Thursday, December 18, 2008

holding it all together

Update: The boughs are up and lit, and I am ever grateful for a tradition that does not require shopping or cooking. Instead it means pruning my backyard or going further afield and communing with nature.


The only thing to think about is getting things done that need to be done. Repairs, repairs, repairs, that's what I hear, toilet paper, light bulbs, milk, bread, etc. I am not buying presents, or looking for new recipes.

I will do Christmas dinner the same as last year and every other year. I have to put on parties at work to show appreciation for the teacher aids. Boursin cheese and crackers, pita and homous, carrot sticks, broccoli and artichoke dip. A little fudge or tiger butter. This is the hot new treat. The stuff I had was made of white choc. and smooth peanut butter with a little dark choc. striped through. It was incredibly smooth! Most people only like a little sweets so I don't bake much now.

When my kids were young they liked baguette with cheese melted on top with oregano, and deviled eggs with paprika on top. They called the paprika and oregano, red and green sprinkles for Christmas. Carrot sticks with brocoli and paprika and oregano. Its all about the colour. For Christmas dinner, same thing. Yams, green beans and beets, cranberry sauce and spinach salad. How many different ways can food be made into colour contrasts.

Besides tiger butter, the other new recipe going around here is Turkish delight. You will have to google that one. My daughter is making pans of it for her Narnia party.

For atmosphere, we bring in piles and piles of green boughs. We have far too much of the green stuff here. But it can also be picked up for free at Christmas tree lots, lying around on the ground. Use green twist tie line to wrap it in long garlands, twist strings of tiny white lights into it, a few red berries, either real or fake, and hang the garlands around the tops of doorways or archways, or anywhere you can stick in a row of tiny nails just south of the ceiling.

Light some candles, sprinkle fake, tiny gold plastic snowflakes or iridescent snow. It there are enough little lights then the usual lights don't have to be turned on, and the effect is magic for kids.

As I mentioned the treats are pans of turkish delight - I will tell you later how that tastes - toasted cheese on bread, carrot sticks and so on, chips and dips. Yam fries! I almost forgot - that is the other hot new food.

I remember well the stress of trying to make Christmas wonderful for young children when time and money are both in short supply. So now I really simplify and am happy to just hold things together.


Clix said...

MMMMMMM! Sounds wonderful! :D

Jane said...

This is a lovely post
enjoy this simpler time
I'm reading the Virago book of Christmas - women's writing on the festive season - it's a wonderful eclectic selection
Tomorrow I shall cook for friends and on Monday we shall take teh train to Berlin - alot of tidying up to be done before then!

David Ker said...

The boughs bound together and wound with lights are a wonderful metaphor of your traditions. Hilary and I love Boursin!

With love from California,


Lin said...

"When my kids were young they liked baguette with cheese melted on top with oregano,"

I fixed this last night for my young daughter and she loved it. I did, too. :o) We ate this and some shrimp by the fire with some Manhiem Steamroller. It was nice.