It seems strange to think that 2013 will soon be drawing to a close. December sometimes rushes by so fast we barely get a time for reflection and introspection. It’s nice to slow down and take time to sit with a cuppa and remember all the good times we’ve had this year. I’m a bit behind with sending out my Christmas cards this year as I usually have them out by December 1. I’m having a hard time focusing with all there is to do so yesterday I went to Starbucks and made myself sit there distraction free with a latté. I was determined to get those cards done but I couldn’t help spreading a bit of Christmas Joy a là ‘Paying it Forward’. If you can’t read the card it says ‘To the Next Occupant of this Chair, Merry Christmas!’. Inside the envelope is a Starbucks gift card inside a Christmas card. I have four more gift cards to randomly place….
I know it’s a bit old fashioned and each year fewer and fewer people are sending out true blue Christmas cards in the mail. I do look forward to catching up with everyone and I hand write each note in the cards that I send. I remember watching my grandma get her cards ready for sending and I do it in part to keep her memory alive.
There are several really old ornaments that I put out every year. These Mr. and Mrs. Claus kissing salt ‘n’ pepper shakers belonged to my Grandma Leaderhouse and are probably at least from the 1950’s.
Sometimes when I unpack the ornaments there are few that have broken and need a slight fix or their batteries have gone dead. This Christmas pickle is a newer tradition in our house. His singing is slightly annoying but the kids beg me to put him out every year so I guess I’d better find some new batteries.
And some of my ornaments are remade every year like this orange and clove pomander. To make it you need to pick a blemish free round orange that is nice and plump. Stick the whole cloves into the orange in a pattern of your choice. I always just load them up! If the skin seems too tough or thick you may need to pierce it with a toothpick first.
And I have had a bit of a head start with the Christmas baking though there is plenty more to come! Here are some Chai Shortbread.
I was going to stop there but my sister just sent me this photo taken while Grandma was teaching her how to make doughnuts. These doughnuts are so special and I thought Grandma’s secrets would be lost forever. She always says she’s too old to make doughnuts (she’ll be 90 in June) and I was thinking I would love to learn from her before the recipe is lost forever. I’m so happy that my sister was able to convince her to make some this year.
Merry Christmas and all the best in 2014 to host Celia of Fig Jam & Lime Cordial, all In My Kitchen participants, and readers of Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen.