I'll be honest - I'm taking a bit of a detour from the prompts for Shimelle's class Journal Your Christmas. I love hopping online in the morning and getting a little dose of Christmas lovely and inspiration. And then I love doing my own thing. Because I'm an individual. My colleagues would tell you it's because I'm awkward.
Anyway, for the second and third days of December I wanted to record two things: the first is advent. I don't have an Advent calendar this year (gutted :P) but I do light a couple of candles most evenings and I have a daily Bible reading. I'm also doing JYC (no really, I am!) and I have one more little Christmas tradition. And that's my Christmas tea.
I buy a box from Whittards (or maybe 2 if I run out or a few more if it goes on sale in January) each year in December and slurp it up like there's no tomorrow because it's wonderful. It's black tea flavoured with orange, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves and it tastes like Christmas in a mu that you can wrap your hands round. I love to breathe it in and feel warm and cosy.
And this is what I've documented for JYC. Little traditions like this are important and I look forward to observing them. And I was delighted to have the bperfect flair button from 'A Flair for Buttons' for this little page. A few shiny foil stars from Paperchase which I snagged at the weekend made lovely confetti too.
For my page for 3rd December, I'm going with my Gingerbread house. We're making these with the Guides over Christmas although shush! Don't tell them - it's a surprise! Anyway, the thought of constructing 40 of these along with my fellow Leaders and a gaggle of "enthusiastic" Guides makes me both hop with excitement and turn a little bit pale. So I thought I'd have a go.
I will say that, due to an unexpected piping-bag-royal-icing-explosion incident, it rather looks like a small child decorated it. But the mathematician in me ensured it was structurally sound. And it did indeed survive a car journey to school and was then raised to the foundations by my tutor team whose affections I am, shall we say, currently negotiating for.
For those of you who haven't experienced the slight awkwardness of presenting people with a gingerbread house and having everyone just stare at it for 10 minutes, let me offer this advice: if you make it, you must be the one to collapse the roof. Once you've damaged it, others will feel comfortable tucking in, and indeed my colleagues razed the little house to the ground. No explosives required. At the end of the meeting, two walls remained. I fed them to the maths department.
Anyway, I considered the experiment successful and I quite enjoyed it! And for those of you that want to have a go, I used a third of this recipe from the BBC Good Food website, with my own house design template and added cinnamon and cloves. Worked like a charm. And made one house, with a bit left over for snowflake shaped biscuits. Waste not, want not.
P.S. Still working on the podcast - honest!