I usually partake of a glass of sherry with mine, to really get me into the Christmas spirit. This is ideal for when you're writing your Christmas Cards or wrapping the presents, with Christmas music playing in the background.
The mince pie in the photo is a tiny bite-sized one, but they are usually larger than that. I have tried all sorts of shop bought ones, but I much prefer the ones I make, using my own pastry. Here in the United Kindom, in the Stuart and Georgian times, mince pies were very much a status symbol at Christmas. Hard for us to imagine that now. Rich people would serve them to their guests in all sorts of different shapes. Having pies like this meant that you were very rich and had truly made it in the world, as you were able to afford the most expensive pastry cooks.
Sometimes, when watching Downton Abbey and period dramas like that, I often think that I would like to have lived in those days, when sherry was served out of decanters and your clothes were all laid out for you. In truth, I fear I would have been the poor little housemaid, getting out of bed at 3.30 in the morning and cleaning out the grates, before the Lord of the Manor came down for his breakfast in the morning! Oh well, a girl can dream.
On Christmas Eve, little children over here usually leave out a mince pie and a glass of brandy, for Santa when he calls, along with a carrot for his reindeer.
Another tradition at Christmas time is the hanging of mistletoe. Believe it or not, this tradition goes back to the days of the Druids - that is, long before I was a twinkle in my father's eye! It was supposed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse Mythology, and that's where the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
Mistletoe images courtesy of Pinterest.com
I hope all your preparations are going well for you at this very special time of the year, and I look forward to being with you again soon. Meanwhile, thank you so much for taking the time to drop in to read this Post.