The days before Christmas should be long and lingering. Days to enjoy. One needs to treasure the simple things. In an unhurried manner. No frantic trips to crowded malls. I start my Christmas in November. Creating Christmas cards. Gathering wrapping paper and ribbons. Unpacking the boxes of Christmas ornaments and decorations – all in a leisurely manner.
This is the time to enjoy treasured memories. I still have the Santa my son made in kindergarten forty-five years ago. Battered and faded it always graces our tree front and centre. The polar bear cookie jar appears on my kitchen counter. His name is lorek Byrnison, from the book The Golden Compass. This is how you slow down in the days before December 25th.
To give our home the perfume of Christmas preparations I simmer an all natural Christmas essence on the stove. You’ ll love the fresh, crisp, spicy fragrance, and you probably have everything to create it right in your kitchen.
Chop the peel of a large orange and a large lemon. Into a medium sized saucepan put the peel, plus 2 sticks of cinnamon broken, 12 whole cloves and 4 bay leaves. Add 4 cups of water and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce heat to a very slow simmer. A word of caution, don’t let it simmer dry. Just keep adding more water.