Holiday Relaxation: Calming Down the House

Creating a Bath for someone you love…

Unwinding from the holidays is an art form. One of my favorite rituals for post holiday relaxation is taking a long hot bath. It’s something I gravitate to in times of high stress not only because it feels good but also because it works. Which is why I use this ritual to calm down the whole family. During the holidays, stress spreads everywhere so if we’re not all in sync on relaxation, my own bath time goes down the drain when I get out.

I make a mean bath – so my nearest and dearest know rarely turn me down when I offer to draw one for them.

Mixing a bath for a loved one is a sweet and subtle invitation to relax that benefits the entire household. Make an offer to your spouse, mom, a friend or even a child. Craft their bath with care and invite them to soak. See what happens next.

Here are a few tips for mixing a soothing bath for a loved one:

  • The first step is to create a clean and peaceful space. Wash the tub, put out a fresh towel and remove any distracting bathroom clutter
  • Next, set the tone. Place just a few candles in the room, unscented are fine, just enough to provide a relaxing glow.
  • Draw the bath at a medium-hot temperature with the door closed to take the chill off the room.
  • As it fills, add a generous handful of bath salts or, my very favorite, Epsom salts.
  • Once the tub is filled, mix in 3-5 drops of an essential oil – lavender, clary sage and mandarin are great, relaxing options. If you are scenting the water, be sure to use a scent that your loved one will enjoy. If you don’t know, ask.
  • Spruce it up. Add a rolled hand towel on the ridge of the tub to support their neck, or a few wash clothes in an ice bowl on the side of the tub to keep them cool. And don’t forget a tall glass of water (add some lemon for a spa touch).
  • Love is in the details. Place a favorite magazine next to the bath or play your bather’s favorite music.
  • For post-bath heaven, put out the fluffiest towel in the house and place their bathrobe and slippers nearby, ready to relax into.


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