Merry Christmas: gifting and feasting

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to everyone! This is my absolute favourite holiday of the year. It’s a day of good food, lots of presents and enjoyable family time. It’s a day when everyone is happy, generous and relaxed and when we can finally catch our breath as the silly season comes to a close.

I started my day at 4:30am when my daughter came into my room to sleep. She was actually quite late because we were up late making Christmas cookies. We made three batches of cookies to share with our family and for Santa.


The first batch were Pillowy Pumpkin Snack Cookies, from Angela Liddon’s new cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day. I love the flavours of pumpkin and spices for Christmas. They seem so cosy and warm and I like to pretend I’m not living in the heat of summer. The recipe was only for 11 cookies, which didn’t seem like enough. Since I ran out of light spelt flour, I thought I’d try another recipe from the book, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies. I still had plenty of fresh pumpkin puree, so swapped that for the majority of the peanut butter. Then I realised I only had 12 more cookies. So by that stage, I now ran out of maple syrup, pumpkin, oats and honey (from a double batch of Lemonsweet, I made earlier). Frantically I found another recipe on the Oh She Glows App for Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie. I have made those before and they taste amazing. I had to swap the oat flour for plain flour but they still turned out just as delicious. I can always trust Angela’s amazing plant-based recipes to make something that will wow. Everyone the next day was really impressed with the flavours of each.

Octavia was very excited to leave out cookies, soy milk for Santa and her Magic Reindeer food and carrots for the reindeers. This is actually the first year she understands what is Christmas, who is Santa and that he’s bringing presents if she’s been a good girl.

She was so excited the night before that I’m surprised she didn’t remember at 4:30am when she woke up. She actually didn’t get up until 8:30am, which is very unusual. Once I reminded her it was Christmas she was back on board and couldn’t wait to see what was under the Christmas tree. She was very spoilt this year. Her favourite things right now is Doc Mc Stuffins and Rapunzel. She got a few Disney toys and books from the franchises, as well as a Djeco Red Riding Hood puzzle and some new goggles (so she can stop stealing other peoples). She also received some beautiful organic Purebaby clothes couple of Vilac puzzles, Penny Scallan backpack, a wooden cash register and a Vtech Digi Art Creative Easel. She’s been so spoilt I’m not sure she even knows what to play with firsts.

I took this photo after we had opened up all the presents and she was in her Christmas bests before we left for lunch. The little reindeer on the tree is the ornament she chooses for this year.



As for me, I got all of these from Marco and Santa. Very excited to crack them all open and try them out. Santa ended up exchanging my PJ’s for cute ones from Susans.



For breakfast, Octavia and I had Apple Pie Chia Seed Jam Parfait (Angela Liddon recipe). I prepared them the night before for all of us. Since I ran out of oats, I used only chia seeds. I was a bit worried, as O loves oats, she eats them every day. In the morning I tried to make Coconut Whipped Cream. I wasn’t very successful with it. It’s something I seem to be incapable of pulling off yet. I will master it one day. Since I ran out of every liquid sweetener I own I added a bit of coconut sugar. It worked fine, but I had a major sugar rush after. O loved it of course. She demanded a cookie after since she’s been looking forward to trying one since last night.


Marco decided to work on Christmas, so we didn’t seem him until 12:30. After presents, we made our way to my sister-in-laws for a delicious Serbian Christmas lunch. We feasted on sarma, burek, roasted vegetables, russian salad, cabbage salad and homemade bread. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of lunch to show you, but I did remember to take one of dessert. My sister-in-law made russian hats, apple roses and raspberry ice cream cake. I only had a little bit because we were already so full.

Afterwards, we made our way to my mothers for dinner. My brother prepared the most amazing grazing table of seafood, cold meats, cheeses, dips, fruits, vegetables and bread. We brought the cheese burek which made in on to the table as well. There was only 5 and a half of us, but we barely scratched the surface of it.


At both homes, we were all treated to more gifts. Don’t you just love the homemade canvas from my 11-year-old niece? She also made the orange coconut body scrub. There was only one thing I received that isn’t in this photo. I received an Italian Cheese Making kit, but since I’m going dairy free in the new year, I’m exchanging it for a Vegan Cheese Making Kit. All-in-all I’m thrilled by everything that I received. I think I’ll write a list for my family every year.


In case you were thinking I was the only one to get amazing gifts, I am happy to say that everyone loved what they were gifted from us too.  Some of these amazing gifts include Ipad, Kitchen Aid, Drone, PJs, and Disney toys and Typo Disney accessories. I did put a lot of thought this year into what everyone would like and was happy that for the most part, everyone seemed thrilled when they opened their presents. For me, it’s about showing our family how much we appreciate them and not so much about what we get back. However, getting something you like is always a bonus.


The day after Christmas I went into the city for the Boxing day sales. I didn’t find anything for myself but I did have a wonderful lunch at Comuna Cantina in the Brisbane CBD. Octavia and I had the Vegetarian Arepas with Sweet potato fries. My friend had the DIY Tacos Board. I definitely have to revisit this place.


So that was my Christmas and Boxing Day. How was yours? Did you get any amazing gifts and/or have an amazing feast?

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