A Stress Free Christmas – Part 11: Christmas Cards & Mince Pies

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Mince Pies – the sure way to a stress free Christmas

Once Advent is upon us, we’re allowed to get excited in earnest and start all those little Christmas traditions that we love so much.

For me, the beginning of December is when I write my cards.  For years, I was useless and in many cases, never managed to get cards done at all so I began a little routine which helps me to keep on time.  The first few days of advent see me curled up on the sofa each evening, surrounded by boxes of cards, address book, pen and (if I’m lucky) a glass of something festive and a mince pie.  Not a bad way to while away an evening it must be said.

This year, I invite you to join me…

The Mince Pie

Mince pies have grown on me over the last couple of years.  I’ve never been a huge fan, always choosing a custard tart or a jam tart in preference.   Last year however, I was preggers and full of festive cheer.  Not being able to indulge in my usual winter favourites of mulled wine or sloe gin, I decided to make some mince pies.  Since then, I’ve been a convert – BUT I can only abide them homemade.  The pastry must be rich and flakey and the filling, gently spiced and fruity.

Here are a few recipes that should hit the mince pie spot…

Mince Pies by Paul Hollywood – BBC Good Food

Star Topped Mince Pies with Cranberry – Nigella (my faves)

Traditional Mince Pies – Delia (of course!)

The Christmas Card

You may be wondering what on earth I might have to say about writing Christmas cards…after all, how tricky can it be?  You buy some cards (or make them if you’re particularly organised and creative), you sit down and write them and then you deliver or post them.  Job done!

Well yes, that’s pretty much it.  However, here are a couple of ideas which may add a little something to your Christmas Card experience…

  • Try not to see it as a chore.  Very easily, the writing of cards can become just another tick on the ‘to do’ list and we can forget why we’re doing them in the first place.  The purpose is to let our friends and family know that we love them and are thinking of them at Christmas.  With that in mind…
  • …spare a little thought for the person or people you’re addressing each card to.  Perhaps add a comment or two to give some news and ask for theirs, or just to write in your own words, rather than leaving it to the printed ones on the card, that you wish them a happy festive season.
  • Add a family newsletter.  If you’re writing to friends and family who you don’t get to see or speak to very often then Christmas is a great time to update them with your news.  Why not type up a little newsletter with some photos that you can send out to all those you haven’t seen in the year?
  • Don’t miss the posting dates!  They can be surprisingly early, especially if you’re posting cards abroad.  To check the dates, have a look at the Royal Mail Website
  • Lastly, treat yourself!  As I may have mentioned in my introduction, there’s nothing like a little glass of something warming (and I’m not talking hot chocolate here) and a little nibble of something sweet and flakey to while away the card writing hours.


Take me to Part 12: Christmas Decorations

Catch up:

Week 1: Christmas Budget

Week 2: Making 3 lists & Checking them twice

Week 3: Picking Presents

Week 4: Pickling Presents

Week 5: Christmas Party Planning

Week 6: Present Shopping – Round 1

Week 7: Christmas Food & Drink Planning

Week 8: Party Menu & Outfit Planning

Week 9: Christmas Cake

Week 10: Christmas Dinner

Colette Broomhead

I am a 30 something mother of 2 little boys and I live with them and my husband in Nottingham. My passions are my family and friends, my kitchen, my cookery books and all things food and drink!

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