Christmas countdown

Do you realise there are just 54 more making and baking days ’til Christmas? Quick, reach for the smelling salts!

I’m in a bit of a quandary about when to start my Christmas activities this year, partly due to our imminent house move on December 1. On one hand, I would love to move into our new house and think, ‘a-ha, thank goodness I did all that baking and preserving and general faffing about already’. But on the other, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to add to the pile of things to wrap and pack and move. Actually, filled jars and tins might stand a better chance of making it across town than empty ones. I can already envisage the conversation with the Boy Wonder:

Me: What happened to all the empty jars in the pantry?
Him: I put them in the recycling.
Me: But I’ve been saving those all year!
Him: Too bad. We’ve got enough to do without packing empty jars.
Me: And what about the Christmas cake?
Him: What Christmas cake?
Me: The big square package in the box in the pantry
Him: Oh, I thought that was just rubbish. I threw it out…

In the meantime, I’ve been revisiting what I made last year, because a friend and I are making plans to have a Christmas makeathon together. Top of the list will be these deliciously spicy Christmas tree decorations, not least because the recipe makes loads AND the dough can be frozen. Next, the ever-popular best-ever brownies (also makes lots and can be frozen). If you’re really short on time, then both the date truffle fudge and the chocolate body scrub can be made in minutes (and the former will be consumed even faster).

One decision I haven’t made yet though is what kind of Christmas cake we’ll be having this year. I’m not sure I want the Small Girl to get a taste for the brandy-soaked figs and chunks of dark chocolate that stud our traditional cake, but I can’t decide what else to make. Any ideas gratefully received.

If you need a little more inspiration to get your Christmas planning underway, I suggest checking out Vanessa Kimball’s Let’s Make Christmas idea (which has already got scores of organised people showing off what they’ve made already) or Polka Dot Daze’s Christmas Challenge. Don’t dilly-dally though, there’s not much time left!



  1. October 31, 2011 / 6:07 pm

    Check me out – I've already got my Rhubarb and Vanilla Mincemeat nicely marinating in the fridge. Well chuffed ;0)
    Good luck with the house move, I'm with you though,filled jars will defo stand up to the move better than empty ones. The same conversation would be had in house too!

  2. October 31, 2011 / 6:39 pm

    I remember when I used to be as organised as you two, but I will probably be scrabbling about at the beginning of December trying to make my cake.

  3. October 31, 2011 / 7:00 pm

    I have made a batch of chutney but that's it so far.
    I'm so glad to have my house move done and out of the way. Moving that close to Christmas I think gives you a good excuse to not make too much. Personally, I would just do my own head in by thinking I had to do it all perfectly even withstanding the move. I reckon you should just move and give yourself a break about everything else.
    Aaarghh – you poor thing!

  4. October 31, 2011 / 7:42 pm

    Woah, 54 days is going to fly! When we moved house, I had 6 empty broken jars but all the filled ones were fine. It was nice snaffing on homemade chutneys whilst sitting on boxes! I hope the move goes smoothly!

  5. October 31, 2011 / 8:46 pm

    Gagh- am beginning to experience a real sense of 'yikes- everyone is so much more organised than me' before ordering myself to: 'GET IN THE KITCHEN NOW!!'. I did have plans to crack on with the chutney making but unfortunately a lack of cranberries within a five mile radius put paid to such plans! I have all the ingredients festering on the worktop awaiting the arrival of the cranberries! Meanwhile I'm off to check out your lovely sounding spicy Christmas decorations…

  6. October 31, 2011 / 8:51 pm

    Can't believe you're moving again – do you do this as a hobby? Good luck though, what a dilemma. I'm getting paranoid about what to bake for Christmas now, I've seen so many good things. The more I see the less I know what to make.

  7. October 31, 2011 / 10:21 pm

    Lucky Xmas is not only about food.And I am sure after you move you will happily prepare everything in time in your NEW KITCHEN:) And HIM can help;))

  8. November 1, 2011 / 1:15 am

    Now that just stresses me out hearing that Christmas is not far away!!! We made that scrub last year thanks to you!! I saw something this year on a blog about making your own vanilla essence – you might like that! Unflavoured vodka in a jar (once, you've rifled through the recycling) and two vanilla pods. Let it steep for 2 months. Easy. I'm going to give it a crack!

  9. November 1, 2011 / 5:01 pm

    oh god I feel like hanging my head in shame… I have done nothing…. NOTHING… I still have to write my Christmas piece for Lincolnshire Life Magazine, with deadline looming I feel like diving under the duvet and coming out at Easter!

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