Merry Christmas! I hope you all had an excellent time, and that your day was everything you wanted it to be.
The boy and I had a lovely time at my parent's house; they're in the same city as us, but even so we stayed Christmas Eve there, and amusingly my mother had no self control and got everyone to open one present on Christmas Eve about 10pm - it gave my sister and I a good laugh, but it was nice, Mum really enjoyed having us all home for the holidays.
Christmas day was busy but at the same time relaxing, with the extended family all coming for a visit. Not many parcels to unwrap for us, we asked for donations towards our 5 year anniversary trip - which I will of course blog more about once we've gotten some more planning and booking done! My two young cousins, both in gorgeous party dresses and matching shoes, had great joy in running about my parents garden firing Nerf darts at each other from their new Nerf guns - I don't think my aunt and uncle have quite forgiven us yet for such an entertaining present pre a two hour car ride!
The weather held briefly so we had breakfast on the deck, and managed to just fit lunch in before the weather turned and the rain started in - for Christchurch a cold and grey Christmas is rather unusual, so the little bit of sun in the morning was a happy accident before the grey.
Speaking of Christmas lunch, I was rather happy with my contribution. The eternally lovely Jessica over at Chronically Vintage blogged a post back in November for a Vintage Cranberry Cake which looked absolutely delicious - my grandmother is highly allergic to strawberries, which are the usual fruit of choice for a Kiwi summer, so finding a recipe that was completely without them was a wonderful find.
I followed the recipe almost exactly, I replaced the vegetable shortening with butter, and also used frozen cranberries in the topping. I did find the cake batter was a little thick and would have been impossible to pour over the cranberries, so I added about 1/3 of a cup of extra milk to the batter, and it worked wonderfully. And here is the result:
I served it with extra uncooked cranberries on the side, which added a brilliant freshness to the dish. The cake was soft and tangy, and beautifully moist, and the cranberry topping was tart and sweet all in one bite. It was divine, I had one piece, came back and my aunt and I split the solo piece remaining on the dish - I'd only been away for about twenty minutes! This is now on my list of favourite desserts to pull out when I'm having people over - it looks beautiful, tastes equally as amazing, and it is so simple.
And then today we went for an early trip out for Boxing Day sales, and I collected a few bits and pieces - three pairs of sheer tights for only $9 total, and their original price per pair was about $40! We also picked up a new Christmas ornament for the tree, a gorgeous red glass heart with white glitter spots on it.
Now looking forward to a few days of rest and relaxation - and anniversary holiday planning!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and have a great season x