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It has been another rollercoaster of a week. More unsettling, and perhaps unexpected, news this weekend has turned our lives upside down. Again. Today I retreated to the place I always feel calm and in control and started to get ready for Christmas day, in whatever form it takes. It’s only 5 sleeps away after all.

This Christmas will be like no other.  Few have been untouched by the events that have unfolded over the last year and most people will be missing loved ones over the festive period. Nevertheless, some good has emerged from the dark days. More of us have connected with the community around us than ever before and shown huge amounts of kindness and empathy to those in need. More time has been spent cooking and I hope that this momentum will continue throughout the winter months and the tougher looming restrictions.

Cooking is a big part of Christmas for me. Not just the traditional Christmas feast itself but homemade festive treats too. Nothing says you care more than homemade goodies created in the heart of the home. Edible gifts wrapped up in tissue paper and tied with a big sparkly ribbon. Whether its jars of chutney, gingerbread biscuits or homemade mince pies, everyone loves an edible gift at Christmas time.

Festive baking has become a much loved tradition in our house. Just as important as decorating the tree and writing lists to Santa.  It’s definitely my favourite tradition and if this year has taught me anything, it’s to appreciate the simple things in life and those on which we can rely.

I am learning to embrace the mess of baking with a 4 year old and letting the older girls find their way following a recipe and working out how to use the mixer.  Nothing can match the warming smell of Christmas swirling through the house as we stir up homemade memories, and the tussling between siblings (and parents) for who will get to lick the bowl. These simple moments are memories that will last a lifetime and guide us through the darkest days.

After all the mess has unravelled, the kids have abandoned me to the dishes and only Michael Buble is there to keep me company, we are left with delicious gifts to give to family and friends nearby. Each parcel an unspoken message of love and care.

Plans have unraveled for the next few weeks so hopefully you might have time to try some new recipes. Here are a few easy, quick ones to try. We hope you enjoy making and eating some of them. Let us know how you get on!

Above all we hope you find some peace and joy this Christmas and we send our love for a happy and healthy New Year. Our Christmas wish is for 2021 to be kinder to us all.

Love, Lucy x

Christmas Pudding Chutney

Festive Granola

Chocolate Orange Truffles