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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 12/15/13

Sunday, December 15, 2013

DECEMBER FOOD HOLIDAYS!




   December is a time to celebrate our faith, be with our family, and enjoy great food. But, there are more food holidays in this month than you might think. Actually there is a national food holiday for everyday of the year. In this article, you'll not only find out which food holidays are in December, but you'll also find suggestions on how to celebrate each holiday.




National Pie Day December 1: Pies are so easy to make, especially if you start out with store bought pie crusts. Just make a quick filling, bake, and enjoy.

National Fritters Day December 2: Try a nice apple fritter for breakfast with a big cup of coffee.

National Apple Pie Day December 3: Apple pies are so easy to make, but since you just made a homemade pie, why not pick up a Mrs. Smith's pie? Just bake and add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

National Cookie Day December 4: This is definitely the time to bake cookies. Get out your favorite recipe and make a large batch for friends and family.








National Sacher Torte Day December 5: Sacher Torte is a chocolate cake that was invented in the 1800s. You can find many recipes online or you can just bake a regular chocolate cake instead.

Microwave Oven Day December 6: For this food holiday, do something fun and find a recipe for candy that can be made in the microwave.

National Cotton Candy Day December 7: This is another food holiday that can be really fun. Spend the day at a local theme park, which happens to be one of the best places to find cotton candy.

National Chocolate Brownie Day December 8: On this food holiday, do something easy yet decadent by jazzing up a store bought brownie mix.

National Pastry Day December 9: Visit your favorite bakery on this fine food holiday and stock up on all your favorite goodies.




National Lager Day December 10: Head to a nice pub and enjoy a delicious lager with meat and potatoes.

National Noodle Ring Day December 11: There are several variations of this dish. Just go online and find a recipe that sounds great to you.

National Cocoa Day December 12: Is there anything better on a cold winter night than curling up with a blanket, your sweetie, and a hot cup of cocoa?

Ice Cream and Violins Day December 13: I'm not exactly sure how this food holiday started, but does anyone really need a reason to enjoy ice cream?

National Bouillabaisse Day December 14: Enjoy a hearty fish stew on this food holiday.




National Cupcake Day December 15: This is another great food holiday. Just make your favorite cupcakes and enjoy.

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day December 16: Go all out of this food holiday and make your favorite candy, chocolate covered cheesecake, and even chocolate covered pretzels.

National Maple Syrup Day December 17: Enjoy a delicious stack of pancakes on this food holiday.

National Roast Suckling Pig Day December 18: I'm not sure who actually has time to roast a whole pig, especially during the holiday season. For this food holiday, just serve pork chops or a nice ham instead.

National Hard Candy Day December 19: It's almost Christmas, enjoy a nice candy cane.




National Fried Shrimp Day December 20: Head out to your favorite seafood restaurant and enjoy jumbo fried shrimp.

National Hamburger Day December 21: On this food holiday, go all out and make gourmet hamburgers. Stuff them with blue cheese and top them with pepper bacon, slices of avocado, and flavored mayonnaise.

National Date Nut Bread Day December 22: Date nut bread is delicious served with sweetened cream cheese.

National Pfeffernuesse Day December 23: These are a heavily spiced cookie. If you wanted to, you could make gingerbread men cookies instead.

National Eggnog Day December 24: On this food holiday, serve up a big mug of eggnog topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.





National Pumpkin Pie Day December 25: Enjoy a nice pumpkin pie with your holiday feast.

National Candy Cane Day December 26: After all the Christmas activities are done, sit back and enjoy a nice candy cane.

National Fruit Cake Day December 27: If you like fruit cake, enjoy a nice slice. If not, enjoy another type of cake instead.

National Chocolate Candy Day December 28: Go to your local department store and stock up on all the boxes of leftover Christmas candy.

Pepper Pot Day December 29: This is a Jamaican soup and the recipe can be found online. This is a great recipe to make if you're tired of the cold weather.










National Bicarbonate of Soda Day December 30: Put your baking soda to use and make some delicious baked goods.

National Champagne Day December 31: Ring in the New Year with a nice glass of champagne or sparkling cider if you don't drink alcohol.

CHRISTMAS IN ETHIOPIA!



Ethiopia (and especially the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) still use the old Julian calendar, so the celebrate Christmas on January 7th, not December 25th! The Christmas celebration in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called Ganna. Most people go to Church on Christmas day.
Many people fast (don't eat anything) on their 'Christmas Eve' (6th). At dawn on the morning of Ganna, people get dressed in white. Most people wear a traditional garment called a shamma. It's a thin white cotton piece of cloth with brightly colored stripes across the ends. It's worn like a toga. If you live in a big town or city you might wear 'western' clothes. The early Ganna mass starts at 4am!




The Ethiopian capital city is Addis Ababa. It's a modern city. Most people who live outside big cities live in round house made of mud-plastered walls which have thatched cone-shaped roofs. Sometimes houses in the country are rectangular and made of stone.
The design of Ethiopian Church is similar to the houses. In the country, they are often very old and have been carved out of rock. In cities, modern churches are built in three circles, each within the others.
The choir sings from the outer circle. Everyone who goes to church for the Ganna celebrations is given a candle. The people walk around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the candles. They then go to the second circle to stand during the service. The men and boys are separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the most important and holy place in the church and is where the priest serves the Holy Communion or mass.




It's also a tradition that one of the Wise Men who visited Jesus came from Ethiopia.
Around the time of Ganna, the men and boys play a game that is also called ganna. It's played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball, a bit like hockey.
Traditional Christmas foods in Ethiopia include wat which is a thick and spicy stew that contains meat, vegetables and sometimes eggs (sounds yummy!). Wat is eaten on a 'plate of injera' - a flat bread. Pieces of the injera are used as an edible spoon to scoop up the wat.
Twelve days after Ganna, on 19th January, Ethiopians start the three day celebration of Timkat. It celebrated the baptism of Jesus. Children walk to church services in a procession. They wear the crowns and robes of the church youth groups that they belong to. Adults wear the shamma. The priests wear red and white robes and carry embroidered fringed umbrellas.




Musical instruments are played during the Timkat procession. The sistrum is a percussion instrument with tinkling metal disks a bit like a vertical tambourine. A makamiya, a long T-shaped prayer stick is used to keep the rhythm and is also used by the priests and a stick to lean on during the long Timkat church service!
Ethiopian men also play a sport called yeferas guks. It's played on horseback and the men throw ceremonial lances at each other (sounds rather dangerous!).
People don't give and receive present during Ganna and Timkat. Sometimes children might be given a small gift of some clothes from their family members. It's more a time for going to church, eating lots and playing games!

PLUM PUDDING, A TRADITIONAL ENGLISH DESSERT FOR THE HOLIDAYS!








    Plum pudding or Christmas pudding, as it is more popularly known, has its origins in England. It is often served about Christmas time, or usually around Advent time. It has been a family tradition in many homes to have a "stir up Sunday", when each child is allowed to stir the pudding and make a wish.


What is Plum Pudding?

    It's almost black color comes from the heavy dried fruits that are used to make it. Traditionally, plum puddings are boiled or steamed using a pudding cloth and would sometimes have charms mixed inside them.  The charms may either be a silver coin, a silver thimble, anchor or ring which all stand for good things in life such as good luck, wealth, a happy marriage and a safe trip.
    A plum pudding does not really have plums in it, but it is full of dried fruits and nuts,mixed with beef suet and citrus fruit juices or alcohol such as beer, rum or brandy. It is often dried out before it is served, as the longer it is allowed to dry, the stronger the flavor becomes. When it is ready to be served, it is steamed and some more alcohol or juice is spread on it to bring out a strong aroma. it may be served with a sprig of holly on top, some custard or cream, and is often decorated with caster sugar on top that somewhat resembles snow flakes.
    Historically speaking, plum puddings probably originated in England during the Victorian period, around 1420. It was first prepared and served not as a dessert, but as a way to preserve meats and make them last all throughout periods when meats are not readily available. The various dried fruits were used as preservatives. During the reign of Elizabeth I, prunes were used and the name "plum pudding" evolved.
    It was only during the mid 1800's that the dish became more popular as a food often served during the Christmas season. These days, ready made puddings are available in stores, specialty shops and supermarkets. Although home made plum puddings are still preferred as perfect gifts for relatives and friends during the Christmas season, ready made cooked puddings are just as good, without going through many hours of preparation.






PLUM PUDDING RECIPE



Total Time:
4 hr 30 min
Prep
30 min
Cook
4 hr 0 min

Yield:
approximately 10 to 12 serving
Level:
Easy


Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 cup chopped suet
  • 1 cup prune pulp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup uncooked chopped prunes
  • 1/4 cup candied lemon peel, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Hard Sauce, recipe follows



Directions

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Mix together the rest of the ingredients, except the egg whites, adding just the yolks. Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Grease a pudding mold dredged with sugar and pour in batter. Cover the mold with its lid or cover tightly with foil. Steam for 3 to 4 hours, depending on the size of your mold. Serve hot with hard sauce. If you are not serving the pudding immediately, store in the refrigerator soaking in 1 ounce of brandy. Add 1 ounce each week.
Serve with warmed Hard Sauce.


Hard sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream the butter in an electric mixer until pale in color. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the flavorings and mix in then adjust, to taste.


Ingredients

  • cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 cup chopped suet
  • 1 cup prune pulp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup uncooked chopped prunes
  • 1/4 cup candied lemon peel, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Hard Sauce, recipe follows

THE WORLDS BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD!











Christkindelmarkt, Leeds - a little piece of Germany in the heart of Leeds City Centre





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   Christkindelmarkt, Leeds is one of the most established German Christmas Markets in the UK, with traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel ride and twinkling colourful lights all creating a unique continental style festive atmosphere in the heart of Leeds city centre.
   Set in the stylish civic setting of the award winning Millennium SquareChristkindelmarkt attracts many hundred thousands of visitors to Leeds each year and forms an integral part of the city’s annual events program.










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   The market consists of over 40 wooden chalet stalls fromauthentic German traders providing a wide range of seasonal gift ideas for everyone including; handcrafted toys, jewellery, Christmas cards and festive decorations, speciality foods and traditional German delicacies such as gluhwein, bratwurst sausages, goulash, soups, schnitzels, stollen, gingerbread and candied fruits.
   The popular Frank-furter Scheune, Kuh Stall and the new Alp Chalet Bavarian eatery provide visitors with a warm and cosy retreat in which to sample the very best in authentic German food & drink, and the ideal way to celebrate the festive period with family and friends. For further details and information visit www.frankfurter-scheune.com

The market is open daily from:
 10.30am to 9.30pmMonday - Saturday and 10.30am to 7.30pm on Sundays







Southbank Centre Christmas Market at the London Eye






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Southbank Centre Christmas Market from 16 Nov – 24 Dec 2012

(11am – 10pm MO - FR / SA & SU 10am – 10pm)

    The Southbank Centre Christmas Marketbrings the real German Christmas feeling to Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival. From 16thNovember – 24th December 2012, Queen’s Walk along the Thames (London Eye to Waterloo Bridge) turns for the 5th time into a christmassy promenade for the young and the young at heart.








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    Experience a taste of what a traditional, beautifully lit, German style Christmas Market has to offer at the Southbank Centre Christmas Market in London! 80 authentically decorated wooden chalets will sell a wide range of unique hand-crafted gifts and unusual Christmas presents. Wooden and soft toys, unique jewellery, hand made soaps and many more Christmassy products are offered in a magical winter atmosphere. Sip a warming “Glühwein” (German Mulled Wine), enjoy a famous German Bratwurst or indulge yourself with roasted nuts, gingerbread hearts, and many other delicious treats. As well as shopping, the carousel within the Christmas Market and traditional Christmas music will
enthrall visitors, filling them with the Christmas spirit.
   As part of Southbank Centre Christmas Market, stretching all the way along the riverside, two wooden chalets are being designed just for children. Richard Woods is creating a fun and unusual design for the outside while we provide a craft workshop and pocket-money gift shop inside.






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1.30pm & 7pm daily Choir performance-
Voicelab invites you to a series of free performances at Southbank Centre’s Christmas Market. Soak up the festive atmosphere on your lunch break or after work with performances from local schools and office choirs performing all musical styles – the perfect accompaniment to a pre-show mulled wine!

 For additional information on the Southbank Centre Christmas Market, please visit:www.xmas-markets.com /www.facebook.com/XmasMarkets







Manchester Christmas Market





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All you need for Christmas in the heart of Manchester

17 November – 23 December 2012


   Don your Santa hat, dust off the mulled wine glass, and get into the festive spirit - it’s time to head down to Manchester’s world famous Christmas Markets.


   Attracting shoppers from all over the UK and beyond, the market has put Manchester city centre firmly on the Christmas map – the Christmas Market has become not just a fabulous place to shop but also a hugely popular leisure destination in its own right. No Mancunian winter is complete without a wander through the chalet-lined streets of the markets.








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   This year the market will be celebrating its 14th year and will take over eight different spaces around the city, each with it's own distinct character and atmosphere.
   The array of over 200 stalls is mind-boggling, with mouthwatering delicacies from all over Europe. The choice is getting bigger and bigger and includes gifts, crafts, jewellery, clothes, toys and an array of food and drink. Treat yourself to anything from Dutch mini pancakes, to Hungarian goulash to Spanish paella to French profiteroles. Relax with a hot chocolate, German or Spanish beer, or French wine. Soak up the atmosphere of a truly international event with a uniquely Mancunian flavour.







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   European and local producers offer everything from fine amber jewellery, handcrafted leather bags, and top quality bonsai trees, to Dutch cheeses, French breads, and Spanish chorizo. Perfect for alternative gift ideas.
   The Christmas markets first arrived in the city in 1998, when the council of Frankfurt hosted a small traditional German market of just 17 stalls in St Ann’s Square.
   And with all glasses and mugs returnable as part of an environmentally friendly deposit scheme, your Christmas markets are greener than ever.

All market sites (except Albert Square*)
Nov: 10am - 7.30pm (bars open until 9pm)
Dec: 10am - 8pm (bars open until 9pm)
Albert Square    10am - 9pm every day

For full information visit www.manchestermarkets.com






A Traditional Christmas Continental Market in Belfast






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   Belfast one of Europe's biggest tourist destinations will welcome back its wonderful Christmas Continental Market. The fabulous City Hall gardens are transformed into a bustling Continental  village providing a great shop around Europe opportunity in the heart of this famous City Centre. The Belfast Christmas Market also guarantees a real Irish welcome for all its visitors.

Location


   One of Belfast landmark buildings the famous City Hall with its beautiful gardens provide a wonderful backdrop for the Belfast Christmas Market, situated right in the heart of the City Centre and its wider retail shopping areas. The Market is situated directly alongside the central Bus link and taxi station so transport and travel are never far away.






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   Among the retail theatre taking place each day, visitors will be able to avail of the now infamous culinary delights including a range of products such as cheeses, olives, Italian nougat, Belgian chocolates, French tarts, (made on site by a fantastic Breton Patisserie) Mouthwatering foods will be available for customers to sample and buy as they wander around the Yuletide market - giant Bratwurst sold from a traditional Schwenkgrille, Spanish Paella, exotic and rare meats from around the World such as Alligator, Impala, Kangaroo and Wild Boar. For those who enjoy Crepes one of the best Creperies in Europe will be selling both the sweet crepes and savoury Galettes alternatively the Dutch equivalent the Pofitjes (or mini pancakes) will be served with a variety of toppings. And of course bringing a great splash of colour is the Dutch Bulb and Plant Garden selling a fabulous array of bulbs, trees, shrubs, garden ornaments and bird feeders.








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To warm you

   The market features some fantastic refreshment areas such as the Continental Bar and  Lavery's traditional Irish Bar where you can hear some great live music or wander around the German Gluwein and Bratwurst Stands enjoying a great glass of warming mulled wine.
   And if all that shopping, eating and drinking doesn't satisfy you, you can also take the family to visit to Santa (supporting the Northern ireland Children's Hospice) in his specially designed Grotto
   The Belfast  Christmas Market is completely adapted to assist the disabled to have comfortable and enjoyable experience. Mon - Wed 10am - 12noon we offer assisted tours of the market to groups who pre-book - to do so please email esther@typeabconsultancy.co

Some useful web sites


www.flickr.com/belfastcitycouncil, where there are photos of last year's market. 











Rochester Christmas Market






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Rochester Christmas Market
(Rochester Castle Gardens)

December 1st and 2nd and 6th through 9th.

   The Rochester Christmas Market will be taking place in the iconic setting of the castle gardens.
   Around 70 market stalls under canvas marquees will be offering visitors a wide variety of festive gifts, souvenirs and novelty stocking fillers.   During the market festive lighting, decorations, Christmas tree and traditional family fun fair will be complimented by a daily program of entertainment and music.
   So pop along to the Rochester Christmas Market this December to soak up some festive atmosphere and enjoy a hog roast, hot chocolate or roasted chestnuts as you browse the wide range of stalls for those last minute gifts and stocking fillers.







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• Wide selection of stalls
• Affordable presents
• Stocking fillers
• Santa's Grotto
• Face-painting
• Christmas family funfair
• Refreshments & Christmas faire


   The Christmas Market will be taking place during the Rochester Dickensian Christmas weekend on Saturday, 1 and Sunday 2 December.  It will then continue from Thursday, 6 to Sunday, 9 December, 11am to 6.15pm.   Visitors should note that High Street entertainment and the parades only take place during the Dickensian Christmas on the first weekend in December.



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   The Rochester Christmas Market at the castle makes a perfect day-trip out for turkey and tinsel tours. So, if you are touring Kent or passing Rochester en-route to London or the Channel Ports around the 6 to 9 December, then why not include this Christmas market in your itinerary?  It is advisable to let us know if you are intending to visit Rochester on these days, so that a parking space can be reserved for your coach at Acorn Wharf Coach Park.
A coach booking system is in place for the Rochester Dickensian Christmas weekend (1 and 2 December, 2012).  It is essential that coach groups visiting the Christmas market at the castle during the festival weekend pre-book their parking.   A coach booking form for this event can be downloaded from www.whatsonmedway.co.uk or by emailing mary.sewell@medway.gov.uk.







The South West's Premier Christmas Shopping Event






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   Just a short stroll from Bath Spa Station, in the centre of the city, you will find Bath Christmas Market - one of the largest festive events in the UK and certainly the most beautiful. 

   For 18 days, more than 130 quaint wooden stalls line the squares and streets surrounding the impressive Bath Abbey, selling everything you could possibly need for your festive celebrations.  Gift ideas abound, including clothing, accessories, crafts and toys as well as more unusual or one-off pieces of art and jewellery.  Stock up on festive foods with cheeses, pickles and meats galore, and sample wines, liqueurs and local cider to compliment your choices.  Treat yourself to luxurious chocolates and puddings – or why not put together a hamper as a wonderful gift?







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   Get well and truly into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the atmosphere of the market.  The enchanting sound of carols and the tantalising aroma of sumptuous food on the air add to the ambience of the market, creating a magical experience.  There is no need to rush – with the market open late most evenings, you can take your time and browse the stalls under twinkling lights, before perhaps retiring to a bar or restaurant.
   Ideally located in the heart of Bath’s main shopping area, with well-loved high street brands and designer boutiques all around, you can’t fail to find everything you are looking for.  Give yourself a treat this festive season and get your Christmas shopping ‘wrapped up’ in one magical day at Bath Christmas Market.






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SKIPTON YULETIDE FESTIVAL & CHRISTMAS MARKET 2012






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SUNDAY 2nd & SUNDAY 9th DECEMBER 2012

   The 'Gateway to the Dales' brings you Skipton's famous Yuletide Festival and market, which is now in its 18thyear. This hugely successful event, brought to you by Skipton Town Council and the Skipton Business Improvement District attracts tens of thousands of people from across the country on the first two Sundays of December.


   This year, the event takes place on Sunday 2nd and Sunday 9th of December.


   Skipton's famous Market will be in full festive flow on both days – running the full length of the High Street.


   Together with the market there will be a full range of entertainment in the Town Centre throughout the day, both in the main High Street Arena and at locations across the Town. The whole of Skipton truly has a real Christmassy feel...






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   The Yuletide Festival is an ideal opportunity to sample a great atmosphere – and to bag yourself a pre-Christmas bargain at the same time. In fact, you could do ALL your Christmas shopping in one go at the fabulous range of independent shops, market stalls and famous high street brands. Skipton also has two department stores – and a fabulous range of places to eat and drink.

   Acts are still to be confirmed, but we hope to see the return of Bjorn the Polar Bear, the Tap Dancing Turkeys, talk of the town last year Musical Ruth and her piano as well as the hilarious Granny Turismo'shttp://www.grannyturismo.net/...plus along with these great acts we have our regulars - Skipton Brass Band, Barnoldswick Brass Band, Nelson Brass Band and Accrington Pipe Band adding to the festive occasion...















We also have two of Santa's REAL REINDEER in attendance on both Sundays of the Christmas Festival.


Each day of the Festival rounds off with a procession up the High Street to Holy Trinity Church (starting at 4pm) where a traditional Christmas carol service takes place in the grounds!


Full details available online at: www.skiptonevents.co.uk









Something for Everyone at Bury St Edmunds!









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   Between 23 November and 25 November, the historic centre of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk will be transformed into a wonderful Christmas market with colourful stalls selling local produce and crafts as well as traders from around the UK and mainland Europe, traditional fairground rides and on-stage entertainment.
   The Angel Hill area of Bury St Edmunds, with its recently crowned cathedral, medieval Abbey Gate and links with Charles Dickens is the ideal setting for a traditional Christmas Fayre. An added attraction is the town’s nearby cosmopolitan shopping centre with its great mix of famous name stores and independent shops plus cafés and restaurants galore. Visitors on Friday and Saturday will also be able to sample the delights of Bury St Edmunds provisions market on the Buttermarket and Cornhill while, this year, the date also coincides with the Cathedral’s Christmas Fair and the Medieval Fayre in Moyse’s Hall Museum. There will be street entertainment on all three days leading up into the town centre and more stalls in our new shopping centre 'arc' There really is something for everyone.






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   Bury St Edmunds has good value parking close to the town centre and a  park and ride service will operate. For groups and coach parties there will be coach drop off points close to Angel Hill on all three days. Coaches will be able to park all day for free, there will also be a free taxi service provided for drivers to take them into town and a £5 meal voucher for all pre-booked coaches.
   Details from Bury St Edmunds’s Tourist Information Centre on Tel: 01284 764 667 or click on the icon which take you directly to our website.  The market will be open 10am-7pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday.







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Basel – The Christmas City at the heart of Europe






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   Basel, located in the three countries corner of Switzerland, France and Germany, is the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting Christmas regions. In November of each year, the cosmopolitan city on the Rhine surpasses itself in the scale and attractiveness of its preparations for the coming Advent period. Basel has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest Christmas city, and is well worth a visit every year. Particularly recommended is the Christmas market, which this year is being held not only on Barfüsserplatz, but also on Münsterplatz for the first time - one of the most beautiful squares in Basel. On both locations and in about 150 stands and wooden huts, traders and practitioners of art and crafts from all over Switzerland and the Basel region offer their goods and give a demonstration of their skills.






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   Not only the well-preserved Old Town is radiant in the warm Christmas light, but the shops and the facades of many buildings glitter with a golden glow. Roughly a hundred tall pine trees border the streets and stand like brightly lit sentinels pointing the way for the visitor. Seven reasons to visit Basel during Christmas time are as follows:
  • Illuminated Christmas streets with roughly a hundred tall pine trees
  • Great Christmas shopping possibilities
  • Top and specialised Christmas shops like the Johann Wanner Christmas House
  • Numerous Christmas concerts
  • Guided Christmas tours
  • Ideal starting point for a European Christmas adventure  .






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Contact Basel Tourism for Christmas packages:
www.basel.com/christmas












Traditional festive fun at A Victorian Festival of Christmas!








Portsmouth Historic Dockyard christmas market, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard christmas markets, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard xmas market, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard xmas markets







   A Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

   Friday 30th November - Sunday 2nd December 2012




   Now, in its 13th year! This family favourite event set in the atmospheric dockyard surroundings, steeped in history, is the perfect way to start your festive season celebrations and preparations!








   Be magically transported into a Dickensian-style bygone era of beautiful snowy streets and experience a taste of days gone by with a magic lantern show, Victorian dancing and a host of colorful characters including chimney sweeps, suffragettes, wenches, Victorian gentry and Fagin with his gang of pickpockets.
   Browse for unique gifts and festive food at our Christmas Shopping markets, the largest on the South Coast.The young (and young at heart!) will delight in seeing the traditional Father Christmas (dressed in green).







   Tickets also include entrance to the Dockyard attractions: HMS Victory, National Museum of the Royal Navy, HMS Warrior 1860, Action Stations and a boat trip of Portsmouth Harbour (weather permitting).


Buy your tickets before end of October for a 10% discount!
Tickets (with 10% discount before end October): Adults: £13.50, Seniors: £12.60, Children: £11.70, Family: £40.50 (up to 5 people – max 2adults/seniors), under 7s are Free.
For further information and to buy tickets online visit the website: www.christmasfestival.co.uk.




CHRISTMAS GIFT TOPIARY!!

 Welcome!




So here is my first Christmas project for the year!!
I saw something similar at our church's Advent celebration & pretty much straight up copied it. I couldn't help it. It was love at first sight! I plan to make a 2nd stack to go on the other side of my door, so I'm not completely done, but I thought I would share it with you anyway.








I started with 3 different sized boxes...9, 12 & 14 inch cubes.
I used an ice pick to punch holes in each of them so that I could run a rebar through them. (It's easier to do the holes first, before getting them all wrapped & pretty.) For the smaller boxes, I slightly off-centered my holes, so that the boxes would tilt on each other.








Then I wrapped them and made bows for each.
Tip: Keep your wrapping paper pattern running the same direction.
Tip #2: Before you poke holes through the paper, put a little tape on it. It will help the paper from ripping.








I also made sure my seams were right down the middle of the boxes so that the ribbon would cover them up. And I used double-sided tape to hold the ribbon and bows in place. I'd love to take credit for these tidbits, but again, I straight up copied this idea!!








What do you think?? I can't wait to make the other stack!