Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children,
they are all 30 feet tall.
~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas
I almost find it difficult to believe, we have entered the period in which we swap breakfast for chocolate, gyms for “oh go on then” and carpet for crumpled wrapping paper. But I’m happy it’s here.
I love December. I don’t love the dark evenings. But I love the coziness. I love the buying of gifts. I love giving them even more. I love, love, love twinkle lights, and one day husband I will have my nodding reindeer on the doorstep! I love the ridiculous amounts of Christmas food telly, repeats of Delia Smith stuffing turkeys and so on. I do hope Gordon will be in his kitchen too this year. It makes me feel like I have a friend in the know guiding me.
This year I’ll be at home. With my hubby and my parents. A grown up Christmas. But I’m sure my Dad and I will do our best to lower things to a childish level, pass-the-parcel style!
We’re doing Roast Rib of Beef. Scrummy. I know you should have goose or turkey or something poultry based, but I think you should do something special that you love the most, and for Andy and I, that involves rare meat! So I will post my recipe from last year’s Christmas trial on here. Hopefully I can pull off another classic this year.
One thing we certainly won’t be doing this year will be having a huge breakfast followed by a three course meal and still trying to fill our boots with a cheeseboard. No siree. Last year we got up late, I cooked a huge portion of eggs benedict with the Christmas ham, but the time we got to lunch we couldn’t eat a damn thing!
This year, it will be minimal breakfast, to ensure we have room for Foie Gras (lovely yet naughty – it is Christmas after all), Beef with all the trimmings and then Great-Grandma’s Christmas Pudding. Hopefully then, at tea time we’ll be good for a slice of ham. Oh, I’m salivating at the thought.
This year I have finally gotten around to doing it. This year, some lucky folk, will be receiving some miniature Christmas Cakes decorated with Crystallised flowers. Lovely. Recipes etc, coming your way.
Ham Bake Day (Christmas Eve)
My Christmas Eve traditionally consists of cleaning the house prior to the visitors arriving, prepping veg for Christmas Day. AND Ham Bake Day. I have been using this recipe for 3 years now and it’s a winner, so I hope, if you’re lucky to have half a pig waiting for a baking, you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Just the whole tradition of the bake itself is lovely, the basting, the aromas. It’s how I know Christmas has truly arrived.
Don’t forget to defrost it for a couple of days before you plan to cook it or you’ll have a ham in the tumble drier situation (not recommended!)
Frantic last Christmas Bits
No matter how organised you tend to be, there’s always one or two bits you still haven’t got when you come into December. Likewise, you have no choice but to buy most of the food just prior to the event. So that means shops are crazy, Amazon orders are being delivered almost daily, and your head is in a whir in case you forgot the Twiglets. But the key lesson, is to write a list! And whilst I can’t lessen the queues at Tesco, I have a few tips on what can be prepared ahead of the day to make things a little bit easier.
Courtesy of Royal Mail, here are the last posting dates for 2012. Don’t forget!
|Last recommended posting services||Service|
|Thursday 13 December||Standard and Mail Order Return Parcels|
|Tuesday 18 December||Second Class and Recorded Signed For™|
|Thursday 20 December||First Class and Recorded Signed For™|
|Friday 21 December||Special Delivery™ with Saturday Guaranteed|
|Saturday 22 December||Special Delivery™|
|International Surface Mail|
|Friday 28 September||Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Central America, New Zealand and South America|
|Tuesday 2 October||Far East (except Hong Kong and Singapore), Middle East|
|Tuesday 16 October||Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and USA|
|Tuesday 6 November||Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece, Iceland, Malta and Turkey|
|Tuesday 20 November||Western Europe|
|Wednesday 5 December||Asia, Australia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand|
|Friday 7 December||Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Middle East and South America|
|Monday 10 December||Canada, Eastern Europe and USA|
|Wednesday 12 December||Western Europe|
|British Forces Post Office (BFPO)|
|Friday 30 November||Airmail to Operational BFPOs|
|Friday 14 December||Airmail to Static BFPOs|
Wrapping and Decorating
Must admit, I’m a bit late on the decorating this year. I like to have 3 weeks of twinkliness in the house, but it looks like it will only be 2 this year. But oh well. Tree will be purchased first week of December, for decorating around the 15th. I love real trees. The smell of pine as you walk through the front door. Reminds me of Lapland. Lovely.
Every year, Andy and I buy 2 special baubles. In the hope that one day, we’ll have a tree decorated with nothing but odd baubles as opposed to B&Q specials! This year we purchased an umbrella and a reindeer. Can’t wait to see them up.
And then there’s the wrapping. I love wrapping presents too. Stick on Miracle on 34th Street, a box of Roses to keep me going and I’m a wrapping robot. I don’t even get annoyed when the tape sticks together!
December 5th – International Day of the Ninja
All I can say is, I can’t apologise enough for not writing this post to give you enough notice so you have missed it. I find it hard to believe there is such a day, but there is, and that’s enough for me. And how I wish I had known so I could have worn a head band and jump around doing karate chops all day. Sorry readers!
And finally, there’s lots of parties. Meeting with friends and family you haven’t seen in ages. And generally enjoying yourself. How can you not love December?
follow me on twitter @ahumblewife