On Saturday the smell of Christmas filled our house. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mixed spice tantalised our taste buds and drew each family member from their rooms to gather in the kitchen. Stir up Sunday is the first of our Christmas rituals and everyone joins in. This year we had stir up Saturday because we were all scattered to the winds on Sunday but it didn’t seem to matter. Christmas has begun!
I started soaking the fruit on Tuesday. I pretend that I intend for it to be soaking for 4 days but, if I’m honest, I really meant to make the cake on Wednesday! Our fruit is always very well soaked.
This year I am trying Sarah Raven’s recipe from her lovely book Sarah Raven’s Complete Christmas. It has 6 eggs in the recipe, more butter than I am used to and includes dried apricots along with the usual mixed fruit. I am hopeful the cake is going to be moist and fruitful!
However, this post isn’t really about the cake, yummy though that is, it is about creating Christmas for children. Christmas for us is about simple things done with love and making the cake is the first of those markers. We may fiddle about making decorations at the beginning of November but it all really begins with the stirring of the cake and the making of a wish.
Now it sits, wrapped in its paper and nestled in its lovely new tin waiting to be fed a spoonful of brandy every week or so before we decorate it in mid December!
What are your rituals? What makes Christmas Christmas for your family?