Whether you are a Christian or have another faith, or if you have no faith at all, at the very heart of Christmas is a feast for everyone to come together and celebrate peace and love. These are the core ideas of the festival and it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, when you join around the dinner table and eat together, it is this that speaks to everyone.
And this is why food is so often a good choice of gift throughout the festive season. Giving foods that add a little bit of luxury is possibly the best way to please almost anyone this Christmas. Whether you make your gifts yourself or buy them with love.
Eating together has always been a symbolic way to demonstrate our love for each other. From gathering around a campfire making s'mores to proper adult dinner parties, there is something about sharing food that brings us together on a more basic level than just shared conversation.
Here are a few ideas of what to get.
Chocolate and Sweets
Beginning with the chocolate advent calendar, chocolate is everywhere this season. It comes in luxurious boxes of truffles, big bars to share around and novelty shaped Christmas chocolates that will please anyone, no matter how old they are.
Chocolate makes for a great stocking filler as well as a smaller present, appropriate for work colleagues or more distant friends or relatives. There aren’t many people who don’t like chocolate, so as gifts go, this one is pretty safe.
If you are giving to children, what could be more exciting than to open a box of their favourite sweets? It’s such an easy and cheap gift, and yet it will fill them with delight. The candy cane is a must for this time of year and will certainly keep them occupied for a while!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a gingerbread house and with this gift you have a big choice: to make or not to make. Baking and decorating a gingerbread house is such a lovely past time and who wouldn’t want to be presented with your beautiful efforts? A gingerbread house is a great gift to give at a Christmas party as everyone can get stuck in and share it around.
Alternatively, you could create a gingerbread making set by putting all the dry ingredients into a jar and writing up a recipe. Add in a guide for cutting out and this could be a great way to persuade your children into the kitchen to play with you over the Christmas period. And while you’re in there, White Christmas is a really easy make for your youngest family members too.
Though we all think of the classic Hansel and Gretel style candy house, there aren’t really any rules and you can make whatever you want. Gingerbread beach hut complete with surfboards? You can definitely achieve that if you so wish!
The Christmas Pavlova
A distinctly Australian tradition at Christmas, the Christmas pavlova is a mass of meringue, crunchy on the outside and sweet and cloudlike in the middle, layered with thick cream and fruit. This is the perfect gift to bring to a dinner party and assemble on site. All you need to do is make your meringue base and bring some cream and chopped fruit to top it later on.
At Christmas we spend a lot of time visiting each other and throwing ourselves into making fantastic meals that just the arrival of desert is enough to make each other happy. Contributing to the meal, even in this small way is another opportunity to show that you are all together, enjoying each other’s company and having the most wonderful Christmas.
Eating together is a basic part of being a family, but at Christmas time especially, welcoming others to eat with you is a part of tradition. Cooking up a big ham, firing up the barbie and enjoying a sneaky glass of something chilled and delicious as you cook and the kids play is all vital to the joy of the day.
Giving food isn’t just about providing sustenance, though that is almost certainly how the tradition began. It is about giving something just a little bit luxurious and contributing to a meal. Food is also about cooking together and with small children, the simple bakes and plenty of decorating could be the start of their own introduction to making their own food.
With so much on offer, it’s hard to resist. Ah, well, the diet can start again in January!