Are you wondering how on earth you are going to accomplish Christmas this year? How you are going to find the money?
Look no further. Forget everything you have ever known – ever done – for Christmas up to now, and certainly don’t think of spending a single penny – well, only a very few anyway. The true meaning and magic of Christmas isn’t anything to do with what you receive, spend, eat or drink – it begins with how you look at life and appreciate – make the most of – everything that comes your way. It is founded upon how you relate to and interact with the people around you – loved ones, neighbours, strangers, the person looking back at you from the mirror.
My suggestions here are not meant as a definitive answer but to help give you ideas of celebrating alternatively. Adapt these and have lots of your own ideas as well.
It isn’t what you do or don’t do that matters, rather it is the thought, effort and love which you put into it that really counts. Ingenuity is key to many of my suggestions. It is your time, thought and effort which is the true gift and worth much more than any expensive present or card.
Trust me – this ‘magic’ really works!
Inspired by the many heart-rending stories of stressed and weary people desperately struggling to feed their families – let alone themselves – I have come up with a ninety page booklet filled with tips on how to be more economical with power and water in the home, ideas of how to bring people together in various activities to share and survive and show how it is possible to feed a family of two adults and two children three meals a day for a week on less than £30.
The booklet is full of very basic ideas and recipes for meals, from numerous ways to cook an egg and make hearty soups, to quick main courses, puddings and treats. I have provided weekly plans of meals for three types of week – a lean difficult week, an in between week and a good week, with a week’s menu left blank for the reader to fill in for themselves. I have tried to keep the meals as healthy as possible but have had to sacrifice a lot of healthier options in favour of folk getting something – anything – to eat. Nor have I been able to cater for different diets, although there are a number of vegetarian meals included for the plain and simple reason that meat is so dashed expensive.
What led me to write my third book? The short answer is that it is a natural out-pouring of me and all that I am. Similar in format to my first book, ‘Merry Midwinter’, it encapsulates my memories and experiences from my childhood and incorporates them with snippets from my mother and grandmother’s lives, weaving the whole into how I live and celebrate life today with my family.
The recipes and simple craft projects, the cosy children’s stories and pretty poems, the little reminiscences and comments are just a vehicle to illustrate my whole philosophy of Life – a deeper philosophy of positive action, hope, making the most/best of things (no matter how simple or little they may be) and of care for others, service to one’s community, and unconditional love for the natural world and everything and everyone on – and off – the planet. We do not need to spend lots of money – we can turn away from all the commercial hype and consumer rat-race. What we really need to do is give a little more of ourselves… our time, energy, effort, company… our love and gratitude. Hopefully, ‘Spring In Your Step’ will show you how.
‘Spring In Your Step’ takes you, step by step, through the months, the calendar and the season of spring and opens your eyes to all the ‘ordinary’ and often unnoticed possibilities, and the fun, satisfaction and pleasure which all our lives brim with, but which usually go unnoticed and unacknowledged. Hopefully, after spending some time with me between the pages of my new book, you really will stride forth into a new year, a new season with a light and eager spring in your step.
‘Spring In Your Step; Discover and Celebrate the Magic of Springtime’ can be pre-ordered now on https://herbarybooks.com/product/spring-in-your-step/
It all began last December. I was deeply involved in promoting ‘Merry Midwinter’ in the run up to Christmas and as we approached Advent I decided that I would like to do something to mark these very special days of anticipation and preparation before Midwinter.
When I was young, I loved having an Advent calendar, with twenty-four or twenty-five doors to open throughout the days of December. Rather than simply receiving a picture to look at or a gift, I thought that it might be good to put something on my author’s blog every day of December – an idea, a suggestion – of something everyone could do to give something back to the world around them.
Some days I was so busy that I could only manage to provide the barest challenge in two or three sentences; other days I managed to flesh my ideas out with facts figures and a measure of cajolery to encourage readers to give it a go. It was very well received.
After Christmas, I once again turned my attention to my Advent blog posts. I felt that they were really beneficial to our society and it seemed a shame to allow these little bites of inspiration to slide into obscurity.
There and then I decided to collect them up and publish them… and so the idea for my next book, ‘The Alternative Advent Calendar; Secrets of the True Magic of Christmas’ was born!
What people are saying about ‘The Alternative Advent Calendar’:
‘Wonderful book! Wonderful for parents, grandparents and children of all ages! It takes you through advent and pre-Christmas time with an activity for every day, reminding us of the true joys of this lovely time of year.’
‘Thoughtful approach to advent and midwinter. truly delightful and unusual way to celebrate advent, whether you are religious or not. We shall be using this again this year.’ M. Richardson
Over the past couple of years I have been asked by several young friends how they could bring their little children up to celebrate Christmas authentically without involving them in all the commercialisation and consumerism of the twenty-first century.
After some consideration I got together a day-long workshop. It covered the origins of many of our Christmas and Winter customs, suggesting alternative activities which better reflect their true nature and showing everyone how to construct a selection of authentic decorations made from natural evergreens. We ended the day as dusk was falling, with a candlelit Christmas afternoon tea and carol singing around an blazing log fire. It was very successful and greatly enjoyed by everyone who participated – including myself!
Afterwards I wondered about putting my notes from the workshop into a booklet but realised that there was SO much to include – far too much for just a few pages – and quickly decided that I would jump in at the deep end and write a full-length book. Drawing on my childhood memories, my spiritual beliefs, my deep love of home and family and my passion for Midwinter and Christmas has really seemed to engage and inspire people, so I have included plenty of these ideas, observations and reminiscences to illustrate my suggestions.
The result is my first book, ‘Merry Midwinter’.
What people are saying about ‘Merry Midwinter’:
‘This is a really special book. Like a warm winter hug. Love it so much I’ve bought both kindle and hardback versions.’ Karen
‘Absolutely fabulous book. I love this book. It helps to lift my spirits over what I think is a depressing time. So interesting and I wish it had been around when my children were little. Some lovely ideas to make it magical for your family. Don’t hesitate to buy it.’ Jane K.
‘This is a beautiful, captivating book, informative and uplifting, it’s the perfect read for anyone who loves the festive season.’ Clal
Click on link to read many more testimonials:
Watch the video from the Fundraiser that lead to Merry Midwinter’s existence in print here!