Originally Posted by CrystalWriter
I'm asking because on Monday I picked up Good Housekeeping Christmas 2013 magazine, which contains a lot of very nice recipes.
My family already thinks I'm nuts as I've just finished a deep clean of the kitchen.
So is end of Oct, beginning of Nov. Too early to think about it? but considering a small number of the recipes can be made in advance.
I've made my mincemeat and I'm in the middle of my mammoth pudding making. I have a goose in the freezer (because it was less expensive than buying it nearer Christmas).
I always buy the presents when I see them because you can bet your bottom dollar that when you actively go Christmas shopping the shop will have run out of whatever it was you saw 3 or 4 months ago. Consequently I have all but one of the family ones. One of my male relatives is getting socks, which sounds depressingly un-enterprising except it's a special request and they're knitted by my own fair hand.
We've always had a bit of a tradition in the family that hand-made presents are worth more than even the most expensive store bought gift so those of us with a skill and the time to do it produced food gifts or knitted garments or whatever their skill was. My aunt, a skilled dress-maker, used to make me a dress every year and I still remember an old gold coloured dress with the most intricate hand embroidered smockiig when I was about 4 years old. And one of my uncles had been very ill and while convalescing he made me a beautiful dutch doll from felt. I've still got it and I think of Uncle Jack whenever I look at it. I often make up hampers of home-made goodies - c/pudding, a game terrine, a fruit cake, home-made jam, marmalade, chutneys and pickles, shortbread and things like that. Not this year though. The move and work on the house has scuppered that.
If it's a major operation with the whole family in attendance then getting as much as possible out of the way beforehand is sensible. The organiser of Christmas doesn't want to be dead on his/her feet come the big day.