This month I covet peace. Peace that sometimes comes in the form of a freshly brewed cup of Cinnamon Nut Spice coffee or the box of dainty Petits Fours delivered to my front door; the welcoming scent of pine crackling in the heat of a warm fire, the lingering light of Christmas candles lining the snowy windows of Timberline Lodge and stolen moments of silence before dawn. These simple profound flashes of the holiday remind me that peace is everywhere. I have to choose to find it.
May it find you too—both in small and unexpected ways. And, while you carve out your own peace, feel free to borrow mine.
Here’s how I’m finding peace this holiday:
Kobos Cinnamon Nut Spice Coffee: Kobos Coffee, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, has been fresh-roasting small batches of arabica beans for over 38 years. The result of nearly four decades in the business is consistently good coffee. I’m not typically a flavored-coffee kind of gal, but Kobos’ Cinnamon Nut Spice leaves me weak in the knees. With hints of nuts and vanilla blended with a spicy cinnamon kick, it’s like drinking Christmas in a cup. At $11.95 a pound Kobos will grind the beans to your specifications and ship anywhere in the continental U.S.
ScentSicles Scented Ornaments: Candles and wax warmers receive all the glory these days, but ScentSicles are an innovative and eye-pleasing twist on holiday aromas. These simple ornaments are infused with the scent of pine, fir, spruce and cinnamon stick. They’ll sparkle on your tree and fill any room with the fragrance of Christmas. If you’re particular about ornaments, try their ScentSticks in apple, cinnamon, cranberry and gingerbread. These sticks can be placed in a holiday bouquet, centerpiece or in front of a warm fire. Six-packs of ornaments for 8.95 or sticks for $9.99.
Swiss Colony Petits Fours: As a kid one of my favorite parts of the holiday season was checking the mailbox and front porch. With family scattered across the globe, packages appeared like magic from the start of December on. My uncle, who lived in Florida (where the sun shines on Christmas) sent us exotic Petits Fours each year. The sweet, dainty treats layered with moist cake and filled with almond, strawberry, chocolate, orange and vanilla have become a holiday tradition. Only as an adult did I realize my uncle mail-ordered these not-so-exotic treats from the Swiss Colony. Not to worry, they’re still a delight to receive. Prices range from $13.95-$49.95. Treat yourself or ship as a gift.
Paper Dolls Handcrafted Holiday Cards: I’ll admit that in today’s harried world the gifts technology offers, like Jib-Jab greetings and websites that shoot off custom cards via email, are a godsend. But here’s the thing, I want my seven-year-old to experience the thrill of a ringing doorbell, a waiting package and a mailbox stuffed with holiday cards and letters. Paper Dolls is my answer. They handcraft holiday cards adorned with rhinestone and trimmed with ribbon. If family-photo cards are your thing, they’ll personalize those too, complete with matching envelopes and glitter-crusted buttons. Ranging from $10-$20 for a box of ten these designer cards are sure to leave a lasting impression in mailboxes everywhere.
Deschutes Brewing Jubelale: I know it’s unfair that I happen to live where we boast more microbrews and beer pubs than anywhere else on the planet. But, come on, it rains here—a lot. We have to drown our soggy sorrows in a good pint every now and then. While we have pints-a-plenty in the Northwest, my beer of choice this holiday season is without a doubt Jubelale. Deschutes has won international accolades for its ales, and it just so happens that Jubelale is the beer that started it all. As the name implies, a frothy mug of this hearty winter beer with its beautifully balanced hoppy and malted roots is sure to warm your spirit and redden your cheeks. Visit Deschutes’ website for a map of where you can procure a six-pack.
Christmas at Timberline Lodge: Renowned for its creepy hallways and terrifying mazes straight from the scenes of The Shining, Timberline at Christmastime would make Jack Nicholson breakout into a Bing Crosby song and dance routine. The historic lodge nestled under the snow at the summit of Mount Hood might just make you believe in Santa again. Timberline hosts holiday dinners for the whole family on Christmas Eve and day. While mom and pop nosh on arugula and cauliflower panna cotta and root beer brined turkey, the kiddos feast on carrot and gummy worm appetizers and a mac and cheese buffet. A thirty-foot Christmas tree, carolers and a roaring fire complete the movie-set vibe. But, the piece-de-resistance that will leave kids and adults alike wide-eyed is when Santa actually rappels down the lodge chimney bringing gifts for all. Dinner at Timberline Lodge includes five course and plenty of cheer. $75 for adults, $18 kids 4-11 and kids under 3 are free.
Collins Lake Resort: Couldn’t book a room at Timberline? Want to spread out on the mountain with the entire family? Collins Lake Resort is the ultimate winter wonderland. Its ski-style chalet condos sleep eight to ten guests. The resort is conveniently located within walking distance to the town of Government Camp and ski resorts. Each chalet is stocked with everything you’d find at home, full kitchens, dryers for wet socks, and plenty of room for fighting in-laws. By far the most thrilling experience at Collins Lake is swimming in one of the heated pool during a snow storm. The pools and hot tubs are open year-round. Just be sure to pack your winter boots for the trek back to your chalet. Rates and minimum stays vary. Visit their website for the latest specials.
Essential Meditations Deck This rich deck of 50 daily meditations comes packaged in box small enough to tuck into any suitcase. Take it with you this holiday season and take a moment to reflect. Simple exercises will help you focus and restore your energy. It’s a tool I use year-round to carve out a moment of quiet and a gentle way to ease in to a hectic holiday. Available at bookstores and online at Amazon for $11.16.