Wednesday 12 December 2018

Christmas Touches - 2018 Details Haul

   What a hectic month. I'm sure pretty much everyone can relate. And I've had Myth of the Wild to contend with on top of that - but my UK order deadline is rapidly approaching, Friday 14th, so come Monday it'll all be over and I can turn my mind onto Christmas. But the harder I work over the weekend, the more I'll appreciate it! The decorations went up this weekend past, which is one of my favourite things. I love to hang fairy lights across the ceiling, and it makes movie night much prettier. Because that's clearly what people want from movie night. Pretty lights.

   I don't usually spend very much on silly indulgences throughout the year - except perhaps on gym leggings - but come Christmas, I'm as daft as anyone else. It's my favourite time of the year, and I want it to be perfect - which, while we're on the matter, is an illusion - so I do tend to let myself get sucked into trends. The very moment I heard that mead was the drink of choice over mulled wine this year, I bought two bottles. And if a favourite product comes out with a Christmas tone, I want it. But I admit that I've been much more sensible this year, aside perhaps from the Warcraft Christmas jumper, but I did sell an old one to justify it! Otherwise, everything I have given into, like mead, I am excited about. Because I'm good all year, and this is my favourite season. And so I present to you my haul of lovely little things to make Christmas that bit more special.


   Being a fantasy writer and history lover, it's not surprising that anything old, traditional or medieval is likely to tickle my fancy, and as mead is the oldest fermented drink, it appealed to me no end. I bought two bottles from English Heritage, banquet mead, which I'm keeping for Christmas dinner, and traditional mead for an evening of board games with the husband. I rarely drink - I generally don't like it at all, but every now and then, on a special occasion, I don't mind, and Christmas I am liable to have about five alcoholic beverages. Five whole glasses. I know, slow down, right? But that means that if I have anything, I want it to be good.
   It should also be noted that my alcohol of choice at Christmas is actually Buck's Fizz. Because I'm not really a grown up at all. And long may it be that way.

S'mores Naked Marshmallows

   Something for our board games and for Christmas morning's hot chocolate. I got myself the Naked Marshmallow advent calendar last year and leapt on it again this year. I love their s'mores marshmallows. They're filled with solid chocolate chips and coated with biscuit crumbs. They. Are. Amazing. So I bought a few boxes for Christmas morning, and another for a tiny gathering.

Personalised Porcelain Bauble

   Every year Seeg and I buy a single bauble, and date it. 'Cause we're cool like that. This year, though, I made it personal, without need for a tiny sticker on the thread. We got engaged last Christmas Eve, and married this past May, making this our first Christmas as a married couple. Albeit our ninth together. It took a while to find what I wanted - I had an idea in mind, but each piece I found were made of plastic and stickers, and it just seemed tacky. Then, finally, I found PeppyCraftsUK on Etsy, and fell in love with the simplicity of the baubles. I was torn between this one and another seller's but settled on Peppy Crafts because it was a great deal less busy and overwhelming. I love it. The quality is excellent, the paint is smooth and solid, and it looks amazing.

Lebkuchen Lindt Lindor

   Another treat for our board games day! I have a fascination with lebkuchen this Christmas - it made it into a porridge just yesterday! And so when I was on the German Lindt website buying up Christmas chocolates, because the German Lindt stores have a much broader selection than the English ones, and I found limited edition Lebkuchen Lindor, I leapt upon that, too. I bought plenty.
   I'm pretty sure most of my money goes on food over Christmas...

Red Dragon Inn

   Everyone needs board games, and even more so at Christmas! I hadn't played board games in years until I met Seeg. Board games are still very much a big thing in The Netherlands, and when we go over there we play loads with his friends and family. It's great fun! My best friend is a board game nut, too, which I somehow never actually knew, and so we get together as a three to nerd out with it from time to time. Red Dragon Inn was Seeg's discovery. We've played it once for about three hours (a single game can last about 20-30 minutes) and it was awesome. It's ultimately just a drinking game in card form, where you play the part of some fantasy character or other and try to prevent your fortitude level and alcohol level from overlapping. If they overlap, you're drunk and you're out. It's awesome, and so simple. And you have to read the cards' lines as the characters would speak them. We opted for RDI2 for characters' sake. Dimli the Dwarf is my favourite. But I love dwarfs. It's a well-known fact. I do not like elves. Each Red Dragon Inn works the same, they just involve different characters and they can be combined.

Grenade Gingerbread Carb Killa Bars

   A healthier option when hunger strikes at Christmastime. When Grenade brought out their gingerbread Carb Killa bars, I stocked up and fast. They're not as spiced as I'd have liked, but they're delicious all the same. Guilt-free chocolate bars for the days when my protein intake isn't as high as it should be - which is around 0.75g of protein per lb of body weight if you're trying to build muscle, not the convenient and mythological 1g per lb. But that's a matter for another time. They're low in sugar, too, opting instead for polyols which are safe, and so are low-carb. Not something I opt for anymore, and I'm glad of it, I have so much more energy since I put carbs back on the menu, but at this time of year, when there are lots of sweets and pies and whatnot on offer and it's easy to get too much sugar while your protein levels drop, it's smart to have these on hand.

Tolkien Letters From Father Christmas

   I always wake up far too early on Christmas morning. Around 5am. I did say that I've never grown up. And I love to read in bed, but while I'm usually at that around 8am, there's a bit of a difference in natural light level. I can't turn on the light or I'll wake Seeg, as much as I want to, and it's much too dark to open the curtains a crack and read. It's hopeless. And so I'm very glad I bought a Kindle a few years ago. It's barely used, but it does mean I can read on Christmas morning underneath the covers. Like a 10 year old. And this year, after seeing it on the Bodleian Library website regarding the Tolkien exhibit we were much too late to discover, I got it on the Kindle specially. I just have to remember to charge it and update it the weekend before. What a disappointment it will be to forget...

Is there anything you've bought this year to make your Christmas that little bit more special? A food? A family activity? Perhaps it's something you've planned like a surprise outing or visit! Please do share, I'd genuinely love to know all about it!


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