Tummy Monday Flowers, or something, on Tuesday.

I’m sorry for missing all the regular posts, but on top of the regular holiday business, my cold came back with a vengeance.

But the cold seems to be on the way out (I hope it cannot read this. Last time I said something like that, I wanted to die the next day…), Christmas Eve is over (the big day in Germany) and from now it’s visiting relatives and having them cook.

So, first, have yourself a tree:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Every year, people decorate trees ion the woods. We wanted to do so as well, I even bought ornaments, but sadly it was either always raining or I was sick. But we went for a short walk yesterday and brought birdseed and nuts to the birds in the woods.

As I said, the next days are for visiting relatives. A few years ago we decided that since we couldn’t visit anybody on Christmas Eve without other people being offended and feeling less loved and what have you not (because being 60+ does not mean handling your emotions like an adult), we wouldn’t leave the house and nobody was allowed to visit and that really, really improved our Christmas time dramatically.

On Christmas Day, Mr’s family visits each other. Each year, one of the siblings hosts the whole family. This year it’s my favourite aunt in law. I promised a cake.


©Giliell, all rights reserved.

That’s espresso infused chocolate cake. The first filling is vanilla and espresso buttercream and caramelised walnuts.

The second filling is buttercream once more with oranges that have been marinated in spiced rum and white wine for about two weeks. I also used that syrup to moisten the cake. On top there#s more oranges, some fresh, some marinated, and a few pomegranate seeds. That took most of my time yesterday morning.

Now for gifts. Charly has lamented the obligatory nature on Christmas gifts, and I fully share that sentiment. I love making gifts and I enjoy giving just as much as receiving. I don’t need Christmas for that. Nevertheless, there’s going to be a lot of resin jewellery this year, which gets me to the fuck annoying things. I’m going to give jewellery to all the ladies present today. That includes my mum in law. Who will politely thank me, but never wear it, but who would be very upset and hurt if I didn’t give her something she doesn’t like anyway, because see above.

©Giliell, all rights reserved.

Anyway, here’s all the gifts for friends and family.

I hope I’ll have time and muse for some better shots of certain things between the years, I really need to post an update.

And last but not least, temperatures dropped to December levels over night and I was greeted with ice flowers at the window.

Ice flowers

©Giliell, all rights reserved.

Ice Flowers

©Giliell, all rights reserved.

I hope you all get some rest, a time to breathe, and good food and time with your friends and family.



  1. says

    After 29½ years together, Partner and I have finally managed to have the perfect exmess day, just the two of us. Bliss.

    Hope everyone else’s exmess goes by with as little drama as possible.

  2. kestrel says

    That cake is just glorious, truly lovely to look at. It must have been a triumph of tasting! The resin jewelry looks great, who wouldn’t love to get one of those?

    In my family it was always considered better if you could make something by hand rather than buying it. As a result, my mother’s house is packed with stuff I made for her over the years. I would find someone who did not appreciate a hand made gift to be very tiresome.

    I hope everyone has a pleasant holiday.

  3. Jazzlet says

    Beautiful cake that sounds delicious and beautiful presents too. I hope your cold is truly on the way out, that you have a good time visiting and being visited, but most of all that you get some good relaxing times.

  4. says

    That jewelry looks beautiful.
    I know how you feel with your mum in law. I have the same situation with my sister in law, who will not get any present whatsoever from me, ever, because she does not appreciate them at all. I like to give hand made gifts, but my creations tend to be at least a few dozen hours a piece, so I am very picky about who gets them. That also means, unfortunately, I am not able to give something to all people whom I would like to.

  5. Onamission5 says

    Holy shit that cake.

    Are we related? I honestly think my mother’s primary joy in receiving gifts comes from the ample opportunity to pout and complain about them afterwards.

  6. says

    That cake.

    I don’t give gifts at holidays -- in fact my habit of randomly sending people boxes of stuff is cunning concealment of that fact. Nobody ever expects anything from me ever, any more, so I am off the hook entirely.

  7. says

    I have no surviving relatives that I do not like. Or I’d be giving them lovely 1 foot lengths of 1 1/2″ high carbon wire rope! It’s more durable than a fruitcake!

  8. says

    Nah, it’s not that I don’t like my mum in law, it’s just that she#s one of those permanently unhappy people whom you cannot really bring much joy. She got the clock she asked for (we do a secret Santa in that part of the family).

    The cake was delicious, even though my buttercream was slightly off. Never happened before with that recipe. Next time I#ll do half recipes again.

  9. Nightjar says

    Oh the ice flowers are wonderful!


    I honestly think my mother’s primary joy in receiving gifts comes from the ample opportunity to pout and complain about them afterwards.

    That is the most perfect description of a certain relative I have… this year she got something she asked for and for the first time didn’t pout and complain, but wanted to know how much it costed to give us the money because we “only bought it because she told us she wanted it, so it’s not really a gift”. Yeah. But to keep the pouting tradition alive, she did pout and complain about the gift her husband received because “what does he need that for”. *sigh*

  10. Jazzlet says

    We don’t do gift giving at Christmas at all and haven’t for years. My MiL did insist on giving us sweets, a chocolate orange and a Toblerone each, plus wine gums for Mr Jazz every year, but she died last May and hadn’t been capable of gift giving for years before that. It took a lot of insisting to persuade people not to give us things, but in the end we managed it. I hated getting things I didn’t want, but felt awkward about giving away, and we have been lucky enough to be able to buy most things we want for years. We do give people things we find we know they’d like, but the gifts are given as and when we see people, from the response we get I think they are even more pleased than they would be if we saved them up for Christmas. It would be different if we had children, but we don’t.

  11. rq says

    I like giving gifts that will be appreciated -- this year for my mum, the ultimate “person who has everything” (and can buy everything else), my present siblings and I put together an edible basket of foodstuffs she would enjoy, and a bottle of Macedonian wine. She’s mentioned several times that she wants less stuff (because woe betide the person who will have to sort through it all), but she appreciates taking her taste buds on a journey.
    Husband and I stick to music or funny t-shirts for each other, or little things the other complains about (for instance, last year he complained he has no nice slippers). But yes, less is best, if you have a group of people having a good time together. And the more time passes, the more I also appreciate the ‘less people’ part.

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