Isn’t family life so busy? I always thought that as children grow, life becomes easier, and it does in lots of ways, but family commitments grow too, and there is never enough time. I remember spending hours on a Saturday baking with my mother. She would begin after breakfast, and not really finish until mid-afternoon. Clearly I didn’t belong to nearly enough drama clubs, or have much homework, as I was always able to join in.
I wish I had more time to bake with my own children – Maddie is becoming quite a cook, but the Bug is actually the keenest baker. They are both so busy that baking is often a hurried task, born of the desire for snacks, or the need for pie, rather than of the joy and therapy of creating something lovely.
The one time that changes though, is Christmas. At Christmas we bake. We observe stir up Sunday, pouring giant bags full of glistening fruit into buttery bowls to steep, tackling complicated constructions of candy-encrusted gingerbread, and melting coloured sugar into stained glass windows for edible tree decorations. And it’s the best part of Christmas for me. Christmas baking is my favourite time spent with my family in December. It’s become such a tradition that the children now want to schedule it into our packed diary, to make sure it’s not overlooked.
Whitworths – known for their baking, and healthier snacking products – feel the same way, I think, because they’ve come up with a plan to get the nation baking together this Christmas. They’ve created a competition that is seeing bakers across the UK upload pictures of their cake creations, along with a note about who they baked it for. And to set the scene for families, they’ve come up with this lovely e-book story that tells the tale of a family who’ve forgotten to buy a Christmas gift for Grandad right at the last minute. Flick through the pages for a heartwarming children’s tale inspired by the need to bake:
So what’s your Christmas baking tradition? And who do you most love to bake for?