Yes, I like to make stuff at Christmas. I like to give homemade presents. I like to cook for people.
But it helps to have a production line mentality. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t put any thought into what you make or give. More that big batches of gifts allow you to make things more quickly, and be more generous at the same time.
Stephanie Dosen’s brilliant Heartfelt Rings are just lovely, and take less than half an hour from start to finish. So I’ve made at least ten (here are just a few of them).
Lots of pretty presents to go around, each one slightly different, but made with an identical process that’s easy to memorise and do on auto-pilot while watching Elf for the ninth time.
Eierzucker biscuits take considerably longer…
You make the dough (icing sugar, eggs and flavouring – in this case lemon zest) and then rest it overnight, roll it out painstakingly (otherwise you will be finding icing sugar in your hair WEEKS later) and leave for another 24 hours to dry, before finally putting the moulded shapes into the oven.
They taste good when you make them, but even better after a couple of weeks (they keep practically forever in a tin). So you make a lot in one go. In this case, 36. They’re such a sweet treat you wouldn’t give away more than two or three per person, so that’s at least a dozen people with a sugary smile on their faces (unless you ‘don’t like sugar’ in which case, you are banned).
Chutney and jam are the same. You make lots, but weeks or months in advance. Come Christmas it’s just a question of labels and covers. I made these in September, so fingers crossed, they’ll taste good now.
People keep asking me if I’ve ‘done everything’ or if I’m feeling ‘stressed about Christmas’. Honestly. it’s no on both counts. I’ve still got plenty to make with just a few days to go. But doing lots in advance, and in big batches takes the pressure off, and makes Christmas crafting fun.
Joy to your world! What are you making today?