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"Why Leigh Campbell's 'light the good candle' rule is especially important to me this Christmas."

Thanks to our brand partner, Ecoya

I have always loved Christmas – the family traditions, the catch-ups, the decorations, the flavours and the fragrance of this most wonderful time of year.     

I grew up in the UK, and so while I have swapped big turkey roasts, festive jumpers and real pine Christmas trees for seafood, sunshine and beach swims, I love the very different traditions with equal measure.

As we come to the end of another challenging 12 months in our post-pandemic world, I am more excited for this Christmas than ever before. 

The uncertainty of nearly two years of living alongside COVID, juggling work with homeschooling, and not knowing when I could see my UK family again, has at times been very tough. 

Some days I really struggled with this weird reality of family separation, but other days, I tried to appreciate the little things that gave me joy.

I might not have been able to go on holiday to give my family hugs, but I could get outside for a walk in the sunshine and phone them instead. I could still enjoy the taste of a delicious barista-made coffee with a buttery pastry. Or the feeling of luxury that came from breathing in the scent of my favourite ECOYA Fresh Pine candle while I lay in the bath (and closed the door on the kids). 

Those first few deep breaths of the crisp pine scent transport me in an instant to many happy Christmases past spent with family. I can almost see my 1980s childhood living room, complete with its pine Christmas tree, covered with twinkling lights and surrounded by presents.

Image: Supplied.


These little treats for my senses conjure up happier festive times that are important to me, and helped me to enjoy life’s simple pleasures during lockdown. This notion of finding small moments of joy in the everyday also got me thinking about Leigh Campbell’s ‘light the good candle’ story. 

Leigh had a candle she was saving for a special occasion in her bathroom and when her beloved father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, just after she had her longed-for baby, she decided to stop waiting for a ‘perfect moment’ and just light the candle. 

It was a cold Thursday afternoon at 3pm and baby Alexander was taking a nap. She enjoyed the scent of her candle while she had a solitary bath and she lit it again the next night, encouraging other women to do the same.

Like Leigh and many other women, I too have had candles, special bottles of champagne and perfume that I saved for special occasions. 

But when life takes an unexpected turn and we spend two years living through a global pandemic – it pays to ask what exactly is the special occasion I am waiting for? And for how long am I willing to wait?  

If living through lockdown taught us anything it is exactly this – life can throw us some really difficult and unexpected challenges, and if we sit around saving the things we love for special occasions – those occasions may never eventuate. 


The time to enjoy my special treats might just be at 3pm on a random chilly Thursday afternoon. 

With Christmas coming again soon after everything we have collectively been through, I have begun to think about all the ways both big and small that I can make this one extra special. 

I have a ticket booked to the UK and I have my fingers crossed that I can get on that plane and enjoy a super emotional reunion with my parents and sister. 

I have plenty of fun activities planned with my family and friends here in Australia, but I also want to make time to enjoy the little moments.

In the past, Christmas was all about the big things; parties, holidays and family get-togethers. But now, thinking about how it has been the smaller things that have got me through the pandemic years, I want to make sure I factor them in too. 

Every night when the kids are in bed I will be taking Leigh’s mantra literally by lighting the good candle, my ECOYA Fresh Pine scent. 

The delicious, crisp and festive fragrance is all part of what will make my home smell like Christmas. In fact, any scent from their Christmas Collection conjures up those happy memories and ramps up my seasonal spirit. And this year I’ll be lighting them well in advance to ensure I get to make the most of them – not just on Christmas Day.


Image: Supplied.

I’ll also not be saving that special bottle of champagne in the fridge, I’ll be sharing it with good friends while wearing my special undies and a spritz of my ‘good’ perfume, because what exactly am I waiting for? 

And as Christmas draws closer, however my day has gone, I want to take some time each night to sit with my candle all aglow and a mug of my favourite herbal tea and enjoy a couple of squares of the ‘good’ chocolate while the tree lights twinkle. 

I will wrap the presents for all my special people while enjoying my favourite Christmas movies and reflecting on the difficult times we have got through and the good ones that I hope are still yet to come.

We all now have a sense of how quickly life can change and how hard it can be. 

While I wait for the exciting big events and holidays to return, that doesn't mean I can’t celebrate in small but significant ways in the meantime.  

And I hope you will join me.

ECOYA have launched their Christmas Collection, featuring three Limited Edition fragrances. The iconic Fresh Pine returns for its 10th year running, and sits alongside new fragrances, Sea Salt & Gardenia and Red Berries & Peony. The collection features a range of pre-wrapped gift sets, perfect for stocking fillers, Secret Santa gifts or for that tricky-to-buy-for loved one.

Feature Image: Supplied.

ECOYA is a luxury home fragrance and bodycare brand, most renowned for their collection of natural soy wax candles and home fragrance products as well as their collection of botanical bodycare. From humble beginnings as a candle purveyor, their collection of natural soy wax candles is what the brand built its reputation on. Since founding in 2004, ECOYA has grown to take on the major players in the global fragrance market with a reputation for luxury scents and quality products. More recently, ECOYA has expanded its offering with the introduction of the innovative and sell-out Car Diffuser, the Fragranced Hand Sanitiser Collection, the Kitchen Collection and most recently, the Laundry Collection, featuring new products like 100% New Zealand wool Fragranced Dryer Balls.