finding the spirit

speculaas- cityhippyfarmgirl

Nothing says it’s nearly Christmas time, quite like belting out Wham’s Last Christmas at the top of your lungs. While big hair, eighties clothing and a snowy white landscape aren’t really necessary this year; an enthusiasm for all things just a teeny bit cheesy are. With three little people grinning from ear to ear for encouragement, I plan to quietly soak all that Christmassy spirit well and truly up.

I wasn’t going to though, well not yet anyway. It all seemed a little too early still.

However, last years advent calendar was hung, and the boys were keen for the Christmas sticks to be draped and decorated. Pre-school carols were seeping in and had a funny way of sticking in my head all day. I also couldn’t avoid the fact that everyone else was well and truly already on the Christmas wagon.

What pushed Last Christmas on to replay was the very real thought of my little people becoming big people. No longer finding it quite as exciting to decorate some fallen sticks with some brightly coloured baubles and their bunk beds with draped silvery tinsel. The excitement of seeing what might be in the advent calander in the early morning, and the planning of all the things they would do, once the Christmas holidays began. I know that contagious excitement will someday fade, as their limbs get longer and their childhood thoughts and ideas change.

So while their little dancing legs are eager, their air guitars await and theres a willingness to sing all songs Christmassy, then so will I.

And I’ll love every second of it.*

Β * In the spirit of Christmas, so will all my neighbours. It’s a well known fact that Last Christmas should never be played quietly; and living in a small city apartment, well playing something with Christmas enthusiasm means everyone gets to enjoy it as well.Β Now THAT’S the spirit of Christmas.



For added Christmassy goodness, I’ve been making speculaas again. It’s been two years since the intermittent light swearing incident over the little wooden windmill and, this year I thought I’d try my luck again. Alas, still not to a standard I like, so no windmills again this year. However, the dough I’ve tweaked a little and it’s still a happy biscuit to eat.

Perfect for a little dunking, munching or sending of small parcels off to the neighbours.

Speculaas #2

150g cubed cold butter

150g brown sugar

300g plain flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamon

2 tbls cold water

Pulse all ingredients except the cold water, until resembles bread crumbs. Turn out to a board, add the water and give a quick knead to bring it all together. You are a after a smooth dough consistency. Roll out between two sheets of baking paper and pop into the fridge to firm up (or roll into a log and freeze for a later date.) Cut out shapes and bake at 180 for 15-20 minutes.

17 thoughts on “finding the spirit

  1. enjoy it’s lovely while it lasts and at the same time they’ll develop fond memories of their childhood christmases..

    your biscuits look really good by the way..x


  2. I’m loving the excitement over the advent calendar in the morning but other than that have only got a few bits of tinsel out for my 6 year old so far. Now you’ve got me wanting to blast out Last Christmas and get all the decorations out. Nice biscuits too, bet they’re lovely with cardamom.


  3. I love your Christmas spirit! I was away on a business trip last December and didn’t come back until around the 20th of December. I then had to throw everything together at the last minute and it was so stressful and difficult. I’m enjoying getting into the swing of things earlier this year and pacing myself xx


  4. I think you find Christmas in the processes and as I have been consistent in my efforts to avoid “the processes” at any cost, I don’t feel all that Christmassy this year. It starts with putting the tree up and as we haven’t made it yet that’s an easy step to avoid ;). As horticulturalists who love trees we gave up killing pines about 5 years ago when we started our horticulture course and have been making trees out of driftwood, twigs, and goodness only knows what else (this years effort included) to facilitate the Christmassy spirit. This year all of my children have moved to within 50km of Serendipity Farm, however there are no small children to excite us into dervish like proportions. We have decided to have a communal Christmas meal on Christmas Eve this year with gift giving in order to allow us all to celebrate the actual day how we see fit. A great idea because our Christmas is small, poignant and sustainable where my daughters is over the top, meat filled and full of leftovers for a week ;). Finding a space where you can all unite together to celebrate the end of a year and the herald of the next is really important…MUCH easier when you live in the north and everything is winding down but here in the south we are going gangbusters as our season heats up and everything starts to grow. Enjoy those vibrating, twitching children because those vital Christmas loving years are gone all too soon although my daughters (23 and 25) certainly embrace the spirit to the max πŸ˜‰


  5. Oh yes, love Last Christmas – spent hours of wasted youth watching it on the tv in KMart πŸ™‚
    Your christmas tree is gorgeous too. I’d love to know some of the things you have in the advent calender pockets – this year I wondered about putting something in the pockets of our advent calendar but sylvia loves putting in pieces from the advent nativity crib scene (a number for each piece to corresponding day) And love your bikkies – as long as they taste good and can be dunked they are a success


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