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Mum always buys two poinsettia plants at this time of the year. She keeps one and gives one to me, which comes in a festive red pot. It takes pride of place as our Christmas greenery.

And every year, in early January, I end up caretaking both plants as Mum and Dad head north on holidays. Eventually, the plants die and sit on my back deck all year, waiting for December and the new poinsettia to arrive (can you tell I’m not a gardener?!).

I know you have your Christmas rituals that are unique to you and your family. It’s what makes this time of the year feel so familiar and special.

In amongst the busyness, I plan to remember some easy rituals that serve me all year. And even if I only do one, it will be better than none.

* Breathing – I know, so simple, but nothing is more powerful to calm my nervous system and ground me than several mindful breaths.

* Water – just keep sipping, you know your body loves you for it.

* Enough good quality sleep – for me, this means no devices before bedtime and lights out by 10.30pm. What does it mean for you?

* Meal Planning – if you follow me on Facebook, you saw that during November I did a Hello Sugar, I See You challenge. One of the keys to keeping my sugar intake manageable is meal planning. Basically, when I’m properly fed (and watered and rested), I don’t feel the need to get an energy hit from sugar.

* Gratitude – I’m alive, I’m healthy, I’m loved. What are you grateful for?

* Meditation – OK my meditation practice is a bit hit and miss, but I know that it makes a difference to my mind and spirit when I regularly create space to connect.

* Support – be ok with asking for help and take time to be with the people who make you laugh.

Now onto a delicious Christmassy recipe! These Choc Orange Rum Balls are the perfect gift for teachers, colleagues, neighbours, friends and family. Keep a batch in the freezer to grab for last-minute presents or unexpected guests. Wrap them pretty and hand them over with love.

(Taste as you go and adjust the amount of rum-based on what’s right for you. I tend to go with more rum, leaving no doubt these are Rum Balls!)

Choc Orange Rum Balls

Choc Orange Rum Balls

Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan


  • 150 g almonds
  • 40g coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 3 tblsp cacao powder
  • 2 tblsp rice malt syrup
  • 1-2 tblsp rum
  • 8-10 drops Wild Orange essential oil (or 1 orange, zest only)
  • Extra coconut for rolling


  1. Grind almonds in Thermomix or high speed blender till fine.
  2. Add all other ingredients and blend till combined (be careful not to over blend).
  3. Roll mix into tablespoon-size balls, then coat in extra coconut.
  4. Store in fridge or freezer.

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