Hello! How are you feeling about Christmas? I had an interesting discussion with some lovely friends recently about the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas. We were all talking about some of the negativity surrounding giving gifts and how each year the talk turns more to budgets and wish lists. Now, for starters, I totally get the budget thing, you can’t be expected to spend more than you can afford to on gifts at Christmas especially when you have a whole year of expenses and financial responsibility caring for yourself and family, I get it, I do. The thing is though that I’ve spent time with some of the worlds poorest people in remote jungles of this world and they got it, they got what it means to give a gift. These people would share from what they have, often way too generous than they should have been with their cooking and hand crafts and time. I love to give gifts and I quite like getting them too 😉 If I am given a gift, I don’t give a stuff how much money you didn’t spend on me, I just love to see what you came up with when you thought about what I might like. A hand drawn card can bring tears to my eyes.
I hear people saying that they’ve been given a budget for gifts or they’re doing a secret Santa system so they don’t have to think about as many presents and they can spend more on one or two people. I am one of those people saying that, my family does it too, I don’t deny it can make it easier and its especially effective if someone has a particular need that they otherwise couldn’t afford, I get it, it certainly has it’s place, go for it. I also understand that present giving should be fair and making someone feel less important by the gift they are given is awful so if setting a budget stops favoritism amongst family members, than yes, I see your point. But in some cases I do wonder if we are missing the point a bit. Giving a gift at any time of the year shouldn’t be about how much you’ve spent or how frustrating it is to find something for that person who seems to have everything. Can we please stop caring about spending big and just buy, make, write, draw, sing, bake, paint, build, plant, fix, host our way into this season of giving?
I know it’s easier said than done, you may have extended family who would get pretty cranky at you if you just sang everyone a song on Christmas day and they had bought you that expensive kitchen appliance you’ve been blabbing on about. You may be better off just keeping the peace than starting a family war with your lyrical gift but if your family and friends are open to the idea maybe next year we could all just turn the commercialised pressure down a little bit without completely giving up on the act of giving.
Here’s something we are making this year as little gifts. Don’t be fooled by it though, I have also bought gifts from the store for family members who asked for things that they would find really helpful. Mixing it up and keeping it real!
To make this fudge is really simple. You just gently melt 200 gms of dark chocolate in a saucepan on low and poor in a 390ml tin of condensed milk and a pinch of salt if you would like. Nuts are optional, but I added around a cup each of pecans and macadamias that I had slightly broken up in the food processor. Mix it all together and pour into a lined loaf tin. Let set in the fridge for a few hours and slice into bite sized pieces. Delish with a hot drink. This keeps sealed in an airtight container for a couple of weeks in the fridge, so it’s perfect for making in advance. Give in a pretty glass jar with the recipe attached.
Hope you didn’t mind my rant….it is a blog though….