Also, nowadays, there is a move afoot to "get rid" of Christmas lest non-Christians are upset. How silly is that? I greatly enjoy the festivities of other cultures. They add colour and joy to life and it is not necessary to believe in what they stand for to get great pleasure from them. For a lot of people Christmas has nothing to do with religion anyway. Historically it was a pagan festival later adopted by Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ, whose actual birth date is unknown. It would be a very sour grinch who didn't enjoy taking part in the giving of gifts, the feeling of goodwill and the joy of children at Christmas time, not to mention the office parties, gifts from bosses etc, etc.
Enough of the moaning, though, I love Christmas. I love the spirit of goodwill, the family gatherings, the decorations and the carols. The whole nine yards. And I love Christmas cake. That is one thing that IS best done early. A rich fruit cake, especially one doused in brandy, improves with age.
Last weekend I made my Christmas cake, I was in my happy place, enjoying the delectable aroma filling the house as it baked. I made this cake for the first time last year and it was popular with everyone who tried it. Even my daughter-in-law, a professed hater of fruit cakes, asked me for a slab to take home. It is not my original recipe, I got it off the internet, (Channel4-4food) but it is worth repeating here. It is quick, easy and contains apple cider and brandy.