Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Vegan Christmas 2017

2017 is our 3rd Vegan Christmas and I was really excited in the run up to Christmas seeing lots more vegan options (they sold out really quickly and I hope supermarkets buy more in next year!)

I've always gone to midnight mass, but the last few years I've really struggled. As much as I love it, a church at night, filled with candles and singing is so calming and beautiful. This year I went to the Christmas Eve afternoon mass. Taking my oldest and joining my mother. It was lovely. I'll talk about it in more depth sometime, how I have found my own faith, the girl who was kicked out from Sunday school for asking too many questions. 

The main thing for me at Christmas, is about spending time with our family and friends, eating well, remembering those who are not with us anymore and being grateful. 

Christmas Eve Box

Our main one is their Christmas Eve Boxes. They each have a box which I added their names too. Each year we buy them one new decoration, they are stored in their box. Then they put up all the decorations in their box, leaving that empty box out for the elves to fill on Christmas Eve's Eve. 
Then on Christmas Eve, they wake up to a full box of goodies for Christmas Eve. The eves always leave a new set of PJ's, a new mug, treats, and craft things. 
Then when we pack up the Christmas tree, we pack away all their decorations into their box. One day, when they have a home of their own, they will leave with their little box, ready to decorate their own tree! 

Its not Christmas without matching PJ's!

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree...

We have always had a real tree......

This year, after buying my dream car and then having a *insert word here which both covers the word LARGE and A LITTLE SCARY* mot on other...... We just didn't have the money to buy one. 
I love taking the kids to pick the tree its a day out and part of the magic of Christmas but it was only a few days before and we didn't have a tree. 
Without the tree, it didn't feel like Christmas and our minis had started asking. Then with some last minute cash I managed to find a tree at a knock down price due to being on display! 

So real or fake, well I had stuck with a real one as when I looked into it, a real one was less damaging....Here is some really intresting facts - https://www.zmescience.com/other/feature-post/real-vs-artificial-christmas-tree-science-says/ Think the best way is to buy a smaller one with roots (if you can find one) and then keep in a big pot till Christmas. I need to keep our new tree for at least 20 years to pay off the damage. ;)

I was really pleased with our tree and I know if we are broke again next year, I will have a tree! 

While we are chatting about our tree, I have to mention these amazing retro vibe decorations. Very well done Paperchase! I will be keeping an eye out on what you come up with next year! 

My mother who brought these for us, knows us sooo well!! 

Go Retro!

I bang on all the time about how 'they don't make things like they used too.' But its true! I brought a whole new set of china and it didn't even last a year....when I went to replace items they no longer stocked it and I was stuck....I changed it all over to 1960/70, and even with three busy mini people, we haven't broken a thing! Its easy to find replacements and its beautiful! (Also fun to hunt down new items for the set.) 

I love collection china, you just cant get the amazing patterns on new items... Here is my daily china for the house, J&G Meakin Tuilp. 

I wanted a simple table and I had been looking for ages for candelabra. Am a very lucky gal as for my birthday my mother and step father brought me just what I had been looking at! 

Tip - Tea cups make for lovely little pots for sauces !

Snack me up baby!

I love a sharing snack plate, so easy to do, and at Christmas a great way of keeping healthy and using up left overs! click here for tips on what to add

Great to snack in between meals without getting lots of chocolate out ;)

I love the 1970's pineapple and cheese! Love it. If I have a party, its always there....So we tried out not only our favourite vegan 'gary' cheese and a few more! I will add them too our ditch the dairy blog.

It was so yummy, with sun dried tomatoes, and a mint or basil leaf! 

The night before Christmas

Another of our traditions is to read this book on the night before Christmas! This was my mothers retro book and I love it. Its packed away with a few other Christmas books with our Christmas things so its extra special!

I helped a friend find her dream caravan, and opened my door to this wonderful Christmas set!! I will be sad to pack it away, a truly lovely gift and i wasn't expecting anything, just glad to have helped. 

So with a day full of treats, Christmas films and craft. Our minis where tucked up and knackered out ready for the big man to drop off some gifts!

This is important to me, for us, he only brings small gifts for their stocking and whats under the tree is from us and family. 

This was my post on my facebook page - 'I was having a chat with my oldest and again explaining that Father Christmas only brings little gifts for their stocking. That we brought the other bigger gifts, we buy one main gift each, a smaller gift and a book. I think it’s important to buy a few things and not bombard them with lots of things.

Me: So that way he can make bigger things for children who don’t have a parent to buy them something.
Pops: thinking.....
Me: isn’t that a good and kind thing to do, to make sure all the little boys and girls get a gift at Christmas?
Pops: yes mummy, I would love a transformer please. (Think he got it!)

I’ve heard of lots of children going into school and being told that Father Christmas brought their friend an Xbox or 300 gifts....I don’t think that’s in the spirit of Christmas at all. If you have the budget and want to spoil your little people, that’s fine but please don’t say Father Christmas brought it for them!

Christmas is all about kindness, giving, and celebrating with our loved ones. Not leaving other children heartbroken that Father Christmas doesn’t love them or that they haven’t been good enough. '

food glorious food

A very easy meal for Christmas time, is my pancakes! Each time I made them I put them with different things, and it was brunch for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve! The mini people LOVE them, well we all do ;) 

Yummy with melon, and kiwi! 

Or just with lemon and sugar!

You can add extra things into the pancakes too ;)

The main event! 

I made a very simple nut-roast and teamed it with a few pre-made brought items too. 

Christmas dinner has always left me needing a few hours kip afterwards and feeling over stuffed and full......but.....a vegan Christmas dinner, is so different, full but not over stuffed and sleepy! 

We had mashed butternut squash, caramelised parsnips and carrots. Stuffing, sausages, roasted poatoes, greens.....just to name a few and bread sauce! (I brought a packed of bread sauce, I checked it was vegan and then added soya milk, just like you would add cows milk - wow, it was perfect!!)

People can get really stressed about cooking a vegan dinner for Christmas, but just go for it. You can still make an amazing roast, not only is it better for you but also, the animals and the planet. I feel so much better than there is no animal on my plate to celebrate Christmas :)

It was gone pretty quick too ;)

I added a can of pop in place of all the non vegan things to add to make this Vegan Christmas cake - don't judge it was made in a mega rush but it was yummy!!

We still had a cheese board, though I found out I didn't have a board to use!! (Added to my list to get) Along with the cheeses, we had Christmas cake, a lemon & red velvet cake and dips and snacks. (I missed timed things a little and it was all served together.)

Vegan lemon cake :)

Vegan Red Velvet cake :)


Happy New Year

I wanted to make a simple eat all together sort of dish for New Years, so I cooked up wraps! Easy and great way of using up the odd bit of veg too :)

I made two main dishes to go with the meal. I defrosted two Linda Mccartney BBQ 'pulled pork' burgers. Then I fried them and added the sauce, then popped them in the oven to brown off.

The other dish was a tesco own free from soya bite type thing, which I will get you a link for :) I cooked it up in a spicy pre-made sauce my husband brought. Like I said, a quick easy to share meal!

I hope all my lovely followers had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year. May 2018 be your year for great and wonderful things :)

Happy New Year to you all! 

Alice xx

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