Editorial Christmas 2011
Written by Chez
So. It's here. There's no avoiding it.
Presents bought? Family seating divided up in to combatants and non-combatants around the dining table? Turkey basters unsheathed and at the ready? Menus planned? Drink in hand with the empty bottle ready to either a) lamp someone too cheerful or b) be refilled with home-made beer in January?
The members of the Downsizer Forum are divided in their approach to the festive season. Some people unashamedly go the whole hog and have had their decorations up since the last week of November with a full-sized inflatable illuminated nativity powered by a recycled chip fat generator in the garden. Some of the less excited of us are dredging up enthusiasm from the depths of our boots just to keep small children thrilled. Still others celebrate the Winter Solstice rather than Christmas Day.
One thing that we tend to have in common, though, is that we like our celebrations to be light-footed upon the planet and lacking in commercialism. We like to make our own cakes; we have long talks about the best recipe for mince pies (we even have a vegetarian version!) and celebrate with home-made wine and beer. There is still time to make Ginger Beer and of course there is always time for mulled wine or rum punch. Quite a few of us raise our own turkey or goose or chicken or duck for our main meal. The Great Roast Potato Wars caused irreparable rifts in the forum one year and I always have a giggle at Jonnyboy's Christmas Cake Recipe.
Our database of articles has lots of tips about making your own decorations and cards and presents. There are a couple of different articles on Christmas Wreaths - here and here; and find out how to make your own Christmas Card Baubles
On a slightly more blatant note, you may want to have a browse around the traders on the Forum and buy something from one of them if you don't have time to make something yourself - as time is ticking on. There are a number of very talented people who contribute to Downsizer, both on the Forum and to our articles and who also have things to sell; and of course there are a number of small producers on the site who supply meat by post for those who don't raise their own. I don't think this is something we talk about very much in our editorials; but promoting slow and local food and small producers and craftspeople is one of the stated aims of the Downsizer community. With the economy as it is, I feel that mentioning that at this time of year isn't out of place.
We wish you all the best for the festive season and hope that the New Year brings you all you hope for.