At last I am starting to feel a bit Christmas-y. It's the scent of pine that does it. First of all we cut some branches of a wonderful, almost lemoney smelling, pine for the children's nativity scene, which has taken over the fireplace. It's way too hot to gather around a log fire here, so the fire place has been turned into a stage for Mary and Joseph, who are tortuously making their way day by day, painfully slowly, to the stable at the front. An angel is sitting on the roof with the baby Jesus. The plan was to suspend her from a wire on the chimney, which needed Dad's expertise to attach, and then lower her a tiny bit every day until she alighted on the roof on Christmas Eve. But she is quite happy lolling on the roof with the babe in her arms and Dad has been busy on other things, so there she has stayed throughout Advent.
We chose our tree carefully from the ones flourishing at the back of the farm. There were loads of big ones and loads of tiny self-seeded baby pines, but it took us ages to find a good shaped tree the right size this year. In the end we decided on a siamese twin tree. Two trees had grown so close together that they made one tree, so we cut them together and they are now looking festive, if slightly drunken from some angles.
The two dolls houses both got a tree this year. There were so many seedlings that we just pulled a couple up for the doll's house family to celebrate with.
We had our Summer festival yesterday, which was lovely, so now there is nothing else between now and Christmas. I anticipate a flurry of making marzipan and icing the cake, wrapping presents, painting the rest of my presents and finishing off last bits of work.
The other Christmassey scent of smoked gammon, which has been tantalising me every time I open the fridge, will pervade the whole house on Christmas Eve, when I am going to cook the hams, mingling with clove notes and cidery fumes, and we'll have them cold with salads and cold turkey on the day itself. Cinnamon will find its way into the couscous salad, aslo filled with mang and toasted almonds, so those traditional spices redolent of Christmas will still get a look in despite the hot weather.
Hope you are all having a wonderful lead up to Christmas!