Wednesday, 8 December 2010


So very little knitting over the last few days but the trees are up and the house is done.  Not full bore decorated, but it's more than has been done in a number of years.  It was fun.

I love Christmas, but I don't love the rush associated with it.  I love sitting looking at the tree, and when the kids were younger, playing 'I spy with my little eye' with them.  You could spend hours on a lazy Saturday afternoon trying to figure out which ornament they were looking at now.  

I loved holiday baking. The solidly built fruit and baking gum rich light fruitcake that we favour around here.  Spritz cookies, with a layer of chocolate icing between two ribbon thin cookie layers and white icing with chocolate cookies.  Cut out cookies, soldiers and rocking horses and angels, with painted on icing trims and reindeer, another kind of angel, and christmas tree shapes, iced, with sprinkles on top.  Little Christmas wreath thumb print cookies with the jubilant red jelly center.  And the little tiny poppy seed rolls with their flaky moist pastry and their lightly sweet poppy seed filling just touched by a drizzle of icing on top.

I enjoyed making these things, but these last few years, it has been a choice of 1 or two and sometimes none.  We don't need the volume around here and the boys have long abandoned their childlike ways and don't want to take cookies home. Traitors.

This time of year, now that our household is a Christmas of adults, I concentrate on cooking ahead.  If it can be done ahead in any way, I do. The turnips are cooked and ready to bake in their rich cheesy sauce, the meatballs are baked and are in the freezer ready to finish.  Before too many more days are past, the cutlets will be ready and the potato casserole will be done too.  On Christmas Eve, the only heavy work will be the turkey and stuffing.  All the rest just needs finishing.

It is comforting to prepare for the great feast.  The good food and feasting, the long preparations, the cheer and joy, all have their place in the modern world, even if you don't celebrate the day.  The long preparations take our eyes off the simple fact that it is dark out there, and getting darker every day.

I'm looking forward to the holiday this year in a way I haven't for a very long time and I am even looking forward to the post Christmas lull and long no rush days of knitting and eating leftovers.

I love this time of year.

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