Anyway, in order to get in the mood for the festivities this year, I've done some preparations. I have two advent calendars - one for tea, from a company called Yawn, and one, of course, for chocolate, from Hotel Chocolat. I've opened the doors for 1 December today. The tea was Black Forest Black Tea - pomegranate, cherry stems, moringa, cocoa beans, cranberry, cornflower and safflower petals (plus the ubiquitous natural flavours) - and very nice too. A very good representation in tea form for the Black Forest gateau, for those of you old enough to remember when that was all the rage. It was loose tea, so I had to find my grandmother's little teapot to make it! The chocolate was a mini Father Christmas - and he tasted good too.
I'll update you on what is behind future doors in the posts this month, running up to the big day. I've had a scout around on the contents list for the tea and am particularly looking forward to sampling Ruby Amaretto on 11th, Sleigh Ride Tea Toddy on 14th and Chocolate Fondue on 22nd, but there are plenty of other interesting ones in between too.
The other thing I have done is invite some of 'the family' who have Christmas books out this year to come on the blog and tell me a few things from the books that will convince me that I really don't hate Christmas at all. I'm sure they will manage it - they are a talented bunch - and we will all have a some fun with it too. So in the next three weeks I'll be welcoming Kirsty Ferry, Angela Britnell, Marie Laval, Berni Stevens and starting off next week with Helen Bridgett and Ella Cook, who actually celebrated Christmas in July!
I hope you will join us and help me get into the Christmas spirit.