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The Calm Christmas Podcast with Beth Kempton
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The Calm Christmas Podcast with Beth Kempton

Author: Beth Kempton

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***Officially the UK's #1 favourite Christmas podcast*** The Calm Christmas Podcast is a cosy listen during the darkest season of the year. Bestselling wellbeing author Beth Kempton shares soothing wintery words from her favourite poets and writers, tips for a stress-free holiday season and advice for taking care of ourselves at this time of year. Join Beth at her kitchen table deep in the English countryside to explore ideas for a natural and sustainable Christmas, look into the origins of some of our most-loved traditions, and see how winter is endured and celebrated around the world. With new episodes every week throughout November and December, the Calm Christmas podcast is less of a countdown to Christmas than a travelling together through winter… So mark your diary and allow Beth to inspire you to let go of perfection and create a meaningful, nourishing celebration this year. There are logs on the fire, tea in the pot and gingerbread fresh out of the oven. Pull up a chair and relax. It is Christmas, after all.

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The UK’s #1 favourite Christmas podcast is back for a one-off special to mark the turning of the season and the gift of a leap day as winter gives way to spring. This bonus episode ‘FAREWELL WINTER’ includes:-       A beautiful ritual for bidding farewell to winter-       An insight into the tradition of ‘leap day’-       Ideas for celebrating the arrival of spring-       A peek into Japanese microseasons-       Some gorgeous words capturing the feeling of the season turning-       Our wellbeing and nature corners-       A peek into my brand new book KOKORO (which is out on April 4)-       An inspiring writing prompt and moreWith inspiration from Mary Webb, Masaoka Shiki, Alan Watts, Lin Yutang, Madoka Mayuzumi, Tadashi Terashima, Yosa Buson and Christina Georgia Rossetti.Why not take a walk this week, and have a listen while looking out for signs of spring where you are? (And for those of you in the southern hemisphere, may it be an invitation for you to notice signs of autumn).Beth XxHandy links:·      My new book KOKORO: Japanese wisdom for a life well lived (Piatkus) (or free international shipping when you order via Blackwells here)·      Get FREE access to my new seasonal writing sanctuary Spring Light when you pre-order  KOKORO from any retailer (Here’s the link for Blackwells who are offering free international shipping). Once you have ordered it in any format from any retailer, go to bethkempton.com/kokoro and pop your receipt details in the short form there. ·      My haiku essay: The Life-Changing Magic of Writing Haiku: finding beauty and solace in a heartbeat sized poem For all show notes including book and article reference links please click here.
Here we are completing another circle around the sun. We have clambered across the fabric of another year, stitched together adventures, stories, and memories, darned some holes as neatly as we could, knotted threads of new colour into our lives, and we are now here at the edge looking back across all we have woven in the past twelve months. This is a wonderful time to focus on gratitude, to reflect on the year gone by, choose what to leave behind in this year, do some gentle dreaming for the year ahead and cross the threshold of the year together, with hope, dreams and a steaming cup of tea.This episode includes: Tips for dreaming and scheming for the year aheadAn exclusive excerpt from my new book Kokoro: Japanese wisdom for a life well lived (out April 2024)New Year traditions from around the world (from lovely listeners!)A craft project for gratitudeOur nature cornerA writing promptSome lovely words to ease you into the new yearPLUS A lovely giveaway (enter on my Instagram @bethkempton)·      With inspiration from: @SimpleThingsMag, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Emily Thomas and James Weston Lewis, Lindsey Harrad @livemoreplantfully, Brenda Wells, Emily Silva @soulsadventures, Max EhrmannHandy links:·      Sky View app·      StarWalk 2 app·      Thompson-Morgan gardening newsletter·      My Book Proposal Masterclass course (next class runs live from Jan 29)·      The Way of the Fearless Writer: Ancient Eastern wisdom for a flourishing writing life  by Beth Kempton (Piatkus) – just 99p on Kindle on Amazon UK throughout JanuaryThis week’s giveaway·      Chance to win a lovely journal and a personalized signed copy of my book Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year over on @bethkempton on Instagram Click here for all show notes including featured books.Wishing you a very happy new year, friend.Beth Xx
These are the days in between. The liminal space that hovers beyond the festivities and the before the arrival of a fresh New Year. I call this time 'the Hush', when the world slows and some kind of portal opens up. This episode is all about making the most of this precious time and it includes:Ideas for different ways to spend these days in betweenA beautiful winter visualisation to help you open to whatever might be calling youA full moon bathing ritualA comforting recipeOur nature cornerSome get ahead tips for NEXT Christmas (you’ll be glad of them, I promise)PLUS A self-care giveaway (enter on my Instagram @bethkempton)With inspiration from: @gill.meller @slowhomepod @BrookeMcAlary, Elizabeth Jenner, Dakota Hills and Sierra Brashear @superbeamix.Handy links:·      Full moon calendar ·      Last chance to join my Winter Writing Sanctuary (FREE) Starts December 28!This week’s giveaway·      Chance to win some lovely self-care goodies and a personalized signed copy of my book Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year over on @bethkempton on Instagram  Ingredients for Gill Meller's Homity Potatoes recipe:(Serves 4 or more) You will need:8 baking potatoes1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil15g (5 ½ oz) butter2 leeks, sliced into rounds2 onions, halved and sliced1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard100g (3 ½ oz) mature cheddar, finely gratedSea salt and freshly ground black pepperFeatured in this episode:·      Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kempton (Piatkus)·      What to look for in Winter by Elizabeth Jenner (Ladybird)·      Moon Bath: Bathing rituals and recipes for relaxation and vitality by Dakota Hills and Sierra Brashear·      Outside: Recipes for a wilder way of eating by Gill Meller·      Care: The radical art of taking time by Brooke McAlaryEnjoy!Beth XxYou can find all the show notes here: https://bethkempton.com/ccpodcast-shownotes/ 
It’s nearly Christmas Eve. Can you feel the magic hovering? If ever there was a time to take a deep breath and let go of all that has not been done to embrace what is here, that time is now. Pull up a chair and relax, my friend. It is Christmas, after all. This very Christmassy episode will ease you into Christmas, reminding you what really matters and encouraging you to let things be perfectly imperfect.This episode includes: A little story from the Arctic CircleA letter from Father ChristmasA moment of reflectionA wintery writing prompt A quick craft idea to give you a fun thing to do on Christmas dayChristmas traditions from around the world (from lovely listeners!)Our nature cornerThose last few get ahead tipsMy Christmas message for youWith inspiration from: Matsuo Basho, Laurie Lee, Johnny Coppin, @NadiykaGerbish, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Dot May Dunn, Elizabeth Jenner, Malcolm Bird, Alan Dart, Kenneth Grahame, JRR Tolkien, Bailey Tolkien and Father Christmas. Handy links:KakslauttenenSweet Salty Spicy Party Nuts recipeEscape to a cosy world of words in my Winter Writing Sanctuary (FREE) December 28-January 6Ingredients for Roasted Nuts recipe shared in this episode:Your choice of nuts (such as pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews and almonds, and macademias) Any extra flavours you might like such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds and fresh rosemaryMaple syrupButter (optional)Featured in this episode:The Matsuo Basho haiku poem in this episode can be found in Basho: The Complete Haikutranslated by Jane Reichhold (Kodansha) p.658Letters from Father Christmasby JRR Tolkien, edited by Baillie TolkienCider with Rosie by Laurie Lee - excerpt shared can be found in A Country Christmas edited by Johnny Coppin (The Windrush Press) p.47A Ukranian Christmas, by Nadiyka Gerbish and Yaroslav Hrytsak. (Sphere) p.11 and p.15Christmas Around the Village Greenby Dot May Dunn (Orion, p.46)What to look for in Winter by Elizabeth Jenner (Ladybird)The Christmas Handbook by Malcolm Bird and Alan DartThe Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (as featured in Favorite Poems for Christmas: A Child’s Collection (Bushel & Peck Books) p.8You can find all the show notes here: https://bethkempton.com/ccpodcast-shownotes/ 
There is a particular kind of joy in the simple act of curling up in an armchair with a book on a winter's day, or going to a café with nothing to do but take in the next chapter, or going to bed early and sitting up against soft pillows to read by lamplight. Words can be a real comfort in the darkest of seasons - both those we read and those we write. I hope this episode inspires you to pull down a favourite book off the shelf and have a read, or perhaps treat yourself to some poetry, or a new story, or a self-help book that is going to carry you through the winter. I also hope it is going to inspire you to get out your notebook and write some of your own words, as the fire crackles and the tree lights flicker.This episode includes:Wintery words to inspire youLots of cosy reading recommendations Inspiration for writing as a tool for wellbeingNature cornerChristmas traditions from around the world (from lovely listeners!)Get ahead tips as Christmas edges closerPLUS A lovely cosy giveaway (enter on my Instagram @bethkempton)With inspiration from Peter Hennessy, Josephine Greywoode, Alexandra Harris, Jane McMorland Hunter @alittlecitygarden, Tom Hennen, Phyllis Cole-Dai, Ruby R Wilson, Horatio Clare @horatiowrites, Nancy Campbell, Kevin Parr, @MattBakerOfficial, @FrancescaBeauman, Ono no Komachi, @SandrineBailly, Kim Simonsen, Randi Ward, Chris McCabe @mccabio1977, Freddie Jones, Andrew McRae, Robert Bridges, @Mark_Nepo, Elizabeth Jenner, @NationalTrust, Greg Loades @hull_urban_gardener, Shawn Bythell @bookshopwigtown, @cheftimanderson @hollyringland @therosiewalsh @mattzhaig, Muriel Barbery, Jenny Colgan @jennycolganwriter @jennycolganbooks, Joanne Harris @joannechocolat.PS See the full show notes here for recipe ingredients and other links. Lovely things for you:·      Read my how to write a haiku essay and subscribe for free at https://bethkempton.substack.com·      CLICK HERE to download the free Calm Christmas Planner ·      CLICK HERE to register for my Winter Writing Sanctuary (Dec 28-Jan 6), also free this year ·      Get up to 50% off ALL my writing courses in my winter gratitude sale at https://dowhatyouloveforlife.com
Did you know it is scientifically proven that decorating for Christmas can actually make you happier? Oh yes my friends, it is in the interests of our health that we get those fairy lights up... With the weather getting chillier outside, it is the perfect time to start thinking about how to make our homes festive and cosy, and a sanctuary of wellbeing and rest for the winter. This episode includes:Lots of ideas for decorating in a way that engages all the senses, and brings nature indoors.Wellbeing tips for inviting in restNature cornerA beautiful writing prompt for connecting with the moonA fun and super easy crafting project to tryChristmas traditions from around the world (from lovely listeners!)Recipes for hot drinks to bring joy, and nourishGet ahead tips before December arrivesPLUS A lovely cosy giveaway (enter on my Instagram @bethkempton)With inspiration from Christopher Yokel, @realsimplemagazine, Lucy Hunter @theflowerhunter, Bex Partridge of @botanical_tales, Grace Alexander of @graceaexanderflowers, @piajanebijkerk, Ark Redwood, Lisa Hood, Lisa Hood @lahoodyoga, Lizzie Kamenetzky @deliciouslizzie, @marinawrightwellness, Anja Dunk, @StEvalCandles and @royalmuseumsgreenwich.PS See the full show notes here for recipe ingredients and other links.Lovely free things for you:·      CLICK HERE to download my free simple guide to making a wreath x·      CLICK HERE to download the free Calm Christmas Planner ·      CLICK HERE to register for my Winter Writing Sanctuary (Dec 28-Jan 6), also free this year Featured in this episode:·      Cold by Christopher Yokel in Winter Poems: New and Selected by Christopher Yokel (self-published) p.9·      The Flower Hunter: Creating a floral love story inspired by the landscape by Lucy Hunter (Ryland Peters Small) p.197·      The Everyday Alchemist’s Festive Season Reimagined by Pia Jane Bijkerk (self-published) p.32·      The Art of Mindful Gardening: Sowing the Seeds of Meditation by Ark Redwood (Leaping Hare Press) p.113·      Moon Yoga by Lisa Hood (Godsfield) p.63·      Winter Cabin Cooking by Lizzie Kamanetzky (Ryland, Peters & Small) p.7 and p.166·      Advent: Festive German Bakes to Celebrate the Coming of Christmas by Anja Dunk (Quadrille) p.4 and p.199·      Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A little book of fe
Today is all about mindful gifting. Listen to this before Black Friday hits! It’s almost impossible to think about Christmas without thinking about presents, and I know it’s still early, but starting to think about mindful gifting now can save us stress, save us money, help us give things that will genuinely bring joy, and give us time to enjoy the process of dreaming up ideas, making or buying, wrapping them and delivering them in good time.This episode includes:Why being more mindful about gifting at Christmas can be good for our mental health as well as our walletsWhat kind of conversations to have now to make gifting easier and more joyfulWhat we are doing in my house to spend less but bring more joyMy three gifting guideposts (they will save you wasting your precious money on presents that people don’t actually want)The joy of advent calendarsNature cornerChristmas traditions from around the world (from lovely listeners!)A great recipe from Mark Diacono that makes a fab gift + my own homemade granola recipe (back by popular demand!)A fab giveaway worth £700 (enter on my Instagram @bethkempton)With inspiration from:@ ArounnaKhounnoraj @countrylivinguk @noor_unnahar @emilysilva @Mark Diacono @editbyemily (Emily Dawe)Lovely things for you:·      The FREE Calm Christmas Planner (a little book of festive printables which includes my unusual but highly effective approach to budgeting, plus tons of mindful gift ideas)·      My Winter Writing Sanctuary 10-day FREE online writing class Beth XxPS See the full show notes here for recipe ingredients etc. If you are worried about money call the National Debtline in the UK on 0808 808 4000 or seek out a similar organisation in your country.Featured in this episode:Winter Celebrations by Arounna Khounnoraj (Quadrille) Country Living Country Christmas by Francine Lawrence (Editor) (Ebury) [List of Everything I Want by Noor Unnahar in New Names for Lost Things by Noor Unnahar (Andrews McMeel) Sunrise Gratitude by Emily Silva (Rock Point) Paper Christmas by Emily Dawe (Search Press) Spice: A cook’s companion by Mark Diacono (Quadrille) Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth Kempton (Piatkus) 
The modern world calls us on us to be visible, to be sociable, to be ‘out there’ and tell everyone about it, not to mention to fill our days rushing from one thing to the next to keep up with everything society makes us feel we should be doing, nevermind the pressure from advertisers to create the perfect Christmas, and the knowledge that we are soon to be bombarded by visions of other people’s perfect Christmases online in the coming months, and it is a lot. This year I want to entertain the idea of giving ourselves permission to be less visible if we want to, less sociable if we want to, more ‘in here’ than ‘out there’ when that feels good, and to slow right down, and to do less, in a way which feels like more, without feeling guilty about it.That’s why, before we dive into all the chaos of the festive season, and all the joyful themes coming up on the podcast, like gift giving, festive feasting, gathering and more, I wanted to take the time to do a whole episode on nourishing ourselves – mind, body and soul. This includes asking for, and receiving, what we need at this time of year, even if that isn’t what society wants us to want, because it does not fit the commercial agenda, or the plans of our loudest friends, or anyone’s expectations. Welcome to The Calm Christmas Podcast. I am Beth Kempton and this is Episode 2: Candlelight Carol, which is all about radical winter wellbeing.This episode includes:·      Why retreating is a good idea ·      Practical ways to nourish yourself in winter·      Our regular nature corner·      Christmas traditions from around the world (including several shared by listeners!)·      A lovely simple crafting project that might even become a Christmas gift for someone·      Two lovely recipes (hello nourishment!)·      Get ahead tips and more!With inspiration from @brie.doyle, @tracee_stanley, @davidjwhyte, @silverpebble2 (Emma Mitchell), @bonniesmithwhitehouse, @deliciouslyella, @ellamills__, @nancyhachisu, Fiona Danks, Jo Schofield, Elizabeth Jenner, and Emily Thomas. Lovely things for you:·      GIVEAWAY - ! This week I am giving away a very special gift for YOU AND A FRIEND! It includes some beautiful solid skincare from my friends at SBTRCT along with a personalized, signed copy of my book Calm Christmas for EACH of you. Hop over to Instagram @bethkempton to enter. If you are listening to this after the giveaway deadline, don’t worry. I am going to be doing various lovely giveaways each week up to Christmas so there will be something waiting there for you!·      CALM CHRISTMAS PLANNER – Download yours for free here (if link is broken go to dowhatyouloveforlife.com)I hope this podcast will help you locate Christmas as an anchor in the stormy seas of winter in this world right now.Take good care,Beth(@bethkempton on Instagram / bethkempton.substack.com / dowhatyouloveforlife.com)All show notes with book and article references etc and ingredients for recipes can be found here.
Come on in out of the wind, my friend. I am so glad you found this old cottage, hidden away as it is in a small village in the South West of England. Come on through to the kitchen, pull up a chair. There are gingerbread stars fresh out of the oven and steaming tea in the pot. How have you been, my friend? I am so glad you are here and I’ve got so much to share with you.What a joy it is to welcome you to a third season of The Calm Christmas Podcast, timed just as autumn turns to leave and in its shadow offers us a glimpse of winter. Here on the podcast we trace the turning of the seasons in nature and in our minds and hearts, we seek out ways to be more mindful about the approaching holidays, and I offer inspiration and tips for using this time to rest and restore after another full year. This third season is all about seeking slow.This episode includes:·      The importance of slowing down for making the most of the holidays and for taking care of ourselves·      Tips for slowing down·      Allotment chit chat and our regular nature corner·      Christmas traditions from around the world (including several shared by listeners!)·      An autumnal crafting project·      Two lovely autumnal recipes·      Get ahead tips and more!Lovely things for you:·      GIVEAWAY - To be in with the chance of winning a copy of Rosie Steer’s gorgeous new book Slow Seasons and a personalised, signed copy of Calm Christmas by me, Beth Kempton, enter on Instagram @bethkempton (deadline 4pm UK time on Sunday 12 November)·      CALM CHRISTMAS PLANNER – Download yours for free here (if link is broken go to dowhatyouloveforlife.com)I hope this podcast will help you locate Christmas as an anchor in the stormy seas of winter in this world right now.For more details of my book Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year go to bethkempton.com/christmas or buy a copy from Amazon or any good bookshop. Or why not get the audiobook and listen to one chapter a week up to and through the holiday season? Take good care, Beth (@bethkempton on Instagram / bethkempton.substack.com / dowhatyouloveforlife.com)Featured in this episode:·      Reading from Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A little book of festive joy by Beth Kempton (Piatkus)p.15 / US edition here (Scribner)  ·      Research about the health benefits of bananas hereIngredients for recipes shared can be found here.
Friends, it's nearly time! The Calm Christmas Podcast is back for a new season. Our theme for this year is 'Seeking slow this winter'. The new season will begin on November 8, and then new episodes will drop every weekend until the new year. Over the past few years Christmas has become, for many, overcommercialised, and a time of stress and exhaustion. The Calm Christmas Podcast is about turning away from that kind of holiday season, and instead finding joy and spreading cheer without sacrificing our wellbeing.My name is Beth Kempton – author, mama, Christmas lover and host of this, The Calm Christmas Podcast, which I send out weekly in November and December, from my kitchen table in a small thatched cottage in Devon, in the South West of England. This season is all about slowing down, and I hope it’s just what you need this year.This has been the hardest year of my life. It has also, in many ways, been one of the most precious. It is on the back of those shadows and that light that I bring you Season 3 of The Calm Christmas Podcast, and I hope it will be a lantern leading you through the darkness of late autumn and winter, into a fresh new year. Each week I offer ideas for inviting in the kind of Christmas you want and need this year, inspiration for getting outdoors and noticing what is happening in nature, holiday traditions from around the world including many shared by you lovely listeners, crafting ideas, journaling prompts, rituals, moonwatching, stargazing, recipes, book recommendations, ideas for making your home festive and cosy, mindful gifts that won’t cost you a fortune, and perhaps most importantly, a moment of quiet in the rush of the season, to breathe, and plan how to make the most of this time with those you love, to honour those you miss, and treasure what matters to you most.I hope you will make space for The Calm Christmas Podcast this year. Subscribe now, mark your calendar for November 8 and join me back here for Episode 1: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, which is all about seeking slow this season.And please, tell your friends. Let’s make this Christmas – and this whole time of year – different and special, or whatever you want and need it to be. *********************************************The Calm Christmas Podcast has been recommended by Vanity Fair,  Ideal Home Magazine, The Times, Radio Times, The Handbook, Great British Podcasts and more. I hope you love it!Beth Xx (@bethkempton on Instagram)
Christmas is coming. Can you feel it in the air? I can, and I love that feeling. And it’s why I am here with you again, for a special edition of the Calm Christmas Podcast.  Rather than a whole series this year, to honour my own need for proper rest this winter I have created you a bumper special episode, to help you settle in to a cosy winter. This one is longer than usual at almost an hour, so get yourself a hot cuppa, or pull on your boots and head out for a lovely long walk as you listen. This episode includes the most important question to ask yourself right now, a host of journaling prompts, our nature corner, recipes, wellbeing ideas and tips for getting ahead for Christmas.With inspiration from Nigel Slater, John D Burns, Edward Step, Melissa Harrison, Clare Foster, Andrew Montgomery, Lia Leendertz, Jody Vassallo, Mark Diacono, Keratin Niehoff, Laura Fleiter, James Martin, Paul Hollywood and BBC Good Food.I hope this podcast will help you locate Christmas as an anchor in the stormy seas of winter in this world right now.GIVEAWAY: To be in with the chance of winning a copy of Spice by Mark Diacono and a personalised, signed copy of Calm Christmas by Beth Kempton, enter on Instagram @bethkempton (deadline midnight UK time on Friday December 2) Take good care, Beth Featured in this episode:- Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kempton (Piatkus) - The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater (4th Estate) - Wild Winter by John D Burns (Vertebrate Publishing) -  Edward Step in Nature Rambles: An Introduction to Country-lore, 1930, in Winter: An anthology for the changing seasons edited by Melissa Harrison (Elliott & Thompson)- Winter Gardens by Clare Foster and Andrew Montgomery (Montgomery Press) - The Almanac 2022 by Lia Leendertz (Gaia) - The Yogic Kitchen by Jody Vassalo (HQ) - Spice: A cook’s companion by Mark Diacono (Quadrille) -  Advent by Kerstin Niehoff and Laura Fleiter (Murdoch) - The Fearless Writer Podcast - James Martin’s homemade mincemeat recipe / Paul Hollywood’s mince pie recipe Ingredients for recipes shared are available here. Transcript available here.
Welcome to The Hush – that precious, liminal space between Christmas and New Year. In today’s episode, the final one of this series, we explore the idea of ‘less doing, more dreaming’. These are the days in-between. This is a precious time to breathe deeply, savour moments with loved ones or alone and feel the world slowing just for a moment. It's a time for reflection and releasing, meandering, and dreaming. This episode includes a very special visualisation to help you open up to what might be calling you, along with some prompts to explore in your journal ahead of the new year. With inspiration from Susan Coolidge. I hope you love this final episode, and that it ushers you gently into the new year, with a heart full of hope. Beth XxPS Don’t miss my free poetry challenge #tinywinterpoem coming to my Instagram feed @bethkempton in January!Featured in this episode: New Every Morning by Susan Coolidge in The Poetry Pharmacy, edited by William Sieghart Download a FREE copy of my Perfectly Imperfect 2022 Digital Planner here and start visualising what might be next for you.  
So here we are in Christmas week! This week I am sharing a few quiet words and a couple of festive recipes (for you and for the birds) to bring a sprinkling of calm as the festivities peak. With inspiration from Julia Baird, Emma Mitchell, and Maya Angelou. Wishing you whatever kind of Christmas you want and need this year.Beth XxPhosphorescence by Julia Baird p.286  (William Collins)Making Winter by Emma Mitchell  (LOM Art)Untitled by Maya Angelou in Celebrations: Rituals of peace and prayer by Maya Angelou  (Virago)Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth Kempton (Piatkus)Ingredients for featured recipes:(1)   For the birdsYou will need:250g block of lard250g wild berries like rosehips or hawthorn, or dried fruit like dried cranberries or sultana, wild bird seed, and porridge oats (250g in total, in any combination of berries, seeds and oats)A saucepan of boiling waterA heatproof bowl to make a bain-marieYoghurt pots, fibre plant pots or coconut halvesGarden twine(2) For you2 litres still or sparkling cider or apple juice 2 large or 3 small apples, washed, cored and sliced but not peeled3 oranges or 8 tangerines (washed and sliced but not peeled),1 lemon (zest and juice only)1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 8 cloves, 6 short cinnamon sticks6 tablespoons brown sugar
Ease yourself through the holiday preparations with this gentle episode all about rest, including a host of ideas for taking care of yourself as winter moves in. With inspiration from Liza Dalby (@lizadalby), Jilly Shipway, Shiva Rea (@shivarea108), Lucy Brazier (@brazier.lucy), Claudia Hammond (@claudie_hammond_), Gareth Owen, Katherine May (@katherinemay_) and Sonoko Sakai (@sonokosakai).Featured in this episode:East Wind Melts the Ice by Liza Dalby (Chatto & Windus)Tending the Heart Fire by Shiva Rea (Sounds True) Yoga Through the Year by Jilly Shipway  (Llewelyn)River Cottage Christmas by Lucy Brazier (Bloomsbury)The Art of Rest by Claudia Hammond  (Canongate)Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life by Beth Kempton (Piatkus) Winter Days by Gareth Owen in The Oxford Book of Christmas Poems edited by Michael Harrison (Oxford University Press) Wintering by Katherine May Japanese Home Cooking by Sonoko Sakai (Shambala)Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth Kempton (Piatkus)Jennifer Piercy’s Melatonin Magic yoga nidra meditation is here on Insight Timer.  You can download a FREE copy of The Perfectly Imperfect 2022 Digital Planner here, to help you reflect on the year and look ahead to 2022. Ingredients for the featured recipe (makes 4 servings)•   3.5 cups or 830ml dashi stock - there are wonderful recipes for making your own dashi in the book, but you can also buy it as stock from places like the Japan Centre.•   3 tablespoons of white or red miso•   2 oz (57g) mushrooms of your choice, stems removed and sliced 1/4 inch or 6mm thick•   4oz (113g) soft or medium-firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch (6mm) dice•   1 teaspoon yuzu or lemon peel, pith removedYou can buy dashi stock from Japanese supermarkets and stores such as japancentre.com.
A lovely, relaxing episode to ease you into a place of restfulness this winter, including a beautiful meditation, some gorgeous winter poetry, and some tips for finding calm in the chaos. With inspiration from Hakuin, Brian Patton, Roger McGough, Mark Strand, the Royal Horticultural Society (@the_rhs), Joey Hulin (@joeyhulin_writer), Isobel Carlson, Donna Hay (@donna.hay), and Country Living (@countrylivinguk).Featured in this episode: Untitled poem by Hakuin from Three Zen Masters by John Stevens (Kodansha)Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth Kempton (Piatkus)First Snow in the Street by Brian Patton in 100 Best Christmas Poems for Children, edited by Roger McGough  (SPCK Publishing)Lines for Winter by Mark Strand in Poem for the Day Two edited by Retta Bowen, Nick Temple, Stephanie Wienrich and Nicholas Albery (Chatto & Windus) Your Spiritual Almanac by Joey Hulin  (Laurence King)RHS Gardening Through the Year by Ian Spence (DK) The Seaside Year by Isobel Carlson (Summersdale)Country Living Christmas (magazine) Christmas Feasts and Treats by Donna Hay  (Harper Collins)Ingredients for the featured recipe (Rocky Road)Makes six1kg of dark chocolate (chopped)2 tablespoons vegetable oil130g sweetened dried cranberries 200g marshmallows250g Turkish Delight pieces50g of coconut flakes 140g of shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped
This episode is all about nesting – getting your home and heart ready for the winter, with natural Christmas decorations, and ideas for mindful crafting. With inspiration from Laurie Lee, Ariella Chezar (@ariellachezardesign), Lucy Hunter @lucytheflowerhunter, Truman Capote, Lizzie Kamenetzky, Cleo Wade @cleowade, The Royal Horticultural Society (@the_rhs), and my mum!Featured in this episode:A Village Christmas and Other Notes on the English Year by Laurie Lee (Penguin Classics)Seasonal Flower Arranging by Ariella Chezar  (Ten Speed Press)The Flower Hunter by Lucy Hunter (Ryland, Peters & Small)Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth Kempton (Piatkus)A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote in The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories edited by Jessica Harrison Winter Cabin Cooking by Lizzie Kamenetzky (Ryland, Peters & Small)Heart Talk by Cleo Wade (Atria)Slow Down and Grow Something by Byron Smith and Tess Robinson (Murdoch)Download my free guide to creating a wreath HERE  and ideas for other natural decorations HERE. To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of The Flower Hunter by Lucy Hunter and a signed copy of my book Calm Christmas, head over to Instagram @bethkempton. The deadline for entries is 4pm UK time on Friday December 3, 2021. Ingredients list for featured recipes:Salt dough-       1 cup of plain flour-       Half a cup of table salt-       Half a cup of water French onion soupServes 4-       25g unsalted butter-       3 tablespoons olive oil-       1kg large onions, very thinly sliced-       250ml dry white wine-       1 litre rich beef stock - or you could replace with vegetable stock for a vegetarian version-       Freshly grated nutmeg-       A small handful of fresh thyme sprigs-       2 fresh bay leaves-       75ml good quality Madeira-       1 day old baguette or other crusty bread, cut into slices-       1 garlic clove-       150g Comte cheese, grated (or you could use a vegetarian cheese)-       Sea salt and ground black pepper
It’s time to dive into Christmas gifting, with a host of ideas for mindful, meaningful gifts and some innovative ways to wrap your presents to surprise and delight. We have inspiration from JRR Tolkien, Michelle Mackintosh, Hollie McNish, Laura Pashby, Laura Fleiter and Kerstin Niehoff, and some lovely festive projects to try. Let this episode inspire you to give more love while spending less money and creating less waste this year.Featured in this episode:Letters from Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien edited by Baillie TolkienSustainable Gifting by Michelle MackintoshBehind the Scenes in Nobody Told Me by Hollie McNishCalm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth KemptonLittle Stories of Your Life by Laura PashbyAdvent by Laura Fleiter and Kerstin NiehoffIngredients list for featured recipe (Serves 1)2 bananas1 apple½ teaspoon ground cinnamon2 tablespoons milk1 tablespoon quick-cooking oats2 teaspoons almond butter3 pitted dates2 spiced spekuloos biscuits, like Lotus biscuits1 tsp dried cranberries
Today’s episode is inspired by festive food, but not in an obvious way. We explore what fermentation can teach us about Christmas, learn how to make hoshigaki (dried persimmons) and spelt digestives, and explore the tradition of Stir Up Sunday. This episode is packed with tips for nourishing yourself with food and herbal remedies this winter, along with some gorgeous wintery words from some of our finest writers. With inspiration from Yoshihiro Imai, Nigel Slater, Lucy Brazier, Good Housekeeping Magazine, Danna Faulds, Rebecca Sullivan, Lisa Nieschlag, Lars Wentrup, Gizzi Erskine, Diana Henry, Ella Mills, Rukmini Iyer, and Elizabeth David.Ingredients list for featured recipe (makes 16 biscuits):120 grams of cold unsalted butter, cubed120 grams of wholemeal spelt flour with a bit extra to dust120 grams of medium oatmeal or 60 grams of puffed quinoa 60 grams of soft brown sugar or 40 grams if you want a less sweet biscuit6g saltone teaspoon of baking powdera few drops of milk Featured in this episode:Monk: Light and shadow on the Philosopher’s Path by Yoshihiro Imai Greenfeast (Autumn/Winter) by Nigel Slater The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel SlaterNew York Christmas: Recipes and Stories by Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson Gizzi’s Seasons Eatings by Gizzi Erskine From the Oven to the Table by Diana HenryQuick & Easy by Ella Mills The Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer Elizabeth David’s Christmas by Elizabeth David River Cottage Christmas by Lucy Brazier
From watching starling murmurations to cooking up a vat of hot soup, from long wintery walks and forest bathing to practicing calming breathing exercises, this episode is full of ideas for gentle ways to slow down, inhale the season and exhale the stress. And with a host of get ahead tips to make sure your holiday preparations all come together in good time, you’ll feel more ready than ever for the approaching winter. With inspiration from Nick Acheson, Melissa Harrison, Charles Dickens, Jilly Shipway and Ali Roff Farrar.Beth XxFeatured in this episode:·      Essay by Nick Acheson in Winter: An anthology for the changing seasons edited by Melissa Harrison ·      Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth Kempton·      Bleak House by Charles Dickens ·      Yoga Through the Year by Jilly Shipway·      The Wellfulness Project by Ali Roff Farrar 
I have loved Christmas since I was a child. The hopes of snow and flying reindeer, that special Christmassy feeling in the air. I still sense that as a grown up, but the festive season seems to come with a lot more pressure these days. This year, instead of trying to create the perfect Instagrammable Christmas, what if we just relaxed and focused on what really matters? Welcome to Season Two of the Calm Christmas podcast with bestselling self-help author Beth Kempton. This series is all about making the season special for less – less stress, less expense, less pressure… Episode 1 is on the theme of PREPARE and includes:A cosy introduction to The Calm Christmas PodcastPondering the question of what Christmas means to you – and to meSome beautiful wintery words from some of my favourite writers and poetsJournaling prompts for reflecting on your Christmas experiencesPlus our weekly nature corner, recipes, wellbeing ideas and tips for getting ahead for ChristmasI hope this podcast will help you locate Christmas as an anchor in the stormy seas of winter in this world right now. For more details of my book Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year go to bethkempton.com/christmas Take good care, Beth (@bethkempton on Instagram)Featured in this episode:·      Good Hours by Robert Frost, in A Mind of Winter edited by Robert Atwan·      We Can be Film Stars, Just for One Day by Sue Townsend in On Christmas: A seasonal anthology by Gyles Brandreth·      Of Calcutta, Christmas and New Year by Suhel Seth in On Christmas: A seasonal anthology by Gyles Brandreth ·      Introduction by Judith Flanders in Poems for Christmas·      Christmas: A biography by Judith Flanders ·      The Almanac: A seasonal guide to 2022  by Lia Leendertz ·      Royal Horticultural Society’s Gardening Through The Year by Ian Spence·      East Wind Melts the Ice by Liza Dalby ·      Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kempton 
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