Today I bring you the first of many Christmas Recipes. Some of you may be thinking this Christmas post is a little premature, but I must confess I’ve been Christmas obsessed for weeks now.
I’m one of those people who when they sign along to Wizzard’s “Oh I wish it could be Christmas everydaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay” I genuinely mean it. I. Love. Christmas. And not just Christmas day! Of course I’m grateful for the gift giving and I enjoy Christmas dinner, but for me the best part of Christmas is the build up! As with any occasion worth making traditions out of, my family do Christmas BIG TIME, so for me the build up is not just madly running around shops looking for the perfect gift. Oh no, it is SO much more! This is what Christmas means to me...
· The Christmas season is declared open at the end of our annual bonfire night party where we all gather round my auntie’s house for a firework display at the local park, freshly cooked soup and sparklers.
· The Christmas Book starts to make an appearance, temptingly being left around the house. This book is my Mum’s Christmas organiser; it contains the Christmas card list, the present list, as well as the more tedious chores like the Christmas Cleaning Rota!
· Dad orders the Christmas turkey. We order our turkey from a semi-local butcher (it’s just a town away but it’s where they’ve got their turkey every year for the last 30!)
· I start planning what I’m cooking for when! Christmas wouldn’t be complete without gingerbread men, a Yule log, a Christmas cake, mince-pies, shortbread and more! I will be baking ALOT over the Christmas period so keep your eyes peeled.
· Christmas shopping! This year I started REALLY early buying an extra special present online. Towards the end of November we will make a trip to a big shopping centre (usually Milton Keynes) where we will shop to we drop and go out for a festive lunch!
· Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse. Every year I take a shoe box, fill it with toys, pens, pencils, notebooks, sweets, teddy bear, hygiene products, hats and gloves and send it off to a Child in a poverty stricken country with the aid of Samaritan Purse! Want to find out more follow this link: OperationChristmas Child.
· Christmas films – my Mum has one of the most impressive collections with over 15 DVD’s! It’s a wonderful life is always saved to be watched on Christmas Eve however.
· Christmas songs! On the first of December I play Christmas music...24/7. It made me rather unpopular in halls but I don’t care! I love ALL Christmas music and even have a favourite Christmas Compilation Album. I’m not ashamed to say it...I know the exact order of the songs and everything...
· Dec the halls... two weeks before Christmas we decorate the house, the WHOLE house. I even have my own Christmas tree and set of dec’s for my bedroom. This year I am also making a set of bunting to hang above the doorway in our lounge.
· Christmas lights... with indoor decorations comes outdoor decorations! Despite the recession our street really goes to town on outdoor Christmas lights! If you want to see a spectacle just head my way a week or two before Christmas you will see reindeers, Santa’s sleigh, presents, elves and of course it will be “snowing” on every house in the street!
· Christmas present wrapping – one of my favourite parts of Christmas, wrapping gifts with a Christmas film on. Perfect.
· The Annual Christmas Carol Service. My extended family and I all attend the same church so we all go along to the Christmas Carol Service a week or two before Christmas. There’s singing by candle light, mince pies and mulled wine
· Granddad’s birthday party – this may not sound very Christmassy but it’s always the week before Christmas and marks the beginning of a series of family parties over the festive season.
· Collecting the Christmas turkey! With both Dad and I usually working Christmas Eve, we wake up SUPER early (roughly 5:30am) and head on over to the butchers to pick up our big fat Turkey! This is by far my favourite tradition! The aim is to be first in queue for when they open just before 7am! While there, we choose the cheeses, sausages, streaky bacon, variety of stuffing and extra meat we want for over the Christmas period. The family who run the butchers are so lovely! In the past when it’s been snowing they’ve bought out cups of hot mulled wine to keep us warm! The queue was so big one year we even got in the paper!
· Making the mince pies – we make our mince pies on Christmas eve. No mince pies until Christmas?! That’s right...we hold into temptation until Christmas has officially arrived!
· Christmas eve with family friends – this tradition has been going since before I was born! My parents always get together with their couple friends, and us kids are welcome too. We drink far too late into the night/morning so much so that as a child, I always expected Santa to have come by the time we got back home.
· Leaving brandy and mince pies out for Santa (oh and a carrot for Rudolph too!) This tradition is still going strong! Rudolph loves his carrot, though he always leaves a little bit...complete with teeth marks.
· Christmas day – a day full of family! We start the morning opening presents, then on to Church where we see the family, before heading home with at least one set of Grandparents and open more presents, then we tuck into Christmas lunch, watch the Queen’s speech, more presents, then I see Jon and his family before heading back to mine for a drink or two.
SO, now you know just how special Christmas is to me, can I be forgiven for posting my first Christmas recipe?!
No?! Well what if I tell you that this recipe is best made in advance (it should be kept in a cupboard for two weeks before using) and can be kept for up to 6 months?! We also all known that there is nothing better than a home-made mince pie, with a warm glass of mulled wine in front of the fire! This mincemeat is the perfect filling for this mince-pie recipe.