The Christmas tree is up, twinkling away and Father Christmas is in the corner adding to the festive feel of the house. Advent is ticking by at an alarming speed – I am sure the world spins faster in December to catch you out – so it is time for card writing and wrapping pressies.
I love the ritual of wrapping. From the holding the item, feeling excited if you have found the perfect gift and tweaks of doubt if you are taking a risk to the pile of freshly, covered pressies. I would love to say my gifts are perfectly wrapped with straight edges and crisp corners but I have the knack of creating the ‘5 year old tried their best’ look however hard I try. In my defence, the paper and tags match. It would be great to complete the traditional scene of Christmas of them piled under the tree but experience has taught me not to attempt it unless you want expensive vet bills or customised gifts ranging from bite marks to completely shredded version. Jack Russells are too curious and present loving to leave anything around. Favourite Christmas movies or music in the background adds to the sense of festivity. This year the ambience is enhanced with Whittards mulled wine tea.
I love the idea of mulled wine tea. Mulled wine is amazing but there are times it can’t be drunk including 11 0’clock in the morning. The aroma as you open the jar is Christmas and how you expect it to be. I have found this is a tea you need to experiment with to acheive your perfect cup of tea. I have to be cautious with amount in pot and stewing time. Too much or too long, the aroma and taste can be overpowering. Trial and error has led to me to use one scoop of tea for my pot or small teaspoon of tea in a bag. This should produce a perfect festive drink, warm replacement for real stuff.
Christmas books are out on the shelves including my go to festive book Xmas factor by Annie Sanders. It is well read and has become my traditional start to festive reading. It grasps the panic of festive preparations and highlights what is important at this time of year. Trials and tribulations of family relationships are bundled up with romance to fit the criteria of a feel good book. It is like watching ‘Love Actually’ reruns, reading this book has to be done despite the element of surprise going years ago and I can predict the next paragraph word for word.
Other Christmas books on my reading list this year includes:
Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley
The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan
Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews
Something from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill
A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill
The History of Christmas Food and Feasts by Claire Hopley
A Literary Christmas An Anthology by The British Library
And of course you have to read every year Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol. My favourite edition is illustrated by Robert Innocerto.
I hope you enjoy lots of festive reading.