Christmas Preparation & Stir-up Sunday

With Christmas just around the corner, who can help but start thinking of making an early start on preparations for the big day?



After all, love or loath it, you can't hide away from Christmas and forget it's happening. Every single ad break has at least 90% of its content taken over by the big retail giants' Christmas ad campaigns.

Not that I'm complaining. I absolutely adore Christmas so the more festive cheer the better in my opinion. After all, it is the time of year when you can down quite a lot of wine midweek and have a multitude of perfectly reasonable excuses for doing so: work drinks, girlie drinks, in-law drinks, school play drinks, Christmas fair drinks, favourite Christmas film drinks... the list is endless.

Indulgent food at Christmas time

I also really like cooking so one of my favourite things to indulge in is the relentless competition between our celebrity chefs. There's nothing better than watching Heston pull out all the stops with his foodie scientific know-how whilst Jamie subtly squashes his outlandish attempts to impress with a simple Italian inspired feast, ready to eat in 30 seconds.

A book that caught my eye the other day was Pippa Middleton's 'Celebrate'. I have to say it looked very stylish, strategically placed on someone's coffee table, and the front cover looked quite alluring with her looking wistfully on as she pretended to decorate a celebration cake with a sparkler or hand stitch a table decoration.

Sharing the Christmas spirit

Apparently, Pippa has come in for some mixed reviews on her book, with some critics mercilessly claiming she's an expert on stating the obvious (turkeys are quite large, you should put milk in a jug, that sort of thing) but I have to say I think the Christmas chapter was quite nice.

I know her upbringing was possibly a little different from your average person but she does seem to genuinely love Christmas and clearly loves sharing her experiences. I felt quite cosy and festive reading it and it inspired me to make a start on the festivities.

Where better to start than Stir-up Sunday?

I was surprised how many people already knew about the Stir-up Sunday tradition and concluded that I must have subconsciously switched off to the idea of making Christmas puddings or cakes so early. But last Saturday I donned my apron and got stuck in making mini Christmas fairy cakes with the kids.

It was great fun as ever but I'm afraid it led to territory I was trying to sidestep for at least another week - the decorations. I know it's too early according to the world and his mother, but we all felt so festive that I put up the mantelpiece garland and lights (honestly, that's all) and we all sat in the front room eating our cakes and drinking tea amidst a cosy amber, fairy-lit glow.

See? Pippa is right, Christmas is easy! All I have to do now is the shopping...

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

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