Merry Christmas!

Rodney and I wish you all a very merry Christmas! What is a merry Christmas anyways? I think I would wish that inspite of the busyness of preparations and events, the stresses and emotion that often accompany family life, and the possibility that you may even be dealing with loss or loneliness this Christmas, that you can take a few moments and give thanks for what you have, make the effort to really look around you and drink in the beauty that is there (in the countryside as you're driving or in the faces of those around you), and savour good food and hopefully a few good laughs. More...

Sing. Light candles. Watch the snow fall. Lay on the couch and get mesmerized by the Christmas lights. Read a good book. Listen to music. Party. Watch a classic Christmas show. Make soup. Eat chocolate. Hold a warm drink in your hands and let it soothe you. Take a little extra care with one or two presents and make them a work of art. Use a little extra colour or glimmer as you set your table.

For me, I also hope to take a little time to reflect on the experience of Mary, on the wonder of that night, on the unusual ordinary-ness of a King born among animals and adored by sheep herders, and on the love that brought this story to life.

Maybe merry isn't the best word. Perhaps "wonder-filled" is better. The one conjures up red and green, deck the halls, ho ho ho, and let your heart be light (things I still enjoy). The other brings to my mind starry nights, the intricacies of nature, the faces of children, and a depth of feeling in both joy and sorrow. You can choose. May love, joy, peace, and hope fill your heart this Christmas.

The Brauns


Shopping Local for fun Gifts

If you're looking for beautiful, unique gifts, I have three ideas for you today.

Cornelia Bean on 417 Academy Road has a great selection of teas, coffees, teapots, the amazing BrewT (loose leaf tea made easy), honey infusions (so you can get your lemon and honey at the same time) and so much more. Their staff is friendly and helpful and their store is just fun to visit. Warm someone's heart and insides with a gift from Cornelia Bean!

Orange Poppy Feng Shui Gifts & Decor, 1 – 433 River Avenue, is having an inventory clear-out as they are shifting their focus away from retail and completely onto feng shui consulting/classes. Last I heard, they still have some really beautiful wrapping paper and cards as well as lots of gift ideas...all up to 60% off.

If you have someone who's hard to buy for, is looking for "un-stuff" and is female, check out the LifeStyle Pass. Created by Sam (Stephanie) Manchulenko to help women in Winnipeg and area find new ways of adding healthy and enriching experiences to their lives, the lifestyle pass is like a passport to amazing Winnipeg businesses and is chock-full of great deals. Only $40. Available online and various locations.

And of course, Eve Studios has gift certificates available. So if you'd like to come in for a session, why not put it on your wish list?! We donate $25 from every $200 gift certificate to Alpha House, protective living for women leaving abuse, so you'll be giving and receiving a gift all at the same time! By the way, have you checked out Rodney's fine art photography? It's a little late to order a piece for Christmas, but a gift certificate could also cover something for hubby or parents, too! Check out the link at sidebar. He's done some really amazing work!


Tips for the Holidays

Two things I thought I'd pass along to you as the holidays are approaching.

As I attend more and more business functions and get out in the world, I'm meeting fabulous people. One of them is Trisha Sveistrup. She has begun coaching women through the process of body transformation without dieting. If you'd like to receive a free e-mail newsletter than can help you through the holidays without weight gain and without deprivation, click here. There is a sign-up in the top right-hand corner of her web-site.

Second, if you're looking for an up-do for a Christmas party, I would have to suggest Sandy Turner at First Impressions (an Aveda concept salon) on St. Mary's Rd. It's her favorite thing to do and she's really good at it! You can call 255-3599 to book your appointment.

My hair after a quick up-do at a trade-show. Sandy is really personable, fun to work with, and has a knack for contemporary, natural-looking up-do's.