|Early Christmas morning|
Every day feels like Christmas at the moment with all the family home together, a sense of God's love and peace upon us and festive food continuing to appear from freezer, cupboard, fridge or oven each day. There is so much to be grateful for.
I have not baked, prepared or requested any of our Christmas foods, instead I have been an enabler - buying lots of special ingredients as needed, cleaning, organising, cleaning, managing our small kitchen and temperamental old fridge - and cleaning. It's not that many years ago that everything relied on me in every regard. This is generally a very satisfying stage of motherhood with our children aged 7, almost 12, 14, 16, 18, 18, 20 and 23.
Miss E's older siblings helped her create a Raspberry Ripple Ice-cream Log from Christmas Cooking for Kids by Fiona Hammond. We have also had traditional homemade Christmas goodies - fruitcakes, boiled pudding, fruit mince pies, gingerbread, snow/rum balls etc.
Miss O orchestrated the baking and construction of a beautiful A-Frame gingerbread house, assisted by her older twin sisters. She used a proven a gingerbread recipe from the book mentioned above with house templates from Tikkido (Large A Frame templates). Spread over a couple of days it was a delight to observe.
I busied myself making a collection of simple tie-close gift bags and filling them with a variety of fun and useful mini gifts. With only myself knowing the contents of each, I placed them on the appropriate plates at Christmas lunch instead of traditional Christmas bonbons/crackers. They were well received as a no-waste alternative. The empty bags are now tucked away ready to be refilled next Christmas.
One of my favourite memories of Christmas Day is watching my 82 year old Mother in law savouring the photo gifts I had made for her (via Vistaprint). Each Christmas I gift her (and several others) a collection of ten blank cards and a calendar, all made using photos I have taken. She carefully looked at each card, one by one, enjoying all the details. She then did the same with her calendar, on which I had written each of our birthdays, for her memory is failing. Precious moments.
The last deliciousness shared above is a Christmas Celebration Chocolate Ice-cream Cake made entirely by Miss O. I snapped these quickly, surrounded by family waiting to eat it, urging me to hurry before it melted! The joys of a summer Christmas!