Sunday, 9 December 2012

Preparing for Christmas

We went to our local Christmas fair yesterday, a large room above our local bookstore. Perhaps 40 vendors filled the long room. The baking tables were the busiest by far. They were laden with stollen and Christmas cakes, mince pies and shortbread. We bought a lovely stollen and tucked it into the freezer for Christmas morning.

Later with a hot cup of tea I sat surrounded by recipe books planning what to bake for this year's Christmas baskets. We usually do up about a dozen baskets for friends and neighbours.  This year we will put a jar of honey in each one, as the bees gave us our best crop yet, over 200 pounds of wildflower honey.
I decided to bake a few different quick bread recipes so I will have an assortment. The older ladies like traditional quick breads like date and nut loaf, or banana walnut bread, but younger set like lots of chocolate, so I'll have to see what I can find, perhaps a marbled cocoa cake.
I spent the evening making an assortment of Christmas tree decorations.  I took crepe streamers and cut them into long strips and ran a thread through the top to draw them into a circle and then pasted a pretty piece of Christmas ephemera into the center and dipped the edges in glitter. 

Then I made a series of little framed pictures using little brass frames I purchased online. Each one comes with it's own glass, and I put a two pictures back to back, so no matter which sides faces the front, there's something pretty to look at.

 This morning I finished a beaded necklace, a Christmas gift to a friend. I like to make as many of my gifts as I can. I knit, sew, crochet and do a bit of beadwork.  If none of these things seem appropriate there's always something from the kitchen that will do. 

 For the gift baskets I have been making raspberry jam from my frozen raspberry crop and later on perhaps a few bottles of chutney too.  I have a lot of black plums set aside, so perhaps I can make something using them.

I have about 100 pairs of beeswax candles that I made in the early fall and I have been wrapping each pair in white tissue paper and using a bit of ribbon and a pretty picture that I use to glue the paper closed. I  think all that's left to worry about are a few batches of Christmas cookies and perhaps some truffles for the chocolate lovers.
Trying to split my working days between research and writing for the website, which is pretty much ready for its debut and keeping up with Christmas preparations.

But weekends, especially Sundays are set aside for pleasure: driving to the beach to watch the waves roll in while wrapped up in a warm coat; hot cups of tea or apple cider; a soothing bathe, an evening by the fire, a new book to savour,  starting a new book.  Hope you have time to relax and do something enjoyable too!

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