The week or two leading up to Christmas in Australia is usually harried and hot. All the shopping, wrapping, preparing can leave us all feeling somewhat exhausted on Christmas Day. My mum decided to have a nice, informal afternoon tea this week, with just a few close family members, to take five and enjoy each other’s company, with no gifts, wrapping or other social impediments. It was a fantastic idea.
Mum made her special tartlet ‘mushrooms’, which were made from scratch with pastry, jam and cream. She also made scones and my Uncle made his special cherry jam as a wonderful accompaniment. I was pleased to be able to contribute too – I’d brought with me my tested Christmas cookie recipe and my piping bags so I could make cookies that were favourites of my two gorgeous nephews.
It was so nice to spend a little time enjoying the spirit of the season without any of the pressures. When everyone gathers around, pitches in and shares the same interest – just enjoying the company of each other – things become a lot less effort than you might expect.
For us this week, tea and coffee, and my mum’s lovely variety of teacups and plates finished off the delightful setting for a couple of hours spent chatting, laughing and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company before the madness of Christmas.