I’m on my second corny made for tv Christmas film of the day, sitting beside a Christmas tree, writing Christmas cards, and I still don’t feel like next week is Christmas. I’m just not getting the festive feelings at all this year.
The Tree Is Up
Putting up the tree is usually the start to Christmas season, and quite the event. Branches have to be fluffed and brought back to life after 11 months of hibernation. Baubles are delicately taken out of boxes and hung on the tree waiting to be destroyed by cats.
As you may be aware I have four cats, and nothing is more inviting to a cat than a shiny ball twinkling and dangling just within reach.
They’ve even taken to photobombing the tree.
I enjoy giving gifts more than I do receiving them (I think!). That doesn’t mean I’m ungrateful or don’t want any gifts, send them this way. It’s great though, when you see something that really suits a person, or that you think they’ll really appreciate. They say being kinder makes you happier. I agree with whoever ‘they’ are.
Shopping with an aim can be a mission any time of year, with the added pressure of a deadline.
I’ve been ‘planned’ Christmas shopping twice recently. The first was to Centre MK in Milton Keynes. This isn’t local to me but is right near a good friend of mine, so perfect for a catch up. We had a delicious lunch, I bought myself a few new jumpers, she acted the perfect tour guide (except when directing us the opposite way than required!). The Christmas gifts though….. let’s just say I still needed to go shopping.
So I did, in Norwich this time, with another friend. We had pizza, sorted the worlds many wrongs. I even got a donut, who doesn’t love donuts? People expecting Christmas gifts, that’s probably who.
The friend got loads done, I excelled in my advisory role as shopping assistant. However every time it came to finding something I needed, it was out of stock. It wasn’t meant to be.
I’d say I’m 50/50 when it comes to online or high street shopping. I like the idea of browsing stores for inspiration, it’s so much easier than browsing the web when you don’t know what you’re looking for. However when you know what you want, internet shopping is where it’s at. It’s not very festive though.
These made for tv movies I’m watching are so awful that I can’t stop watching them. Seriously. I’ve watched 13 this week so far. All with a similar theme and storyline. I need only have watched one really. But I’m hooked.
The houses in these films are perfectly decorated with real trees and giant wreaths and pretty lights. There’s always a moment by the tree when eyes meet or hands brush while hanging baubles or untangling lights.
Always a gingerbread house scene too. Has anyone other than in the movies actually successfully managed to construct and decorate one of these?!
Each film highlights what Christmas spirit is actually about. There’s the person that doesn’t celebrate Christmas, and the one that has the most magical family festivities you could ever imagine.
Snow angels, eggnog, cookie baking. An idyllic Christmas. Always snow, the fluffy-pretty-white kind, not the grey-muddy-slush kind.
I got a TV guide, you know the ones made from physical paper, and highlighted all the shows I want to watch. I haven’t done this in years, but I can’t be the only one that had this ritual in their youth?! I won’t watch them, not live anyway, because that’s not what you do these days.
Christmas adverts don’t excite me this year. We all wait in anticipation for the new John Lewis ad. Tissues at hand. I could be wrong, so don’t shoot me down, but I heard that advert with the clumsy little dragon cost £8 million. I can think of better things to spend their money on.
Christmas does not happen for me without an advent calendar. I know, I’m 34 years old, but the warm up to Christmas has always been my thing. More than the day itself.
I’ve had many variations counting me down to Christmas. You may remember my loose leaf tea advent calendar from Tea Revv, that was epic. I’ve also indulged in mini nail polishes, daily tea light candles, the usual chocolate treats. One year I even had a wine advent by accident (my Mum ordered one, but two arrived!).
There’s not much better than a daily dose of chocolate/tea/wine, or so I thought. Until I found the most versatile advent calendar yet. Cheese!
I’ve had cheese as a stand alone snack, cheese with pickle and crackers, cheese on toast, on pasta, in a toasty. If you think of any other ways to be creative with my cheese, do let me know. There are still a few days left!
The mature cheddar is pretty tasty, as was the Red Leicester. I had a little shock when first trying the spicy mexicana, but warmed to the idea. It warmed me too. Ha. The Applewood has to be my current favourite, with Jarlsberg coming a close second. I hadn’t tried that before but it’s rather nutty in flavour. Wensleydale with cranberry is a festive favourite anyway, but the gingerbread Wensleydale I’m not convinced by. I don’t know what to eat it with?!
Not only do I get a cheesy treat everyday, but the little perforated door is also host to a cheesy joke
‘What cheese would you use to coax a bear from the woods?’
‘What do you call cheese that doesn’t belong to you?’
‘Why didn’t the cheese want to be sliced?’
‘Where can you buy second hand cheese?’
I think that’s enough for now. The answers can be found at the end of this post!
All The Foods
I’ve eaten my weight in mince pies. No joke. You have to buy all the varieties and brands don’t you?! Well I do, and try them all. Iceland is surprisingly top of my list at the moment. Although I’m yet to open the Waitrose ones, so stay tuned.
A couple of years back I discovered a mince pie alternative that I think I like even better. The Ecclefechan tart has a title almost as great as it’s flavour. The only place I’ve found them is Sainsbury’s, and they’re out of stock before I even got there. That’s my Christmas spirit gone.
I am looking forward to the shortbread though. I made some once, built like a tree. I’ve got trusty shop bought this year, I festive shapes and flavours. I’m saving it for Christmas. I don’t quite know what I mean by that. Christmas Day, Christmas period, festive time, maybe I’m meant to have already cracked it open. Because I’m not going to eat it all in a day am I?!
We have 15 cheeses in the fridge and that is no lie.
I love a little stroll around somewhere festive. Center Parcs Winter Wonderland was stunning last year and really got my feeling festive.
I returned to Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market this year, as is the tradition. There was even a flurry of snow on the journey, getting my festive hopes up.
It was busy as always, but I enjoy the hustle and bustle, the coming together of people, the bashing of shins with my footplates. It’s inevitable when surrounded by people that look at everything except where they’re going.
My main aim at any type of Christmas event or market is to taste as many things as possible. There was honey and mayo and popcorn of various flavours. Fudge and chocolate and pickles. The star of the show is always cheese, and I tasted them all. Even a chocolate cheese. It was brown. I love chocolate, and I really love cheese. But please don’t ever mix them again.
I had a tasty drink. I’m all for the seasonal drinks as you know. It was a hot mulled pear with rum and butter. It was wow and oh so winter warming. Maybe that was the problem, my festive cheer peaked too soon.
I’ve tried to get my Christmas spirit back, but it’s just not happening.
Tomorrow is Festive Afternoon Tea day with friends at the ever impressive Assembly House. Stay tuned…
Joke answers: Camembert. Nacho cheese. Because it had grater plans. Brie-bay.