I don't make a traditional Christmas cake. Previous attempts haven't been that successful - no one at home likes it except me and I can't really eat a whole cake myself. So instead we have started our own tradition of making a house cake. We started off with gingerbread houses (see below for the 2011 one) but again I found that most of the cake was thrown out when the sweets had been eaten off it. (Small boy nephews and niece did a good Hansel and Gretel job). I don't like wasting food so we invented our own version using Mary Berry chocolate cake baked in a tray, cut into layers and then built up using butter cream with After Eight mint roof tiles and mini roll chimney. Doesn't look as good and it kind of collapsed not long after the photo was taken. But Kate and I had fun making it. And we've eaten most of it.
I also made my sisters' Christmas presents this year. I've talked before here about writing a memoir and when Dad died I kind of got on with it. I enjoyed writing about our childhood in the 1960s and 70s, looking at the old photos and remembering. I used Blurb bookmaking software and was impressed with how easy it was and the results were good even though I used photos of old photos rather than scanning the images in. Yesterday of course they opened the presents. Although all four of them cried when they read the dedication, I think they liked it. The picture on the front shows me and my sister aged 3 and 2 outside our house in Ballyronan in 1962.