Hoping to find you all safe and well as this crazy year winds up. Instead of succumbing to the onslaught of marketing and charging up your Visa with unnecessary purchases, give a little thought to your gift-giving and skip the January regret. Resist the allure of free shipping and consider making purchases from local shops and artists. Gift cards from local bookstores, and businesses, and tickets to shows, classes, and experiences are among my favorites for gift giving and receiving.
The Spirit of Giving
This has been an extremely tough year for a lot of people who are in danger of losing their homes, livelihood, and health insurance. With all the misery, hardship, and relentless covid in the world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and just focus on ourselves and our own little world. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, gives light to darkness. Who can you reach out to this season? A homeless shelter? A friend in hard times? A family in need? Give the gift of kindness, it helps us all.
Check out this organization for easy gift giving and making an impact. https://givelottolove.com/. Check out your local church or shelter for more ideas or look into https://www.volunteermatch.org/. I find I feel so much better about myself and the world at large when I pitch in.
Art of Pressed Flowers, Denver Botanic Gardens,
Saturday, January 29, 9:30 to noon. $55, $50 member, https://catalog.botanicgardens.org/Selection.aspx?item=2649&sch=189138
Can't wait for spring flowers? Spend an enjoyable morning creating your own masterpieces with gorgeous pressed flowers. We will make beautiful floral bookmarks, unique cards and a lovely botanical dipped candle to take home. Learn the best flowers to grow for future projects, and how to press for optimal color, durability, and long life. Handout and all materials provided.
Spring Self Renewal Mini Retreat and Luncheon,
Saturday, February 12, 10am to 2pm, $100, $92 member.https://catalog.botanicgardens.org/Selection.aspx?item=2845&sch=189374
It's a new year and time for renewal and rejuvenation. Take some time off to discover herbal tonics, health-boosting superfoods, and pure and natural skin products you can make yourself. Learn simple self-care practices to regain balance and vibrant health. Bring home a soothing skin salve, a cleansing face mask and toner, and a tonic tea, along with recipes and lots of new ideas for becoming your best self. Extensive handout, superfoods lunch, and all materials included. Treat yourself and begin anew!
Fun Things to Do!
The holiday light shows at the zoo, https://denverzoo.org/events/zoolights/ and Botanic Gardens, https://www.botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/blossoms-light, are selling out, so don’t wait to make reservations on these. There are also light shows at Hudson Gardens, https://www.hudsongardens.org/enjoy/christmas-lights/, The Butterfly Pavillion ,https://butterflies.org, and Elitch Gardens, https://www.elitchgardens.com/luminova .
When I was little my parents would load us all into the big station wagon and we would drive around looking at lights. It was a fun holiday tradition and when we got home we had cocoa and cookies. Here’s a map for ideas for your own light tour. https://extras.denverpost.com/holiday-lights/index.html
The Nutcracker, https://tickets.coloradoballet.org/events, Christmas Carol, https://www.denvercenter.org/tickets-events/a-christmas-carol/ , and more are showing at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, https://www.denvercenter.org . Get dressed up and go out for a night on the town.
Parade of Lights, this Saturday, December 4 at 6pm. https://www.downtowndenver.com/9news-parade-of-lights/
Georgetown Christmas Market, it’s back! First two weekends in December. Go up to the mountains where you might actually get to see some snow. Hayrides, food, entertainment, and
Check https://www.denver.org for more fun things to do
Yes, the poinsettias are back. Every year the color selection gets bigger. Watch those foil or plastic covered pots, very easy to overwater. Poke some holes in the bottom and put on a drainage tray.
Not crazy about poinsettias? Try some amaryllis or paper white bulbs. There is also cyclamen, Christmas cactus, and kalanchoe. Branch out! I love potted plants. They provide weeks of enjoyment as opposed to short lived cut flowers.
Looking for a unique gift or cool centerpiece? Try a French basket. Go to a larger nursery, Paulinos, Echtors, City Floral, or Tagawas, someplace with a good selection of small potted plants. Pick out a few that speak to your inner Martha and arrange them together in a pretty basket with small plastic liners. Top with florists moss and voila! Unique, long lasting and lovely.
Herb of the Month – GINGER
You can find fresh ginger root in just about any grocery store these days. Ginger is a wonderful immune booster, and tasty antiviral for the cold and flu season. Ginger is also effective for nausea, and an effective remedy for any kind of gastric distress.
Ginger is a great warming spice for those cold winter days. Eventually we’ll have one, this perpetual fall is somewhat unnerving. I use fresh ginger root in teas, juicing, smoothies, cocktails, soups, stir fry’s, desserts, and more. It’s spicy, warming flavor never fails to be both delicious and comforting.
To peel ginger just use a spoon and scrape off the peel. If you are using organic ginger you don’t need to peel it. You can grate, slice, or mince ginger. Dried ginger is also available but I prefer the milder, juicier taste of the fresh root.
Use ginger when you have a chill, a tummy ache, a cold or flu, or just want to spice things up.
Recipes of the Month
Still stumped for gifts?
The Herbalist's Happy Hour includes recipes for fresh, artisanal beverages and finger foods made with ingredients from the garden. I went for low effort and delicious results. It includes recipes for cocktails, infused liquors, non-alcoholic refreshers, bitters, garnishes, savory small bites and more. From Blueberry Basil Blast to Smoked Salmon Mousse you’ll find plenty of ideas for healthy hydrating and flavorful snacking. Great gift idea! Get it here.