Around the first week of November . . . we begin to accept that Christmas is imminent. It becomes pretty hard to ignore as the days grow closer on the calendar and the adverts on the telly turn more and more to tempting gifts and foods to treat your family to . . . not to mention the huge Christmas Displays showing up in the shops. We begin to make lists of the things we would like to be able to purchase for our loved ones . . . or if we are being practical, the things which they could use.
Of course the very organized person has been busy buying gifts all year long and has them already tucked into a closet, wrapped and ready to go. I tell myself each year this is what I am going to do . . . and then I don't. This year I am not going to plow huge sums of money into the Post Office. My kids and grand-kids are getting cards and money. I would love to send gifts . . . but the practicality of forgoing the outrageous cost of doing so is winning out this . . . and so I am not.
It's one thing to plan ahead for Christmas . . . but not OK to rush the season. We still need to enjoy November for the month that it is. In American of course, November has it's own joys such as Thanksgiving, which is the last Thursday in the month. I have always felt it to be the perfect holiday and time to usher in the Holiday season. And so we have a few weeks yet . . .
This Monday of course, here in the UK is Guy Fawkes night, or Bonfire Night. It is the one night during the year which is set apart to remember what was an act of Terrorism on British soil way back in 1604, when a 36 year old man, named Guy Fawkes working with a group, planned to blow up the houses of Parliament. He was put in charge of the gun powder, which was stored in a room beneath the house of the Lords. However a tip off alerted the authorities to what was going on and during the early hours of the morning of the 5th of November, 1604, Mr Fawkes was found guarding the explosives and arrested.
He was executed for this treason and although he had not acted alone, and others were also arrested and executed, it is his name that has become synonymous with this day, and every year, in honor of the defeat of that dastardly plan Guy Fawkes night is celebrated the country over with huge bonfires and fire works. An effigy of Mr Fawkes is burned on the bonfires and it's generally a big excuse for merriment, hot drinks and warming foods . . . probably because it is pretty darned cold, bonfire or not!
Not quite as nice a holiday to celebrate in November as Thanksgiving . . . but tis the only one and it will have to do!
I'm really happy to be able to tell you this morning that I have finally finished my Christmas Cook-Booklet and it is now up for sale in The English Kitchen. Look for it in the upper portion of the far right hand column of The English Kitchen Blog. I am really proud of this one. It's taken me quite a while to complete and it's bigger and better than the last one, including some 47 pages of Christmas Recipes, Folklore, Traditions and Artwork from my English Kitchen. I have kept the price the same as all the others and it is available as from today for only £5. It will be e-mailed to you as a PDF within 24 hours of payment. There are even a few printables included for you to use to make your own Christmas Cards, or whatever. I think there is a little bit of something there to please everyone and that it will help to make your Christmas 2012 that little touch sweeter.
They would also make wonderful gifts for friends and family both near and far. If you want to purchase one as a gift for someone else, just let me know and I will e-mail it out to them personally, along with a gift card announcing your generosity in giving!
A reminder too, for you to enter the Big Christmas Cracker Giveaway which is also going on at The English Kitchen until this Thursday when one lucky winner will be picked. Please do pop on over and leave a comment, so that you, too, can have a chance to win one of these delightful giant Christmas Crackers from Hotel Chocolate. Filled with 40 of their Artisan Chocolates, Party Hats and corny Christmas Jokes, it would make a fab table centre piece for the big day, or even a gift for a much beloved friend!
And with that I better dash and have my shower. I am running late this morning as the computer was acting up, but I'll leave you with some food for thought and be off. I wish for each of you a truly wonderful day! Thanks so much for popping by!
"It comes every year and will go on forever. And along with Christmas belong the keepsakes and the customs. Those humble, everyday things a mother clings to, and ponders, like Mary in the secret spaces of her heart.”
~Marjorie J Holmes
Cooking in The English Kitchen this morning . . . Baked Chai Spiced Doughnuts! Delicious and not that fattening!