Contentment: it’s a soft little word, and sometimes gets looked down on in the face of its bigger, brasher cousin Happiness. After all, contentment isn’t enshrined as a fundamental human right the same as the pursuit of happiness is. Yet, I love contentment all the more. I want to be content more than I want to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, the days that … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Contentment
Is there any mess more glorious than the floor of a family home on Christmas Day morning? Andy Rooney, of whom I know nothing more than this quote, said it was “One of the most glorious messes in the world,” before adding, “Don’t clean it up too quickly.” Indeed, the paper displayed after every little gift has been opened, oohed and aahed over and placed … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Gifts
Christmas is the season for sweetness, in food at least. Could you imagine a season without mince pies, cake, cookies, candy canes, chocolates or any one of the hundred other sugar-filled treats that have become associated with Christmas? Even the Danes, a healthy bunch most of the year, celebrate Christmas with a marzipan pig and potatoes cooked in sugar (yes, seriously). Sweetness is a pleasurable … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Sweetness
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Beauty is only skin deep. Beauty. It’s a peculiar word, and it means different things to different people. It’s quite possible to think of beauty just as a physical attribute, but I think real beauty in people is always more to do with their nature than their looks. The … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Beauty
I love the Hygge Nook. If you’re into positive, calm, welcoming, friendly places on the internet, you could do worse than join it, even if you have to join Facebook for the purpose. It is one of the kindest, most inspiring places I know, so much so that I have the link straight to it on my home page. I no longer need to see … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: The 24 words of Christmas.
Choco-lit Reading, for me, is that branch of romance novels that sits well alongside a big mug of tea and a bar of something sweet. Chocolate, for preference, but a decent slice of cake or a couple of biscuits works well. It’s sometimes sneered at by the well-read Literati, including one writer whose work I admire, who wrote this weekend ” Book Title Trends I … Continue reading My Christmas Choco-lit Reading List
It’s here again, that time of year when savvy shopkeepers up the sales factor and people start labelling items with tags to increase their saleability. Random objects get labelled on Amazon as ‘Great Christmas Gift’ or ‘Perfect for Winter’. In the last few years, items have been labelled as ‘Ideal for Hygge’. If anybody ever tells you that you should get X, Y or Z … Continue reading If somebody tells you to buy something to boost your hygge, tell them to take a running jump.
Wassailing used to happen in Britain around Christmas time: it was a custom for groups of people to gather together and share a large bowl of warmed drink, usually a warmed or ‘mulled’ apple cider, with the call ‘Waes Hael!’ meaning good health being shouted before everybody drank it down. The original wassail cup had mulled ale, curdled cream, eggs, roasted apples and spices. Using … Continue reading Waes Hael! Good health in an apple drink!