Christmas is well and truly on its way to Chelmsford! The lights on the high street have been ceremoniously lit by some z-list celebrity, shops are belting christmas music and supplies of tinsle, baubles and cheap decorations are starting to dwindle rapidly! And yet...no sight of a Christmas Tree market in sight? THINGS THAT MAKE ME GO HMMMMMM....
In the neighbourhood I grew up in the Scouts sold trees on a small plot beside the local church...I loved wandering by and smelling the pine mixed with the cedar mixed with the fern mixed with sawdust...mmmm Christmas. While my brother was a Scout I am pretty sure that we faithfully purchased from them (maybe not, I can't remember all those years) and then in my late teens we dutifully supported our local grocerystore oligarch and his mission to bring the People affordable and fashionable Cedars and Spruces. Now...here...in Chelmsford....I do not know what I will do!
David and I have already agreed that we MUST have a "real" tree....for our first Christmas....in our new house...living together...but where will we get it? and slightly more important....WHEN will we get it???
As I type this I am starting to wonder about decorations...this is our chance to decide if we want a theme (sliver and gold, black and red.....) or if we want a hodge podge...or if we want to slowly collect decorations over the years...or what???
So so so much to think about! AND ON TOP OF ALL OF THAT....PRESENTS!! GAAAAAK!
As a good housewife I should have started thinking about all of this ages ago (I do, however, have my Boxing Day Menu planned) and I should have been shopping and ordering early to avoid this rush...and I should have....oh shhhhhhhh....I have been so busy stressing over my visa, visiting my family, planning a wedding, moving into a new house...I will know better for next year, I promise.
For now you (and I) will just have to be satisfied with the start I made today....Christmas Cards written (CHECK), envelopes addressed (CHECK), David's signature (CHECK...he did it himself...I am not THAT good), and.....the first batch of Christmas baking done??? CHECK CHECK CHECKKKKKKK
This year I am trying my hand at gingerbread. I have never made gingerbread (except perhaps once or twice as a child with my mom) so this is very exciting for me. Until recently I don't think that I have actually liked gingerbread...but I thought that this year I would give it a try.
I've given a few of them bellybuttons so that i can string them together around the tree...the first group had the holes in their heads and they ended up looking like Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. and so...bellybuttons it is now! The recipe is from BBC Good Food and calls for Golden Syrup (like Corn Syrup) instead of Treacle or Molasses and the only spices are ground ginger and cinnamon. The end product is light brown in colour and not too "spicy" in taste. They have risen a bit, leaving the poor guys looking a little bloated, but hey ho! it IS Christmas!!