I know, it’s a bit early (for me anyway) but it will be here before we know it. Only 46 days (apparently) until the big day.
Time then for 40 (plus) days and nights of frantic, planning, shopping and stocking up on enough food to feed an entire football team for a month. Let the madness begin!
Reading the excellent http://ivegotadrillandimnotafraidtouseit.blogspot.com made me break out in cold sweat as I realised that I had completely forgotten about the Christmas cake this year. I make a huge one every year which I share with my mother, sister and mother-in-law. Bearing in mind that all three of the aforementioned ladies are retired, I’m not sure why the task still falls to a working mother-of-three who has moved house recently, but there you have it!
So, I dug out my faithful old recipe (as Paula says everyone has their favourite – mine comes from Good Housekeeping circa 1992) and set about shopping for ingredients, overlooking the fact that this is the only time of year that Sainsbury’s sells out of glace cherries.
Several (OK, two) trips later, I had everything needed to bake that cake (except of course, the time to do it).
I would like to say that as I write, the cake is cooling in the kitchen and I am relaxing with the first festive sherry of the season (the only time of year it touches my lips – ugh! I tend to forget what it tastes like in the months in between), with a smug expression and a smut of flour on each cheek. However, this is not the case. The cake has still to be baked and family honour upheld.
Whilst, I was trying to pinpoint a day to bake, my sister rang to remind me that I promised to go Christmas shopping with her and my mother. I wrote last year about the joy of family Christmas shopping trips so I won’t repeat myself here, only to say that I will probably need more than one sherry afterwards!
Then he-who-has-never-written-a-Christmas-card-in-his-life (aka hubbie) kindly reminded me of the need to get the cards done early this year so that we can include a change of address.
And up and down the country, relatives are plotting about who is coming for Christmas and for how long. I have little say in this and await instructions (swiftly followed by the ‘which grannie is going to have whose room’ argument) but when they all arrive I will smile valiantly and make sure that I am well stocked up on trifle (a good use of the rest of the sherry when I remember that I don’t actually like it).
With the risk of sounding more and more like that well-known Dickens character, I should add that I do enjoy Christmas and no doubt in years to come when I pass the organisational responsibility on to my children (I wonder, will they invite me?), I will miss the days when I was the one at the heart of everything.
Or maybe not!