Monday, 12 December 2011

Going Nutz At Christmas?

"There's a lot of bad "isms"
floating around this world,
but one of the worst
is commercialism".
      Miracle On 34th Street             

Christmas is almost here and we all know what that means.

Too much eating
Too many expenses
Too much pressure to do it all and not enough time

The good news is, despite the Scrooges out there, this time of year is still great. It's the pressure we all put on ourselves that makes us crazy.

You know how to have a good Christmas? Ignore the "how to" tips full of "easy" recipes that'll only take you a week to prepare. Ignore all the advertisements for 50" television sets that "make great gifts" and take note, your house doesn't have to outshine Rockefeller Center to be beautiful.

Invite your friends over for a glass of wine to celebrate the season, but let's not compete with happy hour at the Ritz.

Buy small gifts for those you love but don't feel obliged to spend your food money for the next two months.

See how easy this is?

Don't kid yourself. Christmas has been commercial for a long long time yet every generation seems to think this is new. Either we fight it, or go down trying.

My parents and grandparents didn't go into bankruptcy or the nut house at Christmas (as far as I know.....mind you....). They baked (those who didn't work), decorated beautifully with help from Woolworth's and their own imaginations, and Christmas was the best time of year! We all had lots of presents (including things we actually needed), friends dropped in never expecting a banquet spread, and voila. Christmas!

Yes, I know this sounds soooo old fashioned, but isn't that what we want this time of year?

On Christmas Day, a stuffed frozen turkey is the easiest. Tradition is great but I'm not against progress!

Below is a punch recipe. An example of why I'm not reading any more tips.


1 bottle (64-ounce size) apple juice OK
1 can (46-ounce size) pineapple juice Gotcha
1 bottle (46-ounce size) cran-raspberry juice OK
1 cup water No problem
Spice Bag OK, you've lost me
1 cinnamon stick, broken ?
6 whole cloves ?
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg ?

Place spices in coffee filter or cheese cloth ? Tie with a string. Pour into large kettle or percolator (I don't have either), make spice bag (now they're kidding) and add to kettle. Let simmer for ten minutes. Remove spice bag and serve warm.


  1. fly in the web12/12/2011

    You want mulled wine?
    1I litre of red wine..not sweet,
    2 oz brown sugar.
    4 cloves
    I peel of orange
    two or three grates of nutmeg
    Simmer and serve......guaranteed to warm the cockles of the heart.

  2. Now you're talkin! I love mulled wine and I see there are no spice bags or other major complicated things involved. Thanks for the recipe. I'll be trying it out!

  3. You could be a lazy as to buy a bottle of mulled wine. If unavailable in your area use above recipe on a low price Shiraz or Rioja.

  4. You're reading my mind! But, I've never seen bottled mulled wine here (we're so uncivilized in so many ways). Have you tried it? Thankfully I can pick up a Shiraz easily enough.

  5. I have have actually prefer the homemade cheating ofcourse and and using a cheap bottle of wine.As for spice bag grab a piece of cheesecloth or muslin. Put your spices in it tie with whatever.You warm it all up in a pan then transfer to a turine or my case large bowl.dont forget to remove spice bag before transfer.

  6. Rebecca @ FreakyFrugalite.com12/13/2011

    Great post! No going nutz here. I like the lights, the coziness, etc. But we skip the gifts, the crazy decorating, the messy tree... we celebrate Jesus come to earth. Back in the "olden" days, they knew what was what.

    Merry Christmas. :) That spiced recipe does look good but where the heck do I find sticks of cinnamon?! Got any idea?

  7. How come you know what a spice bag is? I'm totally impressed! Thanks! Now I'll look like a pro!

  8. You asked the question I was afraid to ask - cinnamon sticks? I'm not so sure about nutmeg either but that's what Google is for! This is going to be good.... :)