This time of year is all about the spice, isn't it? The oranges studded with cloves, the cinnamon sticks and star anise bobbing about in the mulled wine, the little glass jars of powdered ginger, cinnamon, cloves and mixed spice that we add to our Christmas baking.
So much of the pleasure I take in this time of year lies in our rituals and traditions, in the slow festive build up to the big day. Some are inherited, others ones I've started with my own children. Like hanging the wreath on the front door. (The only red out there right now is the sold sign.)
Decorating the tree.
Baking mince pies. I like to make small ones with a star shaped top.
There are more: flicking through my copy of the Radio Times, watching favourite DVDs, reading Father Christmas to the kids, listening to Christmas music, buying stollen and lebkuchen, attending school nativities and carol concerts. I'm sure you have your own traditions too - and they are probably very similar to mine - but one thing the children and I always do at Christmas, and have done since they were very small, is bake gingerbread.
We eat a few straight away while they are still warm and some might be given away as gifts, but most of them are hung on the Christmas tree as decorations. They're never perfect and that's the point. Some are a little wonky, some a little overdone, but it doesn't matter. It's tradition.
Spices of course come in an earthy rainbow of colours - I'm thinking of bright yellow tumeric, fiery red paprika and all the other shades in between. But Christmas spices seem to be brown, both before and after cooking.
And the thing about brown, whether it's gingerbread biscuits, wooden decorations or simply wrapped brown paper parcels, is that is all looks so very good with the traditional red, green and white of Christmas, and provides such a neutral base for some festive sparkle.
What are your Christmas traditions? Do you make gingerbread tree decorations too? Or a gingerbread house maybe? That's on my list for next year.
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Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:
What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.