Ghosts of Christmas past

Merry Christmas!

Like a small child I’ve woken unnecessarily early and am sitting here, in the peaceful hush of a sleeping house, taking a wee meander through Christmases past, having some moments of appreciation for Christmas present, and vaguely flirting with a few ideas for Christmases yet to come (yes, tis true…I’m already germinating plans for next year!)

As you know, this year the Renegade household has been in the wonderful and very fortunate position of being able to afford to purchase special Christmas gift items for our loved ones.  However, as discussed in an earlier post, this has not always been the case and over recent years we’ve made a lot of our Christmas gifts in the form of food hampers, so I thought I’d show you a few…

Christmas Gifts 2009These were from several years ago, when we had a real white Christmas and even a city suburb like mine managed to look magical.  I particularly liked the edible gingerbread gift tags on the hampers, but am less keen on the hand written labels for the jars.  The labels really should be printed, unless I learn calligraphy, or at least seriously improve my handwriting.

Festive wrapping 2013This was a more recent packaging style; I think using cellophane instead of crepe paper gives a more polished finish.

And here are some examples of content:

Indulgence for one 2013Indulgence for one:

  • Assorted chocolate truffles: blueberry; strawberry; plain.
  • Mug containing home made luxury hot chocolate mix and mini marshmallows.
  • Assorted chocolate dipped fruit creams: lemon with white chocolate; strawberry with dark chocolate; orange with milk chocolate.
  • Home made, melt in the mouth, clotted cream fudge.

steamy night in for two 2013

Hot and steamy night in for two, possibly for the slightly older couple. 😉

  • ‘Cake Me Now’ – cake in a jar
  • Home made luxury hot chocolate mix and marshmallows
  • Mugs
  • Cake forks
  • Suitable reading material.

Cake me now 2013

Cake in a jar – stays fresh in the fridge for days – just pop the lid and eat.

  • Chocolate Cherry Caress (left): layers of rich chocolate cake, kirsch soaked cherries and cherry buttercream.
  • Lemon Ginger Zinger (right): Layers of ginger cake, lemon curd and buttercream flavoured with ginger syrup and lemon zest.

Tomato & Chilli Jam 2013Truth be told, I’ve missed doing these this year; I actually really enjoy getting my Delia on making all sorts of preserves, confectionery and bakes, and people have always seemed to get pleasure from the receiving.  When the process is under way the house smells amazing for days on end, and there’s something very satisfying about producing rows of sparkling glass jars filled with home made pickles, chutneys, jams and spreads.

The drawback to the hampers is that they’re very time consuming and involve a lot of last minute work.  When you combine that with a day job, making celebration cakes for people, plus a myriad other festive season commitments, requirements and obligations, you end up with a completely knackered me on Christmas day.  Having the purchasing option made things a lot easier this year, and I sit here now, eagerly awaiting the arising of the guys, still brimming with excitement and enthusiasm about the next couple of days.  Ultimately though, if I didn’t need to go to the pesky day job, I’d still have made a load of gift edibles.

Barn has appeared, coffee mug in hand, and I hear movement from Petit Man’s room, so I’m off now to wallow in the luxury of the next few days.  I’m so looking forward to having some time off from everything, to being able to pamper and cherish my nearest and dearest, and to being pampered and cosseted in return.  And, of course, I’m looking forward to stuffing my face with far too much rich and decadent food and drink.

I hope, wherever you are, that you are being treated kindly.  I wish you a very Merry Christmas; may your days be filled with joy and sparkle, and may your heart be filled with love.

Bless us, every one.

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