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
When I look back at my childhood Christmases, the one facial expression I remember most often is a smile. The smile on my brother’s face as he opened up that much-longed-for LP, the smile on my Nan’s voice as she opened up a cheap, tacky present carefully chosen and paid for by a grandchild, the smile on everybody’s face as we ate a carefully prepared … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Smiles
It’s December 1st, the first day of advent. It’s the day I like to start decorating for and thinking of as Christmas. The first thing that ever I put up is my Christmas wreath. Middle of the front door, for all to see. A real sign that this house celebrates Christmas. Not that I need to advertise that. I’ve been told by visitors to my … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Hygge
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
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!