Yes, it’s hard to believe that Christmas is here already. I remember saying back in February: “It’ll be here before we know it” , hoping that perhaps this year I’ll be able to catch my breath between Christmas and Christmas.
I’m not saying that I don’t like Christmas, I do, quite a bit in fact even though baking, decorating, shopping and all the other things one does at Christmas, should NOT be done in shorts and t-shirt sweating profusely in 40 degrees!
So on with the air conditioner for this North European girl and start baking! The Ginger Bread Snaps won’t make themselves!
It’s A Wrap
This year we decided to use recycled brown kraft paper to wrap our gifts in and use a red and white twine as ribbon.
The main reason being I just love the rustic look, but after doing some research I discovered how toxic the common old wrapping papers can be. Some coloured gift wrap has been known to contain lead, and too much of that metal and you’re well overdue for a detox!
Also, if you choose to use the bright and vibrant papers, please do not burn them either inside or outside!
Ham or Turkey?
We always have a ham and never a turkey. One year I’d like to have both, but only if it’s free range or even better, pastured and organic.
Free range denotes a method of farming husbandry where the animals, for at least part of the day, can roam freely outdoors, rather than being confined in an enclosure for 24 hours each day. The sow gets to live outdoors but raises her piglets in sheds or large shelters.
Pasture raised– animals are born and raised outdoors with continuous and unrestricted daytime access to paddocks that are suitable for grazing and are provided with shade and shelter. Raising free range pigs on pasture also means that the sows live their entire lives outdoors and give birth outside while being provided protection from the elements and potential predators.
Free range, pastured Christmas hams are no longer hard to find. Even the supermarkets stock them and more and more are sold each year.
We are raising our own heritage breed chickens and are looking forward to adding one to the Christmas table this year and more importantly tasting the difference from a supermarket bird. A taste comparison will follow.
Choose Your Gift Wisely
Selecting a gift that the recipient will like, and use, is always very difficult. Sometimes we put too much emotion into the purchase, and expect the same emotion from the receiver of the gift.
Giving Vouchers, Gift Cards or Money in a pretty Christmas Card is one way to make sure you gift is appreciated, but there’s nothing fun about a bunch of envelopes under the Christmas tree.
Buying you presents from a big chain store is probably both quick and painless and also great for the share holders of that company.
However, the best way to unavoidably add your hard earned cash to the economy and give the most treasured gift is to source it locally or from a small family business. Or, even better, make it yourself! Homemade is not appreciated by everyone, so perhaps a mixture of both store bought and homemade is the way to go.
One of the most stressful parts of the Christmas Season is the Christmas Dinner or Lunch. We are most likely catering for a large group, relatives and perhaps friends. It is important to make a good impression and to ensure everything is on the table and nothing is forgotten.
Some people thrive under that sort of pressure, but for many it ruins the whole Christmas spirit.
Get as much help as you can with the preparation and cooking of the different dishes and remember, no one is going to respect you less if you serve a few ready made side dishes or meals.
Christmas comes and Christmas goes and next year it will be here again at exactly the same time as last year.
Do what you can and do what you must, but this is a time to happy, content and with a belly full of wonderful food!
All the best,