Getting ready for Christmas!
Last Christmas, I was lucky enough to go away with family, to a holiday cottage in North Norfolk. However, this year we are celebrating Christmas at home and I want to share with you how my family and I get ready for Christmas.
Christmas Wreath Making
I really fancied having a go at making my own Christmas wreath after having wreath envy of my sister who had made a beautiful wreath last year. So it was on an, appropriately, snowy and very cold morning at the end of November, that Liz and I set off to the National Trust’s Oxburgh Hall for a Christmas wreath making day.
On arrival at the hall, we were greeted with a much-needed cup of tea and a chocolate brownie in the tea room. We were then led to one of the halls vast drawing rooms where we settled down to start our wreaths. I have to admit I was feeling quite nervous about making a Christmas wreath as I am the least creatively minded person I know! However, I needn’t have worried as the lady leading the session was very helpful and had even roped in her sisters to help run the session, so there were lots of people to call in if you need help- which I did rather frequently!
We started off by packing moss tightly around a ring and securing it with string. We then added the foliage of conifer branches and holly. It was then time for a lovely lunch of soup and sandwiches. The afternoon session was the really fun bit where we added all the ‘pretty bits’- dried orange, ribbon and cinnamon sticks to make our wreath extra special. Liz and I were very proud of our efforts.
Homemade Christmas Pudding
I do always make my Christmas puddings and use a Nigella recipe from her book ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’. This particular recipe makes enough for two medium sized puddings. I have to admit when I am boiling them for three and a half a hours I do think to myself “Why am I doing this when I could buy a perfectly nice Christmas pudding off the shelf”? Then on Christmas day, when I take a bite of the delectable pudding I remember why I go to the effort of making it from scratch, it really is scrumptious. I also make Nigella’s Iced Rum Sauce to go with the pudding (also from the “How to be a Domestic Goddess’ book) which is like a taste of heaven!
Wrapping the Presents
I have to admit I find this a chore – there seems to be so many of them to wrap! I usually start off adding pretty bits of bow and ribbon, then about a third of the way through the pile I give up and just scrawl the names on and abandon the ribbon! This year I’m going to try and approach wrapping in stages so I don’t have to do it all at the last minute. I’ve made a start and next time I approach the wrapping the plan is to watch ‘Love Actually’ whilst eating a mince pie to get me in the festive mood!
Decorating the Tree
We don’t have a theme or a colour scheme for our tree; it is festooned in homemade decorations the girls have made over the years and a variety of other bits and bobs. We have a tradition where we choose one new decoration every year – apart from that anything goes! The tree usually looks like someone has come along and literally thrown Christmas at it! It’s a rather eclectic look, but I rather like it!
What Christmas preparations have you made?
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