One of the few positive things about this terrible pandemic is that it’s forced us all to spend more time with ourselves. In our own heads. Dreaming, reading, planning, growing.

I’ll confess that I love being alone. I inherited this trait from my mother, and many of my friends are introverts. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but it also can be the most stressful one, and social commitments can be very draining. I love people! I love chatting and celebrating with others, but I need plenty of recovery time. And it gets harder every year.

This year will be different. It’s already different, isn’t it?

When I saw this book, with its soothing title and cover, I knew it was for me. And this seemed the perfect year to slow things down and focus on peace and calm.

At the end of a difficult year, what if this December were soothing instead of stressful? Celebrate a new kind of holiday season this winter—one where you radiate calm and cultivate delight. A calm Christmas is filled with meaningful interactions, special gifts, and thoughtful observations of annual traditions.

 

This enchanting guide embraces festive preparations and authentic celebrations, and then ushers in the New Year in a holistic, nurturing way. Author Beth Kempton gently encourages readers to prioritize holiday hopes and take a slower, more mindful approach.

“Soothing,” “gentle,” “thoughtful,” “authentic,” and “nurturing.” Don’t we all need more of these qualities during Christmas? I’ve enjoyed this book because it offers specific strategies for focusing on joy, peace, and family, so there’s less risk of getting bogged down in worry and expense. The journal prompts were particularly helpful, guiding my focus toward specifics, with emphasis on positive aspects of Christmas and the potential this season has for bringing us all closer together. I appreciated the author’s gentle, nurturing voice, and her suggestions were inspiring rather than guilt-inducing.

Now for Tea . . .

Yes, this was all a ploy to show off my new Villeroy & Boch teapot and mugs! (But seriously, Macy’s has been having huge sales on their Christmasware.) For my breakfast this morning I enjoyed Cranberry Orange scones from Iveta (so easy and YUMMY) with Black Tea N°25, “a delicious blend of vanilla pods, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, orange peel and lemon zest, combined with a black tea.” So festive!

Bonus material — Blogs of Christmas Past . . .

I tend to blog about Christmas every year, most often with recommendations for books and movies. (If you click the “Christmas” tag at the top of this post, you’ll find all those entries.) When responding to the journal prompts in Calm Christmas, I ended up writing about two Christmas memories that I’ll always treasure. I’ve actually written about them in more detail in this blog, and you’ll find the links below:

Mothers of Invention: A Tribute — I posted this in July 2017, but it’s the story of the very best Christmas of my childhood.

A Little Narnia Magic — We spent Christmas 2013 in the Peak District of England. Chatsworth, a large country house owned by the Duke of Devonshire, opens it doors to the public every Christmas. The theme for 2013 was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!!! (There are photos. Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to click them to make them larger.)

Happy Holidays to you all! 

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