Have a very happy, fun and relaxing Christmas!

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We spent last night preparing the house for our first Christmas Eve at home (in Germany Christmas Eve is more important than Christmas Day!). I will finish work at 12 O’clock and then I will be off until the new year. It is the first time I’m spending Christmas Eve at my home instead of spending Christmas with my parents, grandparents and brothers in Germany. I realised that especially when I was arranging the presents underneath the tree last night – normally this is my mum’s job and she does it with a passion that it is great to watch.

I am going to miss my family a lot over Christmas. I love our little traditions so I am going to make the same food we have every single year. Last year at my dad’s we had a little tree which I really, really liked – so I decided to go for a little one as well. And as for the decoration I crafted exactly the same decorations that we had on our Christmas tree when I was a child. The idea is from a magazine from 1984. The picture at the top on the left shows me in front of our tree around 1991, aged 3, and picture on the right is our little tree this year. I love it.

Enough talking now – have a wonderful Christmas with great food, lots of fun, peace and relaxation!

The Food Exchange: mince pies – Christmas is almost here!

It’s Food-Exchange-time again! Like every month Lucy from lucyabakes sends me a typical English recipe to bake and I send her a German one. We both test the recipes and write about them on our blog.
So close to Christmas we decided to go for something sweet that is typical for this season. Lucya’s s recipe for me are mince pies!madebygreta_mincepie3
In England you find mince pies literally everywhere around Christmas whilst I have never seen them in Germany before. I had a look at Wikipedia and found out that the ingredients for the modern mince pie can be traced back to the return of European crusaders from the Holy Land – so this is really a traditional bake. Continue reading

My favourite Christmas cookies

madebygreta_christmas_cookies5Christmas without baking Christmas cookies just wouldn’t be the same. Every year I bake a selection of cookies and one of them are typical swabian “Ausstecherle” made from a buttery shortcrust. They are in particularly nice to make with children as it is great for tiny hands to roll out the dough, cut the cookies with cutters and coat them with all sorts of sprinkles.

I always use a quick and easy recipe from an old baking book that my grandma used to use. It was published in 1984.

Continue reading

Wrapping Christmas gifts – My way to do it

I love wrapping gifts for Christmas and every year I think about a different way how to do it.
What I find always a bit crazy though is how much nice wrapping paper costs. Don’t get me wrong – I love buying nice looking (and therefore a bit more expensive) wrapping paper for a birthday gift or something like that – but for Christmas there always is quite a bit of paper that has to be used to wrap all those presents for family and friends.
This is why I prefer to think of different ways to wrap presents so that they still look nice, although I don’t use really special wrapping paper. For this I find it great to use normal, plain, brown paper.
Last year I bought red ribbons and nice tags to decorate the gifts with and I think it is a simple and very effective way to do it. Not expensive but still nice looking underneath the Christmas tree as they match as well.
This year I used plain white string and used my die-cutter to cut out the name of all the people I send gifts to (that means I didn’t have to use gift tags this year). The colour scheme is white/brown/gold. And again: it is a simple way to wrap gifts but for me it is fun and I really enjoy doing it.
Unfortunately I only can show you instagram pictures today, but although the quality is not the best you can see how I wrap my gifts :).

How do you wrap your gifts? Is it fun for you wrapping them or not so much? I would love to hear how you deal with wrapping gifts for Christmas.

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Good bye November, Hi December…it’s Christmas

Looking at my blogposts from November I am really glad I did a few Autumnal things: We carved pumpkins and I upcycled an old hanging basket into a fruit bowl.
I made chocolate-corners that were perfect for a warm afternoon inside, whilst it is stormy outside.
With my little brother I made the coconut balls that made me go all sentimental as it was the first thing I ever ‘baked’.
…and as if that would not be a lot of baking already I made gingerbread men for the monthly Food Challenge.
For all those things you find the recipes and tutorials if you click on the links :). Enjoy!

December is Christmas-time! For a change I have got 90% of my presents already, which means December hopefully will be very relaxed and full of things I enjoy doing: baking, crafting and enjoying the last month of an amazing first year in England.
I want to share a few wintery baking recipes with you and show you how I wrapped my presents…as I said: doing things I like to do.

Hope you all have a great pre-Christmas-time!madebygreta-byenovember