A Pinch of Spice
Join us as we count down to Christmas Day through the season of Advent. Drawing from traditions of Advent Calendars with cardboard opening doors, we present a short daily dose of inspiration delivered direct to your email inbox each morning.
Additionally, this year we’re offering an optional accompanying box kit available for New Zealand subscribers. Update 15 November 2022 OUR PINCH OF SPICE KITS ARE NOW OUT OF STOCK
Distinctive tastes and smells are part of our Christmas festivals and celebrations. Some of these food and decorating traditions date back centuries, and others have much more recent origins. Whether old or new to us, the smells and tastes of our own Christmas engage our senses in our celebration of the birth of Christ.
A pinch of spice goes a long way. When used as a flavour enhancer, a pinch of spice brightens up a dish or drink. The smell or taste invites us to be alert, to sit up and take notice. Intriguingly as well as alerting us, the opposite can happen, and we find some familiar spices soothing. Spices are often warming, and our physical response to the smell or taste calms us. The smell or taste of a pinch of spice, especially if it’s one we know and love, can bring us comfort and reassurance.
The Christmas story is a familiar one. In this lead up to Christmas 2022, we use a pinch of spice to help us sit up and take notice of the Christmas story in a fresh way for this season in our lives. We also use a pinch of spice to find comfort and security in our faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God.
When the wise travellers came to visit the baby Jesus, they brought with them gifts for the one who was himself God’s gift to the world. They came from faraway places, bearing gifts and seeking to worship the Son of God. In Counting Down to Christmas we’ll explore what gifts we ourselves bring to the Son of God this Christmas.
It's hard to imagine today that in ancient times cinnamon and other spices were as highly prized and as valuable as gold. The journey from source to spreading across the globe, was surrounded by mystery and legend for centuries. Today these sought-after tastes and smells can be traced along trade routes across time to their point of origin.
Throughout history the quest for power and control of spices has caused wars, exploited people, changed political allegiances, hastened colonisation, increased trade both fair and dubious, inspired travel and encouraged exploration. Globalization has been centuries in the making and access to spices have had a significant part to play in this movement.
The interconnectedness of our world is evidenced in our local grocery store where we can buy most of the spices and other things included in this year’s Counting Down to Christmas. In celebrating these familiar tastes and smells of Christmas we pay respect to and acknowledge the plants, the land, the people, and the countries where our spices came from in the past and come from today.
Counting Down to Christmas 2022 has been written by Caroline Bindon.
DAILY COUNTING DOWN TO CHRISTMAS EMAILS
The daily emails arrive at 5am (NZT) every morning starting from Saturday 26th November and ending on Monday 26th December 2022.
FORMAT OF THE DAILY EMAILS
Each day the email will follow the same format.
A pinch of spice – A couple of sentences describing the spice and how it is and has been used to celebrate Christmas in different dishes, cultures, ages, and countries.
A pinch from the Bible – One or two sentences from the Christmas story in the Bible. We focus on the books of John, Luke and some lines from Isaiah and Micah.
A pinch of reflection – A short paragraph reflecting on our interaction with the Christmas story in our own lives today.
A pinch of prayer – A daily prayer exercise, engaging our senses with the spice and responding to God.
A handful of spicy facts – A few brief facts about the daily spice including origins and history and anything quirky or curious we’ve discovered along our writing journey.
ADD A PINCH OF SPICE BOX
With this year’s Counting Down to Christmas focussing on tastes and smells we’ve created A Pinch of Spice Box. This is only available for purchase by New Zealand subscribers. ORDER BY 26 OCTOBER 2022
Open an envelope each day with just a tiny bit more than a pinch of the day’s spice inside. There is 29 envelopes to open with spices or herbs inside to smell. The box also includes a written reflection based on the visit of the wise travellers to the baby Jesus and some other spice related treats sourced from around New Zealand. Enjoy this additional material and treats at the start of Advent, throughout Advent or at Christmas.
Our pinch of spice boxes will be delivered mid-November in time for the start of our Counting Down to Christmas. To keep our pricing options simple, we’ve set a price which includes delivery costs around New Zealand.
For those subscribers who live outside of New Zealand or opt to source their own spices to match the daily emails, once you’ve signed up, we’ll send you a list of spices to gather ahead of time to make your own spice box.
ADDITIONAL SPICY ACTIVITIES
There are many craft, decorating, cooking and food preparation ideas relate to the spices we’ll be reading about in our daily emails. We wanted to keep the daily emails short for the busy time of year, so for those who want to view additional information we’ll have daily posts on the Kereru Publishing facebook page with activity ideas using the daily spices.
Counting Down to Christmas Subscription Pricing
Single email address
- Subscription for a single email address = $25(NZD)
- Subscription + A pinch of spice box* = $60 (NZD
Groups of up to 4 email addresses
- Subscriptions for household/family with multiple email addresses (up to 4) = $50 (NZD)
- Subscription + 1 x A pinch of spice box* = $85 (NZD)
Groups with 5 to 30 email addresses
- Subscription for Groups (5 to 30) = $75 (NZD)
- Subscription for Groups + 5 x A pinch of spice boxes* = $250 (NZD)
Additional boxes for group subscriptions
Each additional ‘A pinch of spice box’ @ $33(NZD). Delivery of additional boxes will be sent to a single address for organiser to distribute to group members.
*A pinch of spice boxes can only be purchased for New Zealand delivery