Really pleased to have Darcie on my blog today with a guest post all about Christmas traditions
One of my earliest Christmas memories is of making sweet mincemeat with my grandmother. She lived in a small terraced house with a tiny kitchen, so we had to drag her foldable table into the centre of her living room in order to have enough space to work.
My grandmother, or Granny as I called her, was a tiny lady. I’m only five foot but she was even smaller. She’d been a primary school teacher and a deputy head teacher, but she retired well before I arrived. Despite years of dealing with children under twelve, Granny had more patience than anyone I have ever known. In my novel Wish Upon a Christmas Cake, Katie’s grandmother (who recently passed away) is very similar to my lovely little Granny with her warmth, kindness and capacity to love and support her family.
My Granny had an old-fashioned grinder that she attached to the side of the table and we passed a variety of ingredients through it. It wasn’t easy, as we had to turn the handle and it became tiring after a while, but we kept going until we had a large bowl full of sweet, fragrant minced fruit. She added a generous amount of brandy and spices and the mincemeat was almost ready.
The final product was then spooned into jars that we sealed with wax paper and string and secreted away at the bottom of her pantry (yes – she had a pantry!) for a few months to mature.
The whole process took the best part of a Saturday afternoon but it was really enjoyable. I loved spending time with my Granny and preparing for Christmas in advance; it built up the excitement that led to my magical childhood Christmases.
These days, I try to capture similar experiences with my own children and I hope that one day I might be lucky enough to do the same with my grandchildren.
Time is so precious and we all lose loved ones at some point, but memories and traditions help keep those we’ve lost alive.
What Christmas traditions do you carry out each year that help you to remember Christmases past?
Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.
Blurb: The most wonderful time of the year?
Katie Warham has just one wish this year…to have the best Christmas ever!
If only she could lock herself away in a cloud of flour and sugar at her cosy little tearoom, Crumbtious Cakes, instead of spending the festive season trapped with her judgemental mother, crazy Aunt Gina and loved-up celebrity brother Carl…
But Katie never expected her ex-boyfriend, widower Sam – and his two adorable children – to turn up on her doorstep. She didn’t think that any man could tempt her under the mistletoe this year, but Sam might just prove the exception! And as the snow begins to fall and Katie puts the final touches to her famous Christmas cake, she begins to wonder, could her Christmas wish actually come true?
This holiday season, snuggle up by a roaring fire with a mulled wine and enjoy Darcie Boleyn’s festive winter warmer!