Welcome to day 18 of our Spinners of the World December blogposts.
We're counting down the darkest days by exploring and learning more about the world we live in, but I'm not the one writing the posts!
Each day the post has been written by a volunteer spinner, they're be telling us about their mid-winter holiday traditions, and a little bit about the place they live. I still need volunteers, so if you enjoy this post please head over to the form here. This is open to everyone, please don't worry about your language skills, or even if you think your holiday traditions aren't very interesting, I want to hear from you!
Todays Spinner is Amanda from North Wales.
My husband is usually away or at work on Christmas Day so we choose a day when he's at home and celebrate then. It's usually just the four of us 9me, the other half and the Demonic Daughters). The only year we were brave enough to invite my parents was the unforgettable year that Granny inhaled far too many sherry fumes and announced very loudly at the dinner table that she was not drunk and proceeded to recite the well known rhyme "I'm not a phesant plucker, I'm a phesant plucker's son and I'm happy plucking pheasants till the pheasant plucker comes." She didn't get very far before we'd erupted into laughter at her faux pas.
One of us is firmly agnostic, the other a rebellious lapsed Catholic with unbelievably religious parents so we rebel by celebrating the winter solstice with the emphasis firmly on family time.
After that rather interesting attempt at an extended family Christmas, our festive day tends to go like this:
The day before we venture to the shops and select whatever looks most unusual for dinner. This is a family tradition which started the year we got married when we finally got home from an overseas contract in the middle of a horrendous storm which had delayed our arrival by almost half a day and meant in the hour and a half before the stores closed for Christmas we had to do a weeks worth of shopping and buy a fridge. The only things left on the shelf were the obscure things that no one else wanted to eat. It became a family joke and now the Demonic Daughters attempt to come up with the most outlandish dishes possible. Kudu, crocodile and shark have all featured in previous menus. We usually get up in the dark (not that this is unusual our alarms routinely go off at 4am) and open stocking gifts in bed, they always contain a clementine or a satsuma and a book. Once it's daylight we'll take the dog to the country park for a long walk. We come home prepare dinner together or rather we all watch DD1 prepare dinner as she's training to be a chef and is at the stage where she knows it all which is fine by me, I'm quite happy to delegate cooking duties. Whilst dinner is cooking we'll play board games, Coppit is one of our favourites. We'll sit at the table to eat dinner in front of the log burner, once dinner is eaten we'll play more games, open gifts from family and watch cheesy Christmas movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol is a firm favourite.
Outside of the more unusual foods I love to eat mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding with flaming brandy, pfeffernusse and stollen.
We use Nigella's Christmas ultimate pudding recipe but usually substitute the Pedro Ximénez with brandy.
I knit hats and socks as gifts, once in a while I'll sew a project bag but I haven't knitted anyone a garment since I knitted DD1 a sweater in colours carefully chosen by her which she put on and announced was too hot and refused to wear ever again. DD2 eventually grew into it but refused to wear it because it was too pink. It became a cushion.
I have four consecutive days off work which is unheard of, I plan to spin up some of the long forgotten fibres which lurk at the back of the cupboards in the hopes that 2018 becomes the year that I use more fibre than I buy because 2017 certainly wasn't.
I shop by colour rather than fibre, it means I unintentionally get to try a vast range of things simply because I liked the way the dyed fibre looked. I'm never organised enough to spin for a purpose so I tend to spin whatever I feel like spinning at the time and then shove it in a box in the hopes the finished yarn will come in handy eventually. Last winter I splurged on a second hand loom. It's still in the box it arrived in. I'm hopeful that this winter I'll get the time and space to warp it up and teach myself to weave. When I get time to myself I dye yarn and fibre, sew and have grandiose ideas about making all my own clothes. I love to cook, I read voraciously and I've recently discovered I love to run, preferably up mountains and in deep mud, the dirtier I get the happier I am .
A big thank you to Amanda for sharing her Christmas.
Tomorrow there will hopefully be another spinner... but this is where I really do need your help! If you've enjoyed these posts please take 10 minutes to contribute your own. Otherwise I will be spinning my own Christmas celebrations out for 5 days... and nobody needs to read that!