July 21, 2015

It’s time to rug up and celebrate Christmas as you see it in the movies – when it’s cold! If getting festive mid-year seems a bit silly, just think of it as an excuse to get together and share a special meal with the family. These ideas will get any Scrooge into the spirit.

A festive feast with a difference.

There’s no need to go all out with a turkey plus all the trimmings and a Christmas pudding. Julie suggests serving a large deboned chicken with pork and cranberry stuffing and, for dessert, a warm sticky date pudding with salted caramel sauce and ice cream. Mmmm.

Christmas crafts
Here’s a handy craft project to keep the kids warm and dry on a wet winter’s day, and add some sparkle to your feast.

What you’ll need:

  • Cracker pulls (can be found at a haberdashery store)
  • Empty toilet paper rolls
  • Trinkets or wrapped lollies
  • Hand-written jokes
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • Mid-weight wrapping paper
  • Ribbons and stickers


  1. Place a cracker pull inside the roll.
  2. Then add your trinkets, lollies and/or jokes.
  3. Cut a piece of wrapping paper twice as long as the roll and wide enough to wrap around the whole thing with overlap.
  4. Place the roll in the middle of the paper, leaving an equal amount at each end.
  5. Wrap the paper around the cardboard roll and tape in place, making sure the contents don’t fall out!
  6. Carefully twist the ends of the paper to give it a cracker/bon bon shape.
  7. Tie ribbon around each twist to hold closed.
  8. Decorate with Christmas stickers if you like, then repeat!

Christmas in a glass

Mulled wine or cider is an integral part of many European celebrations and it couldn’t be easier to make it yourself at home. Pick up some locally grown citrus, treat yourself to a bottle of red from Jubilee Vineyard Estate in Ebenezer, and get cooking.

You’ll need:

  • 2 litres orange juice
  • 1 lemon, finely sliced
  • 1 orange, finely sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 or 4 cloves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 bottle red wine

To make, simply simmer the orange juice on the stove in a large saucepan. Add the lemon and orange slices, cinnamon stick and cloves. When the fruit is soft, add the brown sugar and the bottle of red wine. Continue to simmer and heat through, being careful not to boil as this will evaporate the alcohol. Enjoy!

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