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I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas. As I write this on Christmas Eve afternoon, I can truthfully say that I am ready. This morning was spent baking and this time of year I always make my orange and cranberry bread. I grate the zest of an orange into the flour, add the juice of one orange to my liquid and throw in some dried cranberries. The smell as the bread cooks is fantastic and the orange really comes through.

My son comes home tonight for two days and as it is just the three of us, we are going to one of the local hotels for our Christmas lunch tomorrow. It will be lovely to eat a meal that I haven’t had to spend all morning preparing and to know that I won’t have to spend all afternoon washing up. For us, Christmas will be quiet and peaceful, a time to catch up and relax. I do miss the years when my son was little and he believed in the magic of Christmas – the look of wonder in his eyes when he saw his presents was breath-taking, but I do still enjoy this time of year. Gone is the need for secrecy and creeping around – the frantic panic to get that one present on the Christmas list that cannot be found anywhere; Christmas is now a time to enjoy being together, being thankful for another year and looking forward to what the next one brings.

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and a peaceful and happy New year.