Source for this image here.
Today it has been just as cold as the weather forecasters predicted! The wind has turned Northerly now and it is really very chilly indeed. We have had many showers of icy rain, hail and sleet, although they seem to have cleared a little bit this afternoon. Today the clocks go back one hour, meaning that British Summertime has officially ended!
Perhaps with that in mind I have been thinking today about some of the Christmas gifts I intend to make this year. Although we have a huge family, we do not give individual gifts to everyone. It would be difficult to do - between Papa Bear and I alone we have 16 siblings! Instead, we give "family gifts" - things that the whole family can enjoy, and our relatives do the same in return for us. It's fun thinking of things to make our families!
Here are links to some of the things that I'll be making in the next few weeks, and hopefully sharing with you here on the blog.
Cranberry and white chocolate fudge (I have made this before and it is delicious - no nuts)
Cranberry and almond cake
Mini gingerbread loaves
Snowflake crunch mix (recipe from one of my newest Gooseberry patch books!)
Marrow chutney or marrow and ginger jam (these I have already made)
Novelty tea cosies (I got this pattern in a charity shop, so I am not sure if it is available to buy online. The link takes you to Amazon.co.uk, where you can see what it looks like).
Bearded beanie hats (yes, really - they are exactly as they sound! Cubby Bear can't wait until Christmas for his!)
Aprons (as pictured above or full ones)
Painted ceramic pots (for these to go into)
Woven paper hearts (these will be filled with candies and chocolates, for the children - the hearts are meant to be hung on your Christmas tree)
I will make a selection of these and then put together gift baskets with them in, each basket having gifts most appropriate for that family. At this time of year I also start thinking about our Christmas cake, which I aways make myself. In past years we've all had turns at decorating it, but recently Papa Bear has been doing it - with amazing results. However this year we are doing it slightly differently. We had a talk about it recently as a family, and decided that this year, we would like to try a different sort of cake than the traditional fruit one. Whilse us grown-ups like this fruit cake, the cubs are perhaps not so keen, so we are going to try making a non-traditional Christmas cake, which will still be decorated as they always are! It's been fun searching for recipes and inspiration for this - and for my homemade Christmas gifts. I hope I'll be able to find a way to share some pictures of my creations later on!