Christmas is fast approaching, so we thought we would share our Christmas Scrapbook 2016.
As the weather gets colder and the nights get longer, that old familiar fuzzy feeling starts to set in. The faint smell of cinnamon and ginger fill the air and the impending arrival of distant relatives both loved and loathed can only mean one thing, in the immortal words of Noddy Holder: “IT’S CHRISTMAS!”
Love it or hate it, Christmas is here and brought with it in its wake a host of new styles, new must-haves and the beginning of the annual preparation that proves it hard to keep that festive cheer.
PosAbility Magazine is here for you. We know how this wonderful time of year can be tainted with stress. To make it easier for you, we have compiled a list of Christmas ideas for you to keep in mind on all festive fronts, so you can have yourself a merry little Christmas.
This is what a modern day Christmas is all about. It is above all a day for family to spend time together, regardless of how often you see them. Visiting someone else for your yearly turkey dinner is, let’s face it, a whole lot easier than being the household in charge of the congregating parties. If you fall into the latter category and you will definitely have a lot on your hands. You will be playing event organiser, transport planner, schedule co-ordinator, entertainment facilitator, bartender, referee and head chef – and that’s only if things go to plan. Here is you family Christmas survival points:
- Simplify – If you don’t feel like cooking hundreds of differing dishes, don’t do it. If it is a bit too much for you, consider letting a few dishes go. For example: one make one type of stuffing, only have mash and roast potatoes. Everything doesn’t have to be homemade. Employ the help of old faithful Aunt Bessie’s.
- Delegate – Don’t try and do everything yourself. Give everyone a job. Uncle Harry will clear the table, Cousin Pamela will wash the dishes, Auntie Frances will dry and Granny will put them away, etc. Everything will be done in record time and that means more time together.
- Communicate – Be sure to tell people how you are feeling, eg, you need a break or you need to get out of the stiflingly hot kitchen. If you are open with your friends and family, they will be open to helping you from becoming overwhelmed.
- Enjoy the day – Things might not go to plan – and that’s OK. Enjoy the time with your family that you might not see on any other day. The big day is all for making memories with your nearest and dearest.
Food and Drink
Christmas is the nemesis for every gym bunny and every dieter, but, let’s be honest… it is the meal you look forward to all year. Want to try something different but are lacking inspiration? Here is a definitive Christmas menu:
Starters: Prawn cocktail, smoked salmon, salmon mousse, soup, pate, goat’s cheese salad, melon and parma ham, cheese
Mains: Turkey, ham, duck, goose, chicken, beef, rabbit, gammon, pork, quail, lamb, partridge, nut roast, beetroot and squash wellingtons
Sides: Roast potatoes, mash potatoes, boiled potatoes, dauphinoise potatoes, sweet potatoes pig in blankets, sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, Brussel sprouts, gravy, parsnips, carrots, triple nut and apple stuffing balls, red cabbage, Yorkshire puddings, cauliflower cheese, onions, puff pastry, beetroot, salad
Desserts: Cheese board, Christmas pudding, mince pies, apple pie, custard, Christmas cake, cheesecake, trifle, fruit salad, chocolate cake, gateau, Swiss roll, brandy ice-cream, mousse, sticky toffee pudding
Drinks: Bailey’s, mulled wine, prosecco, champagne, Buck’s Fizz, white Russians, brandy, whisky, port, sherry, punch, winter ales and stouts, hot chocolate, Schloer
We all know that there is more to the season than parties, but it’s a great place to start! Christmas also brings with it the time of year of Christmas drinks, work’s nights out and having more social events on than your bank balance will thank you for.
Perhaps, to keep the ever-growing cost of festive socialising to a minimum, have a small get-together at your own humble abode?
To keep the good cheer flowing we have gathered together some Christmas cocktails and seasonal shooters to ensure a jolly good time.
- Whisk together egg and caster sugar – In a large bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1tbsp caster sugar until creamy and the sugar begins to dissolve.
- Mix in Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur, milk and split vanilla pod – Mix in 35ml Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur and 75ml milk. Stir in the seeds from a vanilla pod, scraped out with a teaspoon
- Add some grated nutmeg.
- Strain into a short glass.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
- Add ice to a shaker – Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Pour in Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold – Add 30ml Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold to the shaker.
- Add honey, lemon juice and sherry – Add in 30ml sherry, 1 tbsp honey and 15ml lemon juice.
- Shake vigorously – Holding the shaker with one hand on each end, thrust forward and back quickly until the surface of the shaker feels chilled.
- Strain into a glass – Pour the liquid from the shaker through a cocktail strainer or sieve into a tumbler or rocks glass
- Garnish with a clove-studded orange slice – Using a sharp knife and chopping board, cut a slice of orange and push 5 cloves into the slice. Place on top of the drink to garnish.
- Muddle blackberries – Press down on 3 blackberries in a highball glass using a rolling pin or spoon to extract flavour and aroma
- Add ice to the glass – Fill the highball glass with crushed ice.
- Pour in Tanqueray London Dry Gin and lemon juice – Add 50ml Tanqueray London Dry Gin and 10ml lemon juice to the glass.
- Top up with Schweppes Slimline Bitter Lemon – Add 140ml Schweppes Slimline Bitter Lemon, or enough to fill the glass – Stir thoroughly, using a bar spoon, mix the drink until well combined.
- Garnish with a blackberry – Add one blackberry on top of the drink to garnish.
Non-alcoholic Mulled Wine
- Heat 2 cups of water and add the one cup of sugar, two dozen whole cloves, 4 cinnamon sticks, crushed nutmeg, the zest of 1 orange and the zest of one lemon.
- Boil for 5 minutes and leave to simmer for 5 more.
- Strain this syrup into a large pot and add 2 and a half cups of lemon/lime juice, heat until it is gently bubbling.
- Add 2 litres of grape juice and keep the mixture on a low heat, serve with a slice of lemon.
What says “Christmas” more than an ancient board game being broken out? At this point turkey and mince pies are coming out your ears and old grandad has fallen into a mulled wine stupor, his pink paper hat askew. Liven things up with a game. Here are PosAbility’s top 10 games to play this Christmas:
- Monopoly – to really test your relationships, the high stakes property development game has been a family favourite for generations
- Scrabble – Make sure you have dictionary to hand when playing this golden oldie, just to make sure dad isn’t making up words again
- Trivial Pursuit – Surely everyone has played this at Christmas?!
- Charades – There will also be someone who breaks the golden rule of “no speaking”
- Pictionary – Get your easel at the ready and make your drawing clear enough for your team to tell what it is
- Articulate – A great board game for lots of people. It’s like Pictionary but you have to explain your subject without using certain words
- Cluedo – Can you solve this age old murder mystery?
- Jenga – DON’T PULL OUT THAT ONE!
- Head’s Up – A bit more modern. The app on your phone can video your audience when they are trying to describe the subject you have on your phone, attached to your forehead
- Pie Face – Last year’s favourite will be making appearances again, just make sure you have enough whipped cream
PosAbility magazine would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, we hope these little tips have helped in the run up to Christmas.