Todays December activity was to soak in the tub while sipping on spiced hot cider on day 2 of my intentional holiday practice and first Sunday of Advent. 

Smells are such a crucial part of the Holidays, from nostalgia, to creating new memories. Pine, Spruce, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Orange....  I chose to gather the scents that remind me of how the island smells during the winter; cedar trees, roses and the sea. My old beach house has a cast iron tub, and it is old and deep and holds the heat of the water. A massive bonus for long winter soaks. 

RECIPE FOR THE BATH

Coconut Milk Powder -  I prefer milk powders over salts as I find them more skin softening. You can choose a Sea or Mineral Salt or combine both salt and powders. I do think it is worth experimenting with some Honey, Coconut or Milk Powders. I love them. 

Bay leaves  - You may be lucky enough to know someone who grows them, but otherwise use what is in your kitchen cabinet. 

A few drops of Rose OIl (heart opening) 

A few drops of Vetiver Oil (grounding, calming, sensual) 

I find the oils smell stronger if I add them right before getting into the tub, after shutting off the water. 

RECIPE TO SIP

Warm Apple Cider on the stove. I love the sweet tartness of cider.  I added these ingredients I had in the spice cabinet.  Pick and choose from what you have, or just squeeze a little lemon in your mug, or leave it as it is. Mixing with Cranberry Juice is also tasty. 

Whole Cloves

Whole Allspice

Cinnamon Chips

Dried Orange Peel 

Dried Lemon Peel 

Combine about a half tablesoon and add to the cider. Remove from heat before allowing the cider to boil, strain into mug.

LISTEN

Songs from the Woods from Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson is like an elf or woodland creature to me and I am a fan. Granted, this is not your typical go to holiday music, but the album includes Solstice Bells and I actually love being surrounded by elves and fairies while listening to festive music that isn't traditional. Besides, the guy knows how to play, conduct, direct and bang on a cymbal. If this is too ambitious for bath time you may like Loreena McKinnetts exquisite album - A Midwinters Night Dream.  

LIGHT

I chose a candle reminiscent of the cedar trees that grow on the island;  Winter Pine by Sand and Fog. 

These florals, firs and spices combined for an earthy, heady bath festival. The cider was tasty and I ate a few too many of yesterdays shortdrop cookies.