It’s 1 December and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Yes, I know that the shops have had their decorations out since September, the Christmas Markets have been open for 2 weeks, lights are going up all over Manchester, and I’ve already written 3 Christmas themed blog posts.
But for me, the Christmas excitement can’t really begin until I have opened at least one door on my Advent Calendar.
So, on the first day of Advent, I wanted to share the early signs of Christmas in my house. Those things that make me feel festive in the run up to the big day itself.
1. Advent Calendars
This year I seem to have excelled at acquiring Advent Calendars. In the past, I have made my own with gingerbread boys and girls iced with the numbers and Christmassy images.
But, for 2014 I have been given what may just be the best Advent Calendars ever…
This beautiful one from East of India Company, now filled with delicious Swiss Chocolates, leaving scope for a variety of treats for years to come.
And, as those of you who have read any of my cycling blogs will know, possibly the most exciting Advent Calendar…
Haribo every day in December – Awesome!
2. Making my Christmas Cake
For the past 5 or 6 years now I have been using the Christmas Cake recipe which appears in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries. It’s rammed full of fruit and baking it is one of the most enjoyable things to do in the run up to the big day.
It’s now sitting in a cake tin being fed it’s weekly dose of Brandy to make it lovely and gooey in time for Christmas, when I will cover it in home made marzipan and icing.
A joy that Nigel Slater clearly agrees with!
3. Christmas Markets
Nothing says Christmas quite like a trip to a Christmas Market. I have already shared my very early visits to the Manchester Markets in my last post.
This weekend I experienced Christmas Markets Swiss Style, in Huttwil. Here’s just a teaser but look out for my second markets post, coming soon.
4. Early Christmas Cards
I have purchased my Christmas cards and writing them is a task for another day. Despite my best intentions that day often ends up being the day before the last post.
You can always tell that Christmas is a coming when you receive your first card of the year.
I have mentioned a few times in my blogs that I have taken part in early Christmas present exchange this year. Of course it’s not OK to open them before Christmas. But it is exciting to know that we will have a pretty supply of tantalising parcels to place under the Christmas tree when we decorate it at the weekend.
Over the coming weeks I know I can look forward to decorating the tree and the house, a Winter Wedding, Christmas Films, Present Wrapping, Parties, and visits from Family and Friends.
What are the signs that it’s nearly Christmas in your house? Let me know by leaving a comment below.