The weather has now turned & Autumn has turned in to Winter.
We have had a beautiful last few days with the Winter sun shinning & clear blue skies. This makes for cold days, days spent inside in front of the fire preparing for an Olde Fashioned English Christmas.
Baking, orange slices & cloves fill the air in the cottage.
Baking, orange slices & cloves fill the air in the cottage.
I love to make crackers, it means each one is specially made for a certain person.
I can not show you the gifts as my eldest Son reads my blog & he will know his little gift!
Even though he is all grown up now I still like everyone to have surprises at Christmas.
The finished crackers all ready for Christmas Day lunch.
Chocolate & Cherry Cookies waiting to go in to the freezer for Christmas Eve tea.
We have a party tea with all the children.
They enjoy pass the parcel & Christmas games.
The twins painting a Christmas tree each, we read a beautiful Peggy Burton book & then they chose a page to paint.
Painting is one of their favourite things to do.
The girls handmade Christmas cottage cards.
We all had very gluey fingers when the cards were finished.
Letters to Father Christmas.
Making Braised Red Cabbage for Christmas Day.
This is another Delia Smith recipe & one I can prepare early.
All the ingredients are layered in a heavy pan.
Red cabbage, apples, onions, spices & sugar.
All ready to be put in a low oven for 2 1/2 hours.
All cooked & ready for the freezer.
The smell was wonderful, it filled the whole cottage.
We will have this with our Christmas lunch.
I found the recipe on Delia Online.
How sweet George looks like the cat on the cover of The Christmas Cat.
This little fella is such a special friend & very much a Mummy's boy.
A special advent book, each night the girls have a little book read to them.
A selection of the twins Christmas books that we will read this December.
The Little House books used to be Daisy's, some of the books bring back special memories of older children at Christmas time.
I am still reading Cranford & sadly nearing the end.
I am disappearing each night in to the village of Cranford, sitting there with Miss Matty & Miss Pole & thoroughly enjoying it.
Although I do have many Elizabeth Gaskell novels next to my bed ready to be read. In the Cranford Companion book about the making of the BBC drama it says that many of Elizabeth Gaskell's other stories were added to the BBC production.
I can't wait to read the other books.
Getting some dried things ready for Christmas decorating.
I do love to use simple natural decorations & then antique baubles on the parlour tree.
I just need to add some beautiful holly & yew branches to the kitchen dresser.
This I will do a week before Christmas as they dry out very quickly in this room with the Esse cooker.
My one exception.
I can not use fresh branches over the inglenook with the strong heat so I have a lovely fake greenery garland with pine cones in it.
I hope everyone is keeping warm at this beautiful magical time of year.
It is always a busy time for us, such a blessed time of year.
Thank you dear readers for your beautiful comments, each one is read & enjoyed.
Hi Michelle, Lovely post as usual. I have ben making crackers for years as well. Everyone loves them and with 5 sons, 5 daughter-in-laws and 7 grandchildren there can be quite a few to make depending on who is here for Xmas day. I would be interested in knowing what you put in yours. After doing them for so long I find it can sometimes be a challenge. After Xmas would be fine--I don't want to spoil any surprises. Your cookies look so yummy and you girls are sweet. I haven't seen an Advent calendar like that anywhere around here. What a good idea.ReplyDelete
Little George is a sweetie and looks so much like the Xmas cat.
Have a wonderful Xmas.
That is a lot of crackers, it is always so much fun making them & I love crepe paper ones like we use to have. Of course I will let you know what I put inside them, last year I found some American sweets for the older boys so that was a treat.
Dear Michelle, so sweet atmosphere that you breathe in your home !!! Beautiful small jobs that have made your little girls. In Italy we don't have the cottages ... and I'm so sorry .... I'll leave my embrace....from Italy .ReplyDelete
Many kisses...Have a nice day.
Thank you for your beautiful comment.
Enjoy this special time of year.
Merry Christmas, Michelle! I love hearing about your traditions. Every year I save my paper towel tubes for the purpose of making crackers, but then I never make them because I have no idea what to put in them for my grown-up children! Candy is the only thing I can think of, but not very interesting unless the person loves candy. I'd love to hear more about your Christmas games and what pass the parcel is all about. George does indeed look like Tasha Tudor's Christmas Cat. I have several of the books in your photo but am new to Peggy Burton. I have books by Molly Brett that look similar. I love that you use fresh greens where you can.ReplyDelete
Merry Christmas to you too Cathy,Delete
I thought you would have pass the parcel in America, maybe it has a different name. We start with a bigger middle gift as a main prize & wrap it up, then continue wrapping with lots of layers adding a small gift like pencils, sweets, rubbers etc in those layers. The children sit in a circle & music plays, when the music stops the child who has the gift will open one layer & so one until the centre gift. It is simple fun but the children really enjoy it, we have one every Christmas Eve.
We have Molly Brett books too, Peggy Burton is from the same company.
We have "musical chairs" here where there is one less chair than the number of chairs which are placed back to back in a row. The children march in a circle around the chairs until the music stops. This is their cue to sit down--so they're basically fighting over the chairs because someone is going to be left out! I like your version much better. Everyone ends up with a gift (hopefully). Musical chairs is usually played at birthday parties and there are no prizes involved (that I remember). The "winner" is the one who gets the last chair....I forgot to mention, each time the music stops a chair is taken away and the child left standing leaves the circle until you get down to two children and one chair. I wonder who thought up that game?! It certainly doesn't promote sharing and compassion!Delete
We have that is England too & the winner gets a prize. Do you have musical bumps as well, Marys last birthday she fell on her bottom bless her & hurt herself, she came down with such a thud.Delete
Have a wonderful weekend.
Happy Christmas Michelle! :0) How wonderful to decorate the cottage and continue doing the traditions that make this season so special ... mariReplyDelete
Thank you Mari.Delete
The Christmas cottage cards are so sweet. :-)ReplyDelete
We do a special reading each night for Advent too.
Blessings to you,
Thank you for your kind comment Anne.Delete
What a beautiful old fashioned Christmas you have created! All those books, the yummy food, the things made in anticipation of Christmas. All so very, very lovely! Wishing you and your family a very wonderful Christmas!~ReplyDelete
Thank you heather,Delete
Happy Christmas to you and all your family & friends.
Your home looks delightful! I have never made crackers, but buy them. Maybe I will have to give that a try! Every year we crack them after dinner and I take a pic of us all in the crepe paper crowns--so silly , but looking back at the pictures over 20 years is a lot of fun! We have the same little advent calendar too! I have others, but do you know, this one is still the favourite-even with the older kids, they smile when Lydia opens the books. Memories are wonderful and I wish you many happy ones in your home this Christmastide season~
Thank you Suzanne,Delete
I would love to see your crackers, I hope you will put a photo on your blog.
Merry Christmas to you you & your family.
I have liked dear Michelle very much like it is preparing his home for the Christmas. Here in Spain we do a holiday called invisible friend, who consists in that every member of the family does a gift to other one, and the one that never receives it knows the one who has given it to him. Also we sing Christmas carols on having finished the dinner and on January 6 the kings magicians bring them to all the children and also to the major ones. That paseno a few happy days. Mary CarmenReplyDelete
Thank you Mary for your kind words.Delete
I love hearing about your traditions.
I took my time and scrolled slowly through all the pictures and words, so very nice to be able to visit in your lovely lovely home and share n you moments! Tradition is a glue that builds family memories and bonds, and yours are DELIGHTFUL!!! I just love all the natural dried decorate and everything looks so cozy and in the spirit!!
And the cottage cards are so very lovely and enchanting!! Well done girls!! :-D
Now the cabbage dish is a tradition in my family and you had my mouth watering yummmmm!!
Sending warmth and wishing you and your lovely family a Merry CHRISTmas and many many BLESSINGS for the New Year, Love Linnie
PS ( I wrote on my kindle so there are a few word redo things... oops hee)Delete
Thank you Linnie for your beautiful comment, I will let the girls know that you liked there cards.ReplyDelete
Enjoy your cabbage dish.
I discovered your blog yesterday and enjoyed reading all your blog entries. Your blog is so cozy and I love reading cozy blogs. I allready put two books on my amazon wishlist that you have written about. Can you share the cabbage recipe with us? In Belgium it is allways made on the stovetop, I would love to make it in the oven. Sorry if my English is not so good, I have no problem reading in English, but my writting is not so perfect ;o) I love all the recipes you share with us and the beautyfull photos, thank you for sharing :o)ReplyDelete
Thank you Tanja for your lovely comment.Delete
The cabbage recipe you can find online if you Google Delia Smith Online Braised Cabbage.
Your English is perfect.
Thank you Michelle, I found it and going to make this this week :o)ReplyDelete