Need Some Christmas Spirit

I am asking for your help during this season of merriment. I have one more Christmas column to write before the newspaper goes on Christmas vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year’s and I was wondering if you could provide me with a little inspiration.

Tell me what makes your Christmas spirit sing–or give me some suggestions on how to give my flagging spirit some renewed energy.

Christmas is my favourite time of year–but with all the bad news in the media lately, I need a little boost.

And while you are at it–tell me what you will be eating on Christmas Day–I could use some easy suggestions–and if you want to throw in a recipe that would be wonderful.

Thanks so much–you always come through for me–so I am looking forward to your comments!

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Published in: on December 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm  Comments (31)  
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  1. I’m going to blog about this – but we’ve decided that we are donating to our grown childrens’ charities of choice this year instead of giving gifts. We are so fortunate and we’re all on board with this idea – and it is their enthusiasm for this idea that has lifted my spirits so high..

    • what a wonderful idea–that is the very essence of the Christmas spirit–look forward to your blog about it

    • What a wonderful idea!

  2. I know this sounds trite in view of the atrocities that have transpired in Pakistan….but doing for others is food for the soul and right now my soul is hungry……maybe a little chocolate and red wine too.

    • I like all of your suggestions–except change mine to white wine or rose or sparkling…………

  3. I need a little boost too, so I am going to keep watching for comments today :).

    • we are in the same boat today–get us a pail — we need to bail ourselves out

      • Maybe some chocolate?

      • chocolate always raises the spirits my friend

      • I’m going to need an extra large supply of chocolate tonight because our power is out :(.

      • that is the pits–do you know why?

      • It’s back on now. It was some kind of equipment failure, and our town and the next town south were both out. We had to BBQ supper, and I was decorating for Christmas in the dark :). Never done that before LOL.

      • I am in the dark most of the time – lol

      • Ya, me too :).

  4. Wrong guy to ask here. I dislike Christmas. One of my favoured possessions at this time is a bobble hat, black not red, with the words Bah! Humbug! on the headband
    I’m planning pasta. Filling, nutritious, and easy. Maybe some bubble’n’squeak later. Then an early night.
    You did ask….

    • and thank you for visiting–Scrooge has his place at the Christmas table………

      • Grumpy old gits need love too, Homefront. I bet you miss me when I’m not around being a miserable presence. Come on. Admit it. 😀

      • I most certainly do miss you–I readily admit it!

  5. I hate to say I told you so, Homefront. But I did. I’ll attempt to be grumpier in the future. Must try harder as my school reports used to say. As if I was ever going to be any bloody good at woodwork
    😀

  6. I would hazard to say likely there are quite a lot who need some lifting of spirit…. One thing that helps me is music… yes.. Christmas music of all kinds, and a few silly but cute Christmas movies…. and a few classic ones.Time and memories and laughs with friends and family … loved ones
    Something that lifts me also is, the spirit of those who have much to bear and yet can still lift MY spirits with their attitude and how much THEY have to be thankful for. I somehow look at my life in a different light.
    We eat all the traditional and don’t really have any special recipe for you unfortunately but I think you know already from past posts and comments that ..cooking and baking are not high on my talent list.
    My Christmas wish for you Lou Ann is to enjoy each and every moment leading up to that very special birth that took place on Christmas Day, time spent doing all the things that give you joy and peace…. faith that though the world sometimes seems a very troubled place.. there is still within it goodness, kindness and love. It just doesn’t make the news as much…. Merry Christmas friend… Diane

    • what a beautiful commentary–thank you so much Diane (I am with you on the cooking and baking). You did raise my spirits!

  7. We are having a no-fuss Christmas in the nursing home. I am just going to get some crayfish and make a cocktail sauce – yum!

    • you seem to have made a nice life for yourself lately–Merry, merry Julie!

  8. I’ve been doing Secret Santa stuff that past few years which has given me personally a great deal of satisfaction. Sending out cash and small gifts anonymously to those in need, with a note that explains how they have touched my life.
    So far I haven’t been discovered… and that makes it even more fun!

  9. We’re planning on getting the tree up this weekend, which is super late (compared to about 99.9% of the Christmas-loving population) but as it’s been a joint project between my sisters and I, we always waited for all of us to be home (whenever possible) to do that. My middle sister is coming home today for winter break so I’m looking forward to doing some decorating. The process is as much fun as the final product since looking at all our old, mostly homemade ornaments brings up a lot of memories and conversations.
    I have no idea what most people eat during Christmas actually, since my family tends to go the Chinese route and eat hotpot. Essentially, it’s one big pot of soup and then you cook your meat and vegetables in it. Good for the winter, good for family-style eating, and just good to eat. Are you feeling some of the spirit come back yet? 🙂

  10. Yep, I get where you’re coming from with this post, LouAnn, the news is dire, but then…when isn’t it? There are bad things in the world. It helps me to remember that not everything’s like that…I think of the young writers who enter our competitions and their pride when they read their work, about the people who come along to spoken word events and share what they’ve been thinking on, also the various writing groups I love to go to and the wonderful words that can make my mind race. This life–I remind myself, as my dad taught me–is but fleeting.
    So…on Christmas day it’s a traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings for us–the house is decked with glittery things and all the cards are on display. As a special treat this year I’m doing a chocolate mousse cake for those of us who find Christmas cake a tad rich / heavy. It’s a Mary Berry recipe, here it is:
    Ingredients
    For the chocolate cake
    • 100g/3½oz margarine, plus extra for greasing
    • 25g/1oz cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
    • 3 tbsp boiling water
    • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
    • 100g/3½oz self-raising flour
    • 1 level tsp baking powder
    • 2 large free-range eggs
    • 2 tbsp brandy
    For the mousse
    • 300g/11oz plain chocolate (no more than 40-50 per cent cocoa solids), broken into squares
    • 450ml/16fl oz whipping cream
    To serve
    • 225g/8oz fresh raspberries and blueberries
    • double cream
    • icing sugar, for dusting
    Preparation method
    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease the tin with margarine and line the base and sides with baking paper. You need to line the tin right to the top even though the sponge will not fill it.
    2. For the chocolate cake, measure the cocoa powder into a large bowl. Pour over the boiling water and mix to a paste with a spatula. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and the eggs and beat until smooth using a hand-held mixer.
    3. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface with a palette knife. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the cake feels springy to the touch.
    4. While the cake is still hot, brush the brandy over the top of the cake. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
    5. Meanwhile, for the mousse, place the chocolate in a bowl and melt over a pan of gently simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Stir continuously, taking care not to let the chocolate get too hot. Set aside to cool a little.
    6. Whip the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Carefully fold in the melted chocolate until smooth and not streaky.
    7. When the cake has cooled, and while it is still in the tin, spoon the chocolate mousse on top and level with a palette knife. Cover the cake tin with cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, and preferably overnight, until the mousse is firm.
    8. To serve, carefully remove the cake from the tin and transfer it to a flat plate. Dust the top with cocoa powder, then pile the raspberries and blueberries into the centre. Finish with a light dusting of icing sugar. Cut into wedges and serve with pouring cream.

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas xx

  11. Lou Ann, remember the Charlie Brown Christmas special when Linus makes the speech about “that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.” It never fails to move me because they’re all stressed out and upset about inconsequential things and Linus brings it all back down to Earth.

    I know there’s much bad and wrong with the world but there is so much more right and if we turn our minds to that, we can celebrate in the fact that Christmas, that feeling, can be every day if we let it.

    We’ll be eating the usual fare but I’m going to make a Parisienne mac and cheese. I ate it at Smak in New York and the recipe is here:

    http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1667881

    Merry, merry Christmas and much love!

  12. You are (very) witty and (very) quick off the draw. I’d love to hear if it has every backfired (I have my own experiences in this regard)…

  13. Oh no. Family time helps me. And beer, chocolate, and cookies.

  14. I know it is a little weird, but I am inspired during Christmas by decorating. Trees, houses, making wreaths, everything that I can christmas-fy, I go for it 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru


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