Every year during December I like to write a post about taking time to enjoy this season. Today's post is less bra and more ahhhh. The hectic shopping malls and jam-packed holiday schedules can make December feel like a mad rush. Eight years ago (when I was laid up at Christmas after an operation) I realized that making a conscious effort to slow down allows you to experience the magic of this time of year. Today I have three suggestions for you to restore your senses and experience the wonders of this month Mind, Boobs and Soul.
We can get so caught up in the practicalities of life that we forget to let our mind wander into imagination. Christmas, Hanukkah and Winter Solstice festivals all involve story-telling and while children easily immerse themselves in these stories we can often miss the joy of putting the here-and-now to one side and letting our minds absorb the magic of seasonal stories.
Stories, both read and sung, are a wonderful way to connect to the traditions and joy of the holidays. Here are my favourite stories that I seek out at this time of year to bring the season alive.
A Christmas Carol - I love the book but if you want to watch this classic then I was really impressed with the authenticity of Disney's version from a couple of years ago. If you ask Mr Butterfly though, nothing beats the Muppet's Version!
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming - The bizarre and wonderful imagination of Lemony Snicket brings together lots of iconic holiday characters and traditions into this simple and heartfelt children's story.
A Child's Christmas in Wales - This funny and comforting poem by Dylan Thomas always reminds me of the magic you feel when you're a child. Being from a long line of Welsh-folk this poem conjures up memories of my own family Christmases!
Handel's Messiah - My Mum is a phenomenal choral singer and growing up I heard her practicing or performing Messiah with her choral society at this time of year. This music is synonymous with Christmas for me. If you want two hours of musical magic then this YouTube version is pretty good.
The Snowman - This still gives me tingles. The story is so simple and brings imagination, winter and magic together perfectly. The song is still so moving.
I can't let a blog post pass without at least some reference to breast care! At this time of year I highly recommend actual breast care in the form of some personal pampering. Your body (including your breasts) goes through a lot during the year and just as we thank those around us for their support over the past year, it's worth doing that for your body.
I have a three step ritual that I follow at this time of year when I know that I'm going to be wearing party dresses (so have more decolletage). SOAK, SCRUB, SOOTHE.
cleansing pack from Rocky Mountain Soap because it smells beautiful but works hard!
SCRUB I don't mean scrub exactly because your breast tissue is very delicate and needs to be treated gently. Once you have soaked for about 15 minutes get a gentle loofah and use a small grain exfoliator like Aloe Gentle Exfoliator from The Body Shop and work your way around your breasts (starting underneath - lifting where necessary!) Avoid the area right around your nipple and don't press too hard. This will sweep out any last remnants of dead skin.
SOOTHE Once you've taken away the dirt and old skin you have to be careful what you put on next as your skin will drink it up. If you pour in a heap of chemical laden cream then you'll undo all the work you've just done. Breasts don't produce a lot of natural oil so it's a good idea to use a non-chemical skin-friendly oil to soothe your skin. I like Palmer's Cocoa Butter Oil because it doesn't feel greasy. Alternatively you can use JoJoba oil (breasts love JoJoba oil) or quite simply slather on some extra virgin olive oil - sounds crazy but it's true!
It's true that the best thing about gifts is giving them. It's one thing to give a gift to those we love but it does something really special to your soul to give a gift to someone you may never meet. If you have the opportunity to give this season it will connect you with your soul. Here are a few ideas:
1) Donate a gift (your local shopping center may have a gift drop off or check with your community center) The Salvation Army accepts toys as donation to be given to local children during the holidays.
2) Donate to your local Food Bank. Lots of grocery stores have pre-packed Food Bank bags that you can purchase, alternatively why not choose your favourite food and donate that.
3) Donate money or time to a local charity. Local charities have less profile that the bigger ones so if you can make a donation to a local charity you will be making a difference to your immediate community.
Do you have some traditions at this time of year that remind you of the magic of the season? xx