Christmas ideas

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Christmas Cookies and Christmas.

People from all over the world bake cookies for Christmas; they distribute the cookies among family and friends. Christmas cookies, traditionally, are simple sugar-cookies, but people do make cookies that are extravagant in appearance and in choice of ingredients. Christmas cookies become a part of family traditions and it carries on with the progeny.

These cookies are exquisitely shaped and symbolize the Christmas season, with various shapes that depict the Christmas time. There are cookies that are shaped like reindeers and then there are cookies shaped like Santa as well, they are also cut in the shape of various leaves. The cookie traditions began in the medieval age, in Europe. It was the time when imports were increasing and Europe had laid its hand on spices, so, a lot of new flavors were introduced and the cookies were laced with flavors of cinnamon, black pepper among other exquisite spices. Biscuits soon became well known across Europe and it was quickly incorporated into the Christmas traditions. Different cookies were preferred in different countries, Germans preferred lebkuchen while the Swedes preferred the ones made with pepper.
The cookies were introduced to United States by the Dutch settlers in 17th century and it was an instant rage. There were a lot of restrictions on imports earlier but they were slowly relaxed and people could buy cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes. These cookie cutters are used extensively today as we get cookies of innumerable designs. There are various cookbooks that are dedicated exclusively to recipes of various Christmas cookies. These books have traditional recipes along with cotemporary recipes that help you make the cookie of your choice. These cookies can also be bought from the stores but it is better to have them made at home, so to have that touch of homely goodness.
Children keep the Christmas cookies with a glass of milk for the Santa on Christmas night; the cookies cease to be mere eatables as they have advertently become an integral part of Christmas traditions across the world.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sweet and Delicious Xmas Cakes.

Xmas cakes have been a part of traditions of Catholics in countries that were once British colonies. These cakes are made with dried fruits and can be made in a lot of ways. Some cakes are plain while others are extraordinary. There are cakes that are spongy and there are heavier cakes as well. These cakes are traditionally made at Christian homes and consumed on Christmas Eve. There are cakes in the cake-shops that will take you over with desires. Christmas cakes can also be made of minced-meat and vegetables and can be baked like puddings.
Christmas cakes are made in all sorts of shapes and can be light cake or a dusky one. They can be leavened or otherwise and can be moist or be completely wet and sticky. These cakes can reach new frontiers of cake decorations as they have a huge scope for decorations. There is Santa made of candy standing atop cakes and there are elves dancing by his side as well. There are Christmas trees made of whipped cream and then there are decorated houses standing over cakes as well. Glazing and dusting make the cakes more delicious and alluring. There are cakes made with various liquors like Kahlua, Cointreau and sometimes even Rum, this gives the cake that flavor that is extremely luscious.
These cakes are fruity and full of dried fruits and fresh fruit extracts. These cakes have currants, raisins, almonds, and mostly made moist. Xmas cakes are had with cheese and wine in most of the houses. The Whisky Dundee is the most famous Xmas cake. They were first made in Scotland with the whisky and have a tingling taste. The apple christmas wedding cakes are extremely popular among the masses and extremely among kids. Simple Xmas cakes are sponge cakes that are light in weight and are frosted and then dusted with icing sugar. The smell of baking Xmas cakes can arouse your senses and take you to the realms of heaven and serenade your taste buds with the flavors of Christmas.    

Friday, 25 November 2011

Christmas Shops-Make Your Choice To Select Christmas Goodies.

Christmas shops are full of Christmas goodies and souvenirs that will fill your homes with the Christmas enthusiasm. The Christmas items are on full display in these well decorated shops, they are colorfully decorated with lights and various other accessories that exude the Christmas feel. These places are the hallmark of the streets and shopping centers during the Christmas time.
These places are full of goods that make ideal Christmas gifts; you can visit these stores to have an idea on what to buy as gifts if you are completely clueless, however, these places can still manage to confuse you with the extraordinary variety of items they have to offer. These places provide excellent business opportunities as well for those who want to do seasonal businesses. These shops end up becoming the cynosure of eyes of all the shopping-revelers. These places try to exhibit the Christmas spirit through the means of artifacts; these artifacts can be of huge varieties and can leave you speechless with the finesse that they carry.
These shops do constant reinvention and have new things on display every year. The surprises that these goods promise to deliver can be only lived through the expressions of the loved ones who receive these gifts. These stores possess everything from decoration items to exquisitely built souvenirs. The ornaments that these shops have are specifically Christmas themed and can hardly be found elsewhere. These shops also have life-size reindeers and other stuffed animals that can push your kids’ excitement levels into overdrive. These places are ideal to buy fresh-cut Christmas trees, these Christmas trees are just perfect in their ensemble. These places also sell items meant for the decorations of the tree.
Christmas shops sell gift items that can make your loved one’s eyes glow with excitement so it is something you just cannot avoid. If you have to get the right gifts then this is the place, this is also the place to buy stockings and bows; you can also buy table center-pieces or wreaths that will enliven your Christmas decorations. Christmas lights and decorative plants you can find them all. Visit these stores to make a note of things that you need to buy this Christmas as these places are complete in their offerings.     

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Christmas Backgrounds

Christmas backgrounds celebrate the Christmas spirit and keep you in touch with festive mood.     
Christmas season calls for enthusiasm and revelry and you can have your share of decorations pulled on to your desktop screens as well. Christmas time calls for gatherings and togetherness, you can have the constant remembrance of Christmas spirit even at your work by having Christmas themed backgrounds at your work stations. Here is a description on some of the backgrounds that spell the magic of Christmastide.
Christmas backgrounds bring the festivities to your computer screen; they act like a build up to your Christmas revelry. The backgrounds just beam with colors that signify the theme of the Christmas. The cold snowy winter of December and the sparkling trees make for classic backgrounds, the big moon and the Santa riding on his carriage is a predominant Christmas backgrounds sight. The red and the green and the other Christmas colors fill your life with exuberant emotions that Christmas stands for.
The fir tree that symbolizes the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Spirit is a quintessential Christmas symbol. The divine symbol exhibiting itself through the trees signify the inseparable unity between the human soul and God and the spirit of the world. The love that binds us all comes to full galore during the Christmas time. Christmas time is the best time to get in touch with old friends and family members you haven’t met for a long time. The goal of Christmas is to celebrate the spirit of life and Divinity that it embodies. The Christmas backgrounds reflect this in volumes and can make you cheerful in the gloomiest of times.
The birth of the Christ is one of the reasons for Christmas being celebrated, you can have baby Christ as a background and you can celebrate your oneness with Christ consciousness and the glory of the Lord. The backgrounds do more than just decorate your computer screen; they take you deep inside the various aspects of a holistic life that knit the whole Christmas flavors of giving and sharing together to take form of Christmas celebrations.            

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Christmas Pudding

The tradition of Christmas pudding has its roots in medieval England. The pudding is made of dried fruits and is very basic. Most of the families have their own tradition to follow on making the Christmas puddings, recipes that have been passed on through generations. However, nothing stops you from improvising your recipes. Christmas puddings are to be served at lunch on Christmas’ eve. 
Here is a lip-smacking pudding recipe:
Ingredients: Here is a list of items you need to have in order to begin with the preparations:
·        Flour
·        Suet
·        Oranges
·        Lime
·        Apple
·        Eggs
·        Cinnamon powder
·        Nutmeg powder
·        Bread crumbs
·        Sugar
·        Golden syrup
·        Salt
·        Lemon zest
·        Local brandy
·        Carrot
The Method: To serve four, mix 3 ounces of flour and 5 ounces of bread crumbs and 5 ounces of suet in a bowl and let it set for a while. Beat the eggs and then add it to the flour mixture for better results. Then add finely grated apples to the mixture, and then extract the juices of an orange and a lime onto the mixture. Keep mixing well so as to have an even consistency. Mix well after adding every ingredient. Then add the golden syrup or treacle (it is also called molasses) and grate the carrots and then add them to the mixture and mix well. It is time to add sugar and the lemon zest and the salt. Then stir well again before adding a tablespoon of brandy and mix it again.
Just make the whole bowl airtight with a plastic wrap and let it stay overnight in the fridge. Before starting to cook the mixture, get your moulds of desired shape ready and cover it with grease proof paper so that the mixture doesn’t get stuck in the moulds. Cover the surface of the proof paper with butter and then keep adding the mixture to the pudding moulds. Place limited amount of moulds in the cooker, you don’t want to overfill the cooker and make a mess of the pudding. Let it cool and they are ready to serve. And yeah all this while keep your thoughts fixed on the Ultimate so that the food gets divinized and have its effect on people who eat it, as we know that thoughts have the power to effect everything.            

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Santa Claus and Christmas(Part 1)

Santa Claus and Christmas share an inseparable relationship like a sugar and candies. However, Santa Claus shouldn’t be reduced to the understanding of a mere gift giving old man clothed in red. Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch holiday-figure Sinter Klaas, who was inspired by Saint Nicholas. The concept of Santa was brought to the Americas by the European settlers in the 17th century. The gradual onset of Santa Claus into the American culture happened over the years and reached its peak in the twentieth century.    
The demeanor of Santa Claus, how he acts and behaves and various other nuances were incorporated through the time as poets and writers kept contributing to the image of the Santa that we know now. The transition of Santa from an elf to a human figure happened over the course of 19th century, as his image developed into the man who has the list of all the children in the world and their deeds that classifies them as good or bad and eventually decides the gift the kid would be receiving. Thomas Nast, the writer who wrote for Harpers Magazine in the late 19th century, wrote about the base of Santa being in North Pole. Santa was earlier referred to as an elf but it soon became obsolete and the elves were reduced to the position of workers in Santa’s toy factory.
Various advertisements over the time have contributed to the image of the Santa we know now, the red color of his dress and the significance of Rudolph were all part of major advertisement campaigns. However, there are some mythical roots that Santa has that make him a conglomeration of various mythical figures from the past and from different traditions. The main figure that Santa has evolved from is Saint Nicholas, who used to toss coins through the window and chimneys, thus the modern rendition of Saint Nicholas enters through chimneys to drop by gifts for children as they are asleep. Saint Nicholas was traditionally heralded as the ‘miracle worker’ who brought happiness to the lives of the poor and the down-trodden and also children. He held a glorious position in the eyes of various Churches.

Santa Claus and Christmas (Part 2)

The curiosity in knowing where Santa Claus lives when Christmas is done led various writers to write about where he came from, they said that he was based in North Pole but as the modern world came to know about the hostile environment of the North Pole and how desisted from life it was decided to make Finland the base of Santa, the eastern frontiers of Finland. The place looks like ears and symbolize the attention of Santa on the well-being of the world’s children. Children love Santa more than anything as they flood Santa’s base with letters pouring their hearts into it and sometimes also get a reply from their Hero. The legend of Santa Claus that slowly made its way into North America and through it to the world is a combination of various European as well as American legends. The personification of Santa as an immortal figure who only has children’s welfare on his mind   and who dresses in red and who has white beard and rides on a carriage driven by reindeers is a quintessential element of modern Christmas experience. Various other attributes complete the pot-belly carrying distributor of happiness.     
The affiliation of Santa with Christmas is at an extreme today as the world encounters intense commercialization of Christmas. The million hoardings, the million advertisements on television all depend on Santa to promote their products. Children are vulnerable to the machinations of the capitalism driven world. The gifts of joy are independent of physical goods and children need to know this in this age where sharing of resources is the need of the hour as without sharing of happiness with your neighbors and citizens of the world, true Christmas cannot be enlivened. We should know that the joy and happiness of Christmas should not be restricted to the boundaries of our homes. So, by staying true to the spirit of Santa, we should spread happiness to one and all.