When the Hell Did Christmas Get Here

Oh sweet lawd. I am not ready for this.

Cadbury South Africa's Chocolate Advent Calendar (on Facebook)

Cadbury South Africa’s Chocolate Advent Calendar (on Facebook)

Thirteen shopping days left and I have yet to buy a single gift or do any kind of planning for my part of the Christmas menu. Feels like last week I was complaining about Christmas decorations next to the Halloween stuff and Boney M in November.

Christmas in our house follows a tried, tested and loved formula.

We don’t have much family in the city and we prefer not to travel over the festive period. It’s the most beautiful time of year in the Mother City, the three of us are on holiday and we like to use the time to enjoy each other, our home and our city.

And by ‘us’ I mean my parents and me and by ‘home’ I mean their house.

Christmas eve (Austrian father) is our big dinner, celebrated every year with our best family friends and whatever stragglers my mother finds.

Turkey, gammon, roast potatoes, jugs of gravy and hot veg swimming in cheese sauce. Christmas pudding drowned in brandy and set alight so that blue flames dance on its surface. No one actually likes the Christmas pudding but we go digging in it anyway, hoping to score the best coins that have been pushed deep into it.

We are nothing if not traditional, even if our traditions combine the best of Austrian and British culture.

Except for our Christmas tree. Which is a wire baobab, my fabulous idea three years ago when we lugged another browning, wilting, crooked old pine tree into our home. Propped it up in a pot with bricks. And then watched it tip sideways to the ground in a spectacular shower of pine needles and tinsel and shattered baubles. So now we do wire, with a nod to our African roots.

Back to the menu. I do the starter. For the past few years I have been commanded to prepare my famous tomato bruschetta. Which I will prepare again this year, but perhaps as an appetizer.

My starter this year is a bit of a personal challenge. Brie and cranberry Phylo pastry twisty things. I need a recipe. Made harder to google by the fact that I call them ‘twisty things’, which Jamie and Nigella and Reuben do not.

And also, I need paternal gift ideas for men who are impossible to shop for. I can tell you what my father DOESN’T want:

– Books (prefers the library)
– Cookbooks (has a million)
– Gadgets/ Toys (minimal interest)

I pretty much end up buying clothes every year. Which gets boring quick.

So I need inspiration.

I need Brie and Cranberry Phylo Pastry Thingies recipe and I need Gifts For Dad ideas.


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