily life?

My family inspires me, but also my team. They are so passionate about what they do.  

What values or attributes do you think are needed to run a successful business?

Patience, hard work, adaptability, thick skin, passion.

Name three women you find inspiring.

Betty White – she had a no nonsense approach to life.

JK Rowling – she taught me that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

My Mum – for raising three strong women.


Celebrating International Women’s Day in Chapelton

Karyn and Fiona, The Omnia

Here in Chapelton, the community is filled with amazing women doing amazing things. From donating time to great local causes and leading community groups, to looking after their own families and running businesses, there’s an abundance of women that we celebrate and support.

As part of our focus on the local people and businesses in Chapelton, we’re shining the spotlight on Karyn Werninck and Fiona Joss who own The Omnia at The Boxes @ Chapelton – a boutique store that boasts homeware and gifts to compliment any home.

Happy International Women’s Day! Tell us a bit about yourself:

Fiona: I’m a mum of two young girls and have a passion for everything related to interior design. Before I had my two daughters I worked as in-house graphic designer for oil and gas companies in Aberdeen. This was the beginning of my love for design.

Karyn: I live in Chapelton with my husband and two children. I worked in an accountancy for over 15 years before deciding to change direction.

What was your journey to starting The Omnia? What gave you the idea?

Fiona: After graduating from the Interior Designer’s Business School, the opportunity arose shortly afterwards to have one of the Boxes @ Chapelton. I jumped at the chance to own a business where I would sell home-wares and gift ideas to compliment any home. I wanted to share my passion for interiors and open a shop where people could come and pick up a beautiful ornament, set of cushions, a throw or a candle to add to their home or to a gift to a loved one. The shop also compliments my interior design business, it’s a great match.

Karyn: Like many others, the pandemic made me re-evaluate my path and career goals in life. When the opportunity presented itself to partner with Fiona in The Omnia, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I have always had a love for home décor and home fragrances, and working in Chapelton, as well as living here, is just a dream come true.

What inspires you, both in business and daily life?

Fiona: Social media is full of inspirational women who are hugely successful in business and who juggle family life and fitness too. I do understand some of them have a team to help with these things but I find them inspiring as mothers to young families. They are doing what they love in business and will be an inspiration to their children. I want to inspire my girls by making a success of beginning something, building on it, having faith and watching it grow.

Karyn: Starting a business and changing careers has given me the new challenge and motivation I needed professionally and personally. 

What values or attributes do you think are needed to run a successful business?

Fiona:  Willingness to take chances, complimented by a strong vision of knowing where you want your business to go. A recognisable, strong brand and good marketing is also important. Being passionate and powerful leadership is key to make the business a success.

Karyn: First and foremost, you should be passionate about what you do – it gives you the drive and enthusiasm to succeed. You should have a unique value that sets you apart from competitors and a strong customer focus.

Name three women you find inspiring.

Fiona: The three most inspiring business women for me are Sophie Paterson, Shea McGee and Maria Hatzistefanis. They are all inspirational women who successfully balance family life and business.

Karyn: Susie Ma, Jo Macfarlane and all fellow women business owners in general juggling work and life balance.


How to Be Inspired by the Winter Olympics in Aberdeen

Winter sports have been pushed to the forefront this month, as we see athletes from around the globe compete in the Winter Olympics. For many families, it’s the first time that children will have been introduced to new snow sports such as the slalom, speed skating and the luge. Move over Six Nations – we’re watching the bobsleigh tonight!

Here, we’ve pulled together some fun activities that you and your family can try out, both at home and locally, to take inspiration from winter sports.

Host a Mini Olympics Event at Home

There’s a whole variety of ways to adapt some of the games we’ve been watching on TV to make them easy to do at home. Try zoning your living room and playing ice hockey with a balloon and some leftover gift wrap tubes. This will keep the kids entertained for hours, although be sure that your television is in a safe space.

If the young ones are more into figure skating, why not dig out their winter slipper socks and get them to try out some moves in the kitchen. Pick a song and ask them to come up with a brilliant routine. We guarantee it will be “10s across the board”.

Let’s not forget about the medal ceremony. There are lots of ways to make fun homemade medals, so get kids trying their hand at some arts and crafts. It will keep them busy through the school holidays and save on buying plastic novelty medals.

Hit the Slopes

Aberdeen has some thrilling winter sports facilities if you want to try and get more proficient in your chosen sport. Just over ten minutes by car from Chapelton is Adventure Aberdeen, where you can try snowboarding and skiing on their dry slope. Lessons are available for all ages and abilities so get out there and give something new a try.

Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports Centre

If you really want to get out and explore, then Glenshee has the UK’s largest lift system, home to 22 lifts and the 36 runs extend over three valleys and four mountains. The centre even has its own snowsport school, making it suitable for beginners through to advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Try Out Tubing

Dry slope tubing is a fun day out for the whole family where you can slide down a slope while riding in a tube. There isn’t any training required, making it the perfect activity for beginners and novices. As long as you can sit still and hold on, you’ll be able to go whizzing down the slope. Dry slope tubing is available at Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports and can be booked here.

Dry slope Tubing in Aberdeenshire

Get Your Skates On

If ice skating is of more interest, then the Linx Arena is just for you and is only 11 miles from Chapelton. The arena hosts children’s parties and coaching for all ages. If you’d rather watch some sport than take part in it, you can go along to watch the Aberdeen Lynx hockey team in person. Tickets for upcoming games can be booked here.

Looking for other exciting events?

From movie nights to bike repair sessions, we have plenty of exciting events planned throughout the year at Chapelton that are open to our residents and the wider community. Check them out here and on our social media pages.


What’s happening in Chapelton in 2022

We have lined up an exciting calendar of events for 2022, welcoming new and familiar faces to our growing community.

Building on previous popular events, the calendar will be kicking off with a film night at Slate & Grain restaurant on Sunday 13 February, and continues through to November when our festive farmers’ market will take place.

You can choose from a bike workshop (February), Easter egg hunt (April), the annual Chapelton 10K (July) and comedy night (August), to name but a few.

The Chapelton 2022 events calendar includes:

  • Film Night at Slate & Grain, 13 February
  • Bike Workshop with Trinity Frameworks, 27 February
  • Easter Fun, 10 April
  • Farmers Markets, 15 May, 24 July, 18 September, 20 November
  • Chapelton of Elsick 10K, 17 July
  • Chapelton Scarecrow Festival, 1-31 August
  • Gala Day and Comedy Night,  20 August
  • Chapelton Bike Ride, 4 September

For more information on new homes available at Chapelton, visit our new homes page and don’t forget to keep up to date with what’s happening by following us on Facebook and Instagram.


Guest Blog: Spotting Hedgehogs in Hibernation

Denise Martin is the creator of the ‘Hedgehogs of Portlethen’ Facebook page. Denise spends her time raising awareness of the plight of endangered hedgehogs and here tells us a little more.

In the last ‘hedgehog’ blog I covered some basic facts about hedgehogs, how you can attract them into your garden, hedgehog houses, feeding stations and what to feed them.

Now winter is well underway, hedgehogs in Chapelton will be hibernating until around February to April depending on temperatures. Adult males go into hibernation first, around October. Females often have second litters in autumn and along with their hoglets (known as ‘autumn juveniles’) need extra time to build up fat stores prior to hibernating. It’s not unusual for them to remain active well into December and even into January before they finally hibernate.

In the run up to winter, after building up enough fat stores over summer and autumn, hedgehogs will build an impressive tightly packed hibernation nest which is made of leaves, twigs, straw and grasses. They’re expert nest builders and will create a narrow entrance tunnel that leads to a snug waterproof inner chamber where the hedgehog will hibernate.

A typical natural hedgehog nest.

When a hedgehog is ready to hibernate, it will drop its body temperature to match its surroundings and enter a state of torpor, thus allowing them to conserve energy by slowing down all bodily functions, making normal activity impossible. Any disturbance during this period can be extremely dangerous. Hedgehogs use up precious energy reserves in order to become active again – it can take many hours, leaving them very vulnerable to predators.

How you can help a hibernating hedgehog

To you it may appear dead, it will be cold and unresponsive, curled into a very tight ball – hedgehogs rarely die curled up in a tight ball. If you accidentally disturb a hibernating hedgehog in your garden, please cover it back over, it may continue to hibernate or wake and move to another site. But always call a rescue for advice. Most disturbances are caused by garden makeovers, disturbing compost heaps or log piles, shed and decking removals. Hedgehogs are very secretive and most people are completely unaware there’s a hedgehog in the garden.

Hibernation is not for wimps and it takes practice. Many young hedgehogs fail to build a successful nest in their first year and will perish through cold and damp – but this is where you can help….

There’s never a wrong time to add a hedgehog house to your garden and yes you can have several if you want to – hedgehogs are not territorial. A well-made waterproof hedgehog house can save a young hedgehogs life, where most experienced adult hedgehogs will still opt to hibernate under the shed or decking.

Construct the best hedgehog home

It’s very important to buy or build a house with good quality wood – the wood should only be treated on the outside with a water-based preservative that’s safe for small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. The roof should have a covering of waterproof felt and the inside must have an entrance tunnel and inner sleeping chamber, see photos and simple plan showing how to make your own hedgehog house.

Put a generous amount of clean, fresh, dry meadow hay into the sleeping chamber to welcome your hedgehog in your garden.

Place your hedgehog house in a quiet, dry and sheltered part of your garden. Behind a shed, under a hedge or dense shrubs is ideal. Face the entrance away from direct sunlight and winds.

Did you know that throughout winter, especially in milder periods, hedgehogs can and do wake from time to time and go searching for food and water before hibernating again. Once more this is where you can help them, all winter, by providing, in a feeding station, a shallow dish of dry kitten kibble and a bowl of water. This really will save a cold and very hungry hedgehog’s life in the depths of winter when it comes to your garden in the frozen early hours looking for food – while you’re tucked up cosy in bed and totally unaware its quietly out there. If you see these tiny footprints in the snow, you’ll know a hedgehog has been there.

Caring for hedgehogs

Hedgehogs have great memories, so if you fed them in summer and autumn when they wake, they will come straight back to your garden in search of food – please don’t forget them.

As always, and even more so in winter, a hedgehog out in the day is not ok. It may look ok to you and be very active, but it’s very poorly and desperately in need of help.

If you find one here’s what to do:

Put on a pair of thick gloves and pick it up – it won’t struggle, scratch or bite you, it will curl tightly into a ball, or stay flat if it’s really very poorly.

Put it into a high-sided box with something to keep it cosy and hide underneath so it feels safe, such as hay, straw, an old towel or T shirt. Place a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to help warm up the hedgehog.

Don’t offer food, it will need to be warmed and hydrated before its body can cope with food or water.

Place it somewhere quiet and warm and call your nearest rescue ASAP (The New Arc) – time is of the essence, the sooner it’s brought into rescue the higher its chances are of survival.

DO NOT:

Try to look after it yourself, it’s not just cold and hungry, it needs medication that only a rescue has access to.

Planning ahead

Now is the time to plan ahead in your garden for hedgehogs:

  • Check that access in and out of your garden is clear
  • Plant lots of pollen rich plants and bulbs
  • Perennial plants will soon fill out a border and provide shelter over winter for bugs
  • Give yourself a break and don’t be too tidy in the garden, wait until spring before you prune and tidy up
  • Plant a native hedge
  • Plant evergreen shrubs

There’s lots of information on the Facebook page @HedgehogsofPortlethen and you can use the search tab to find information quickly.

Whether you’re looking for a retirement property, a new home for your growing family or you’re just getting on the property ladder, all homes in Chapelton feature beautiful, landscaped gardens. Find out more about new build homes for sale near Aberdeen here.


Three Simple Steps to a Happy January

Keeping positive and proactive in January will lift your mood and increase your motivation, keeping you happy throughout the weeks ahead. The days are still short and you’re not alone if you notice a change in your energy. Don’t let the weather get the better of you. Read our three simple steps to having a happy and healthy January.

Going Out in the Daylight

Keeping active and getting outside is one of the best things you can do to help put the spring back in your step. Getting outdoors in the daylight is great for both your sleep pattern and overall mood, even if it is just for a fifteen-minute walk at lunchtime.

Daily exercise will keep you positive and even releases a happy hormone, serotonin, so it makes you feel great too!

If you can’t quite manage outdoor recreation but you’re a resident in Chapelton, you can benefit from the newly opened onsite gym at Landale Court for just £9.99 per month, which offers daily access to all equipment. You can even book into yoga, mixed circuit and boxing classes, which will all leave you feeling good. Find out if you are eligible to join the Chapelton gym here.

Onsite gym at Landale Court, Chapelton

If you aren’t a resident of Chapelton but are interested in classes to give you a boost, Paul Hosie Personal Training offers 1-1 training, indoors and outdoors group personal training and fitness classes Monday and Saturday.

Give your Body a Nutritional Boost

Rather than new year’s resolutions, why not set a few goals in January to give your body an extra nutritional boost? Eating five portions of fruit or vegetables a day will help to keep your immune system strong.

Incorporating leafy greens like spinach and broccoli into your everyday cooking can keep you healthy. Research has shown that by eating leafy greens, you can support your heart health and increase your body’s ability to absorb Omega-3s. As a result, you can enjoy an overall mood boost.  

Clementine are an award-winning greengrocer based at The Boxes at Chapelton. Their produce suits all different lifestyles and makes it easy to consume the very best nutrients. 

Plan Ahead and Have Fun  

Having something to look forward to at the beginning of the year will give most people a positive boost, so it’s time to get your 2022 diary out and start planning something to really look forward to. It doesn’t need to be a lavish holiday, it could be a few fun days out with friends and family.

We have an exciting diary of events for 2022 in Chapelton that we will be sharing soon. The Chapelton Farmers Market is held four times a year and offers the public to buy some of the best produce from the North East of Scotland. To keep up to date with our events for 2022, please check the Chapelton Facebook page.

Caption: Chapelton’s Farmers Market

So, get planning and stay positive as we head into 2022!


Chapelton: 2021 Review

As we reach the end of 2021, we wanted to reflect on all the activities and events that has helped us come together as a community. Here in Chapelton, we’ve continued to safely host events, celebrate our neighbours and support local businesses.

Here, we take a look back at the past 12 months.

January

Housebuilders and residents came together in January to enjoy a virtual toast to Rabbie Burns on Burns Night.

February

Some of Chapelton’s youngest residents enjoyed a half term treat with ice creams from Fits the Scoop in the snow!

March

Spring officially sprung in March, with beautiful rhododendrons blossoming on the Chapelton Trail.

April

We held our annual Easter Egg Hunt, with brilliant creations from Chapelton residents and local Aberdeen artists.

May

The popular Chapelton Farmer’s Market returned in May.  

June

Chapelton got Euro fever in June this year!

July

Some wonderful runners participated in the 48 hour relay to raise money for Pillar Kincardine and Portlethen Community Ambulance.

August

The community got creative with the annual Scarecrow Festival, organised by the Cairnhill Allotment Committee. We also held Chapelton’s comedy and gala night in August, raising lots of money for the Grampian Autistic Society.

September

Over 150 cyclists took part in the Chapelton Bike Ride in September to raise money for local projects.

October

The Boxes @ Chapelton grew in October as Fits the Scoop, Slate & Grain and The Omnia all opened their doors.

November

The last farmers market of the year was held in November, as locals grabbed some festive treats.

December

Santa came to town early this year as he stopped by Chapelton’s Christmas Shopping evening!

At Chapelton, we love to bring the community together. We want to thank you all for allowing us to have such a fun and memorable 2021!

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

The Chapelton team.


Resident Blog: Gifting this Christmas

Chapelton resident Sally Munro is a fully registered nutritional therapist, yoga and mindfulness teacher, and great lover of the outdoors.

She has pulled together an excellent gifting guide to help us all live more consciously and eco-friendly.

Let’s talk about ‘gifting…’

I’m sure we can all agree there’s already too much stuff on this planet. Far too much plastic, waste and junk. Yet we continue to buy more stuff. I can remember making my own crackers as a child, using crepe paper, the ‘prizes’ were just silly little things from our ‘junk-drawer’- everyone has one of those right? Anyway, a marble, an eraser or some other odd thing, yet the grown-ups pretended to be surprised and delighted! We would make paper-chains too and keep these decorations for years.

Back to gifting…in my opinion this is a truly personal thing. I’m extremely contrary (at times) and therefore don’t buy into being told when to gift. So, expect a random thing at any random time of the year, not always your birthday or Christmas.

Sales, marketing and clever adverts are designed to make us want/need things to improve our lives, make us happier, more beautiful, healthier, or whatever but are we just being sucked into spending more money on stuff?

My suggestions for gifting:

  • Can you do something for someone? i.e., offer to walk their dog/mind their child.
  • Book an activity together i.e., a walk in the snow, ice-skating, local Christmas market. It doesn’t always have to be a boozy, costly night out.
  • Bake some Christmas cookies and gift in a recycled jar. I always save bits of ribbon for this purpose. (I’m not a hoarder, honest!)
  • Have a movie night with some besties in Christmas pyjamas!
  •  A special collection of already printed old photos, gathered in a book-memories of special people, times and more.
  • Gift a reusable travel mug/keep cup-set a fortnightly cuppa date with a friend.
  •  A book voucher.
  •  Support your local businesses for example The Skateraw Store (Newtonhill)-they offer refillables on some items, another good reason to save a few jars! They also share other local folks’ items, cards, books and more…Plus the cakes are delish!
  • Ask our local photographer, Cheryl Michie, for some pet portraits, or family shots!
  • Our Box Park also has some fabulous local artists appearing, fresh fruit and vegetables-perfect for making a soup for some busy neighbours & a variety of gift options from our more permanent friends.
  • Get your crayons at the ready! Make your own invitations to friends i.e., in the New Year a gathering with friends, delicious platter ordered from Wander & Graze for example!
  • Get creative, get personal, get back to basics!

My bottom line- your presence and time is way more precious than stuff (some stuff might be nice if it’s actually thoughtful, locally sourced and useful). I’m thinking local handmade items, a gift voucher for a therapy i.e., massage, chiropractor, nutrition, or your friend’s favourite recipe of yours that you make. Let’s think outside the box this year!

Don’t buy into overwhelm, debt and disaster over a holiday season that should be fun and snuggly!

You can’t please everyone! So, don’t bust your butt trying! Be true to how you want to spend the rest of the year. If that means ditching some old family stuff that no longer serves, then do it.

Make new traditions for your family. Goodbye Elf on the shelf!!

For further info on ways you can be more mindful, healthy and calm all year round check out my website www.SallyMunro.co.uk

Wishing you peace, love and sprouts, Sally x

Sally Munro is a fully registered Nutritional Therapist, Yoga & Mindfulness teacher and great lover of the outdoors. She works with clients to resolve current health symptoms by establishing the root causes and optimising nutrition and lifestyle. She aims to bring balance back to the art of living peacefully. We all have this one wild and precious life, let’s live life to the fullest: www.SallyMunro.co.uk 

She also runs swimming lessons for children age 3+ with Simply Swim Aberdeen. Water safety and survival techniques are life skills that every individual should have. (You can find them on Facebook).