Taking it easy on myself this Christmas

So I’ve decided to take it easy on myself this Christmas period.

Regarding presents, I’ve mostly shopped local this year. Sure it’s a warm and fuzzy thing to do avoiding big crazy busy shopping centres and supporting your small local businesses, but it’s more than that. The small amount extra I may spend per item is well out-weighed by the reduced time and stress I’ve experienced. For me, it’s worth it. Maybe I even spend less all up which means we consume less and the world will be slightly better off for it. I have also put time and personal effort into my presents making them more meaningful for me to give and hopefully the recipients to receive.

Christmas lunch is at my place this year. This is a good thing. I can relax and have a few glasses (or more ) of vino without counting my intake due to driving. I know the host is relaxed about entertaining which in turn makes the whole event much less stressful.

I’ve decided to keep it simple with the food. Luckily we have a long tradition in my family of everyone bringing something in order to spread the load, and cost, of the big family lunch. This year will be no different. Family members are delegated their tasks early on so plans can be made.

Instead of our regular peking duck wraps for entree, I’ve settled upon my chipotle pulled pork. It’s a slow cook, do-ahead dish that will be cooked plenty of time in advance then re-heated to go in wraps with choices of salsa, hot sauces, coleslaw and my partner’s most excellent guacamole( I delegated the sides…see how easy that was..).  

Main will be olive oil confit of salmon. Simply heat the oil with aromatics – bay leave, peppercorn, garlic etc – then pour the hot oil over the salmon into an earthenware dish and let it do its magic. This will be done sometime during the late morning and then it will be ready in time for lunch. Very little effort and no stress of watching oven temperatures or times. Salads provided by sister in law. Ham courtesy of mum. Ice cream plum pudding and the best mince tarts thanks to my sister and voila – Christmas lunch is done!

Yes, I’m eschewing traditional anglo-saxon hot Christmas lunch but I’ve always done things my way, so why stop now?

I’ve also cancelled any unnecessary appointments and avoiding extraneous travel as December traffic is always worse I reckon. I’m suggesting to friends that we catch up in January when we’ve all got a little more time, instead of trying to fit everything in before December 25. I’m saying no to things if my heart is not in it. A friend once told me that if it’s NOT yes, then it’s no. She’s right. 

Anyway, that’s my two cents worth.

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