Artist : Marie-Benette (I love her work !)
Here are some suggestions to celebrate the end of the darkest time of the year :
Gather books, tea, your favorite cups and mugs, candles, warm socks, blankets, and, if possible, cuddle close to a fireplace. If this is not possible, any heater will do. And take a cat with you if you can. It can work with a child too, but you may have to make him or her drink rum to quiet him or her.
- books : if you have a sweet tooth, Jenny Colgan‘s books are perfect for you. The stories are almost always the same, and one is sure they end well. Don’t read too much of those on a short period, or they may sicken you (reading 3 of her books in one week, it’s like eating 2 pounds milk chocolate in one evening).
- If you are serious and you want to learn more about Yule, Yule: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Winter Solstice, by Susan Pesznecker.
You can also have a look at Waldorf education resources (online) if you have kids.
For kids or kid book’s lovers, the choice is huge. If you read French, Les lutins de Noël, by Emilie Soleil & Simona Cordero ; La fête de Loën, by Elfi Reboulleau and Célia Portail. They are not available in English, though. You can read Letters from Santa Claus, by JRR Tolkien. All three books are real jewels, as much for the quality of the texte as for the beauty of the pictures.
- Comforting and nearly chocolaty tea : Qimen (preferrably organic !). With no milk, no sugar, no honey, no flavor added, please ! Or, if you only have more ordinary tea – I don’t judge -, you can add cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and why not bergamot juice or peel ?
- Caffeine-free herbal teas : rooibos, plain or flavored with orange peel and cinnamon (organic, of course). No, I don’t contradict myself. Rooibos is not actual tea, so I feel free to mix it with other ingredients.
- De la vaisselle « de saison » : soit vous avez le service complet orné de Père Noël/rennes/cadeaux/lutins/décorations/houx, etc, soit vous le dénichez (vous pouvez aussi le subtiliser, en accusant le Lutin de Noël qui, comme chacun le sait, est un affreux farceur). Soit vous vous servez de ce que vous avez déjà : de la vaisselle rouge, verte, dorée, etc.
- Seasonal teaware : either you have the whole teaset with Santa/deer/elves/gifts/garlands/baubles/holly pictures, or you thrift it (you can also rob it, and charge the Christmas elf of it, since everyone knows he is a perfectly mischievous little one). Or, last option, you use what you already have : red, green, golden, teaware.
- And you make this complete with many cookies, sweets, chocolate, and so on. Just don’t forget to brush your teeth.
You can also leave presents for the elves, for Santa, and for anyone that will bring you something (except for the postman, if he brings you bills).
I have to go, my kettle is whistling & my book is calling… I wish you wonderful end of year festivities, with much light and love !!