How much kitsch is allowed at Christmas? As I walked past the stalls of the Christmas market this weekend, I felt a surge of happiness as I saw the plethora of flashy ornaments and gaudy adornments. It seems Christmas is the season where anything goes and everything is allowed.
Tinsel, baubles, lametta, ribbons, fake snow, dancing Santa Claus, snow in cans - and we’re just getting started. I could not help filling my basket with a bit of each.
That same evening as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed I noticed many already putting up their trees and decorating their homes and once again it put a smile on my face. There they were all again decorations in all their glitzy and glammy glory.
While Christmas is an adopted festivity for me, celebrating it with my husband and his family through the years, I have gladly embraced it and take delight in all its elaborateness as much as my 10-year old son does. I love this time of year - the sights of the sparkly fairy lights against the pureness of freshly fallen snow, the sounds of giggles and carols as children run pulling sledges behind them and throwing snowballs at each other, the aromas of peppery incense wrapping its warmth around us as we sit sipping sweet spiced mulled wine huddled by a crackling fire surrounded by glittering decoration.
I like simple and natural decorations, using spices like star anise, cloves and cinnamon with wooden or straw stars and hearts and just a touch of glitter for glamour. A plain heart shaped wreath made of dried wooden twigs adorned with a simple red and white bow, hangs on the door as a welcome for friends, stars cut out from wood and individual star anise wrapped in silver wire decorate my fir and brushwood advent candles. As we get closer to Christmas Eve, I’ll be adding a few more ornaments and glimmer around the house - I like adding them piece by piece. Sometimes spending afternoons making the decorations myself other times bringing down an old traditional ornament. Then I have the most kitschiest set of glammy and glittery fake Christmas candles made of sequins and pearls - and as my husband rolls his eyes when I bring them down - I giggle and tell him “It’s Christmas - I am allowed kitsch once a year!”
So, how much kitsch is allowed at Christmas? Tell me about your favorite Christmas decorations and ornaments and how you decorate the house at this time of year.
In Germany the Christmas trees usually go up around the 23rd but before that we countdown in style, decorating the house with candles, brushwood and some glitter. Each advent we light a candle, inviting friends and family for cake and cookies. As each day passes we open a new door of our advent calendars relishing the contents with satisfaction. Menus are planned, desserts discussed and re-discussed - how can one not love the Christmas spirit?
I am collecting your favorite Christmas recipes on my Facebook page and putting them together on a Pinterest board for inspiration so join us and share your favorite or traditional Christmas dish with is.
As we countdown to Christmas I will share a few of my favorite Christmas recipes in the upcoming weeks. This week I present one of my favorite Christmas cakes ever - a German stollen. However, I have deviated from the traditional stollen and given this my own twist. Sticky dates brought back from Dubai, given to me by my dear and kind friend who grows them on her farm, dried figs, slivered hazelnuts, slathering of orange marmalade and quark all make this stollen moist and rich.
This stollen brings together some heavenly flavors together. The dates are some of the most divine dates ever, small yet sticky, moist and full of flavor. In the stollen they added a sweet aroma and the stickiness was almost like marzipan. The orange marmalade added a refreshing fruity flavor and the quark a wonderful tangy touch. It all kept the cakes moist and unlike the traditional stollen it was lighter and not as dense.
This month dearest Simone of Junglefrog Cooking and I have combined our events together - the Monthly Mingle meets the Photo Challenge with the theme Christmas Cakes. I feel like an era is coming to an end as this will be the very last edition of the Monthly Mingle. I started this event in June 2006 and after going strong for so many years it’s time to take a break. I hope that you all will join Simone and me for this one last mingle and bake us some sparkly Christmas cakes!
You can still register for a spot at the Supperclub | Food Styling and Photography Workshop in London, together with the talented Sumayya, on 15 & 16 February 2013. We are putting on a full food experience for all foodies attending the workshop. It will be a hands-on food styling/photography workshop lead by me, a session on overcoming the challenges of restaurant and low-light photography by Jeanne as well as a culinary tour through Pakistan and India led by Sumayya where participants will learn different cooking techniques used in the Indian/Pakistani kitchen, create some mouth-watering dishes, and indulge in an array tantalizing South-Asian street food. The main venue is the stunning kitchen at the Central Street Cookery School, which provides huge windows for gorgeous natural light as well as plenty of space for cooking, styling, photographing and eating; and we will also be dining at a gastropub so as to practice the low-light photography skills.
This makes great Christmas present! Register for your place on this workshop now. The workshop is limited to a max. of 12 participants and we have a spaces are still available.
You’ll find more Christmas cakes on WFLH:
|Pear and Chocolate Bûche de Noël||Chocolate & Coconut French Yule Log||Florentine Christmas Fruitcake|
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First