As we reach this point in the Christmas calendar, most presents are bought and (with some luck) wrapped, the tree is up and the turkey is ordered. Now it's time to relax and have some family fun.
Always a favourite activity around the Christmas holidays, here is our favoruite gingerbread recipe for you to try. Small (and probably big) children will love decorating these and if you separate different seasonal toppings into sprinkle jars, they can get creative to their heart's content without lots of mess to clear up.
Ingredients for approximately 18 biscuits:
1 tablespoon orange zest
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Beat together the butter, sugar, treacle and orange zest. Mix in the egg.
2. Combine the flour, bicarb, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Divide the mixture in half. Add half of the dry mixture to the butter mixture and blend. Mix in the remaining half of dry mixture into the wet mixture until dough forms. Chill in the freezer for an hour or in the fridge for 2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a baking tray or line with parchment.
4. Roll out a portion of the dough to 5mm thick on a floured work surface. Keep remaining dough chilled whilst you work. Cut out shapes with a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on prepared tray.
5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do NOT over-bake, or biscuits won't be soft. Cool on a wire rack.
6. For the icing: Blend all icing ingredients until combined. Use a piping bag to decorate gingerbread biscuits once they are completely cool.
For all baking accessoires, take a peek at our kitchen collection.
Festive Film Fun
Once you've made your special treats, why not settle down to enjoy them with a family film. There are so many Christmas movies that it can be almost too hard to pick a favourite, but, for us, there are three undeniable classics that the whole family will love. So curl up by the fire with your gingerbread, a hot chocolate (topped with marshmallows of course) and enjoy a couple of hours (relative) quiet amongst the Christmas craziness.
After mistakenly being brought back to the North Pole as a baby one Christmas Eve, Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) goes to New York city in search of his real dad. Lots of fun that's sure to bring the giggles.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
The youngest son of Father christmas, Arthur, goes on a daring mission to deliver a present to a child missed by the high-tech Elf delivery team before the sun comes up. Arthur will have everybody believing in the spirit of Christmas.
The Polar Express (2004)
All aboard a magical adventure to the North Pole. Bringing the book of the same name to life, The Polar Express is just the thing for those who think they are too old to believe in the magic.
To get as cosy as can be, see our Fireside collection.
However you chose to spend the festive break, we wish you a very Merry Christmas with your family and loved ones.