Merry Christmas everyone! It is cold outside but no snow this year in Vienna, no white Christmas for us. We are in the warmth of our apartment, the advent candles flicker and the Christmas tree is lit. We are feeling blessed and happy to have spent the day enjoying each other’s company and watching silly Christmas movies. While our fish is roasting in the oven, there is still a lingering smell from the wonderful Christmas winter tisane I did after lunch. There is vanilla in the air, as well as cinnamon and an orange scent that adds to the spirit of the season.

For the last few weeks I’ve been fighting a cold that stubbornly seemed to want to spend Christmas with me this year. Fortunately, it seems the worst is past but I felt I just needed something that would help to rebuild and reinforce my immune system. Whatever it was it needed to feel like Christmas.

Going through my home remedies books, I found a French one I’ve been neglecting for some time, “Tisanes, Remèdes & Recettes” by Pierrette Nardo. I opened it at random and there it was, a Christmas tisane that not only promised to help the immune system but also to put me in a good mood. I took it as a sign!

What is great is that it only takes three ingredients and is so simple to make. Vanilla, cinnamon and oranges are both stimulating and invigorating. You can also drink it hot or cold, both are nice but warm tea always feels comforting to me. No sugar is necessary although you can always put a little bit of honey if you prefer. We happily finished the whole pot with a slice of panettone, that we brought from our last trip to Venice. And also some small Lebkuchen which are part of the Austrian Christmas tradition.

DSC02851 Christmas Winter Tisane

Christmas Winter Tisane

  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick or 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 l/33.8 fl oz water


  1. Wash the oranges and cut 4 pieces of orange zest. Peel the oranges and cut them in thin slices.
  2. Put the zest and orange pieces in a pot with cold water. Add the spices and slowly bring to a boil. Let it boil for 3 minutes, then remove the pan and cover it. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Finally strain the tisane and enjoy hot or cold.

You will feel invigorated and hopefully in a celebratory mood. May Santa bring you what you wish for, more important may we all be able to celebrate in the company of our loved ones, healthy, with a roof over our heads and food on the table. Let’s be grateful for what we have and be generous to those who need the most.

May the spirit of Christmas inspire us all …

Merry Christmas!

DSC02846 Christmas Winter Tisane




Welcome! Through my photography and my travels, you will discover the people I have encountered and the places that will stay with me forever. In this crazy new reality we seem to be living, it is even more important to be grateful for all the people who have crossed our path and touched us in same way. As for all the old and new stones, they can live in our imaginary for now, waiting, when the time is right again ...


  • Iman says:

    Merry Christmas Maria!
    As usual, a very inspiring & well-written post..
    Christmas is a great time to reflect & connect.. And of course to relax after the celebrations:)

    • Maria says:

      Thank you so much Iman! I agree Christmas is all that and also the time to be grateful and generous. And I’m really looking forward to relaxing now after all the cooking I did these last few days!I wish you a nice weekend.

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