The Twelve Jobs Before Christmas

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  1. Write Christmas cards. I really enjoy receiving cards from family and friends here and in the east and overseas and hearing their news and finding out what their children are doing. I know lots of people send an email now, but I love personal, hand written news in a card.

2. Making trays of shortbread to put into gift boxes. These little sweet treats go into cellophane packs which are sealed and put into the boxes I’ve already made. Then a ribbon and a card. Done. Delicious.

3. Fresh linen on the guestroom bed and everything ready for my mother arriving for Christmas.

4. Cherries mean Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. Start eating them now!

5. Hang the stockings in the sitting room and begin filling them. Louis, our dog, sniffs his several times a day.

6. Decorate the fountain in the portico. Looks pretty.

7. Get in supplies of champagne and other Christmas drinks.

8. Hang a wreath on the front door. The string of lights comes on at night.

9. Watching series two of The Crown. So good, so added Her Majesty to the decorations. Try the Tattler magazine site for these.

10. Massive clean out of the fridge so there’s room for the Christmas cooking.

11. Start eating Christmas cake. This one has been drizzled with brandy several times since it was made. And it’s nearly gone.

12. TO DO lists! Do you have lists of food shopping, of cooking, of house jobs and also presents which still need to be bought? And wrapped.

Today is International Tea Day. Celebrated since 2005, the aim is to draw attention to the impact of the global tea trade on workers and growers and has been linked to fair trade goals. And you thought it was about enjoying a nice cup of tea!

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