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Cambridge Library Collection Blog Heritage Books, selected by scholars and carefully restored for readers worldwide. More Agreeably Engaged Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies QuinnTessence Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies Angela Quarles Geek girl romance writer. Post to Cancel. Instead, my dining room table and freezer are stacked with storage containers, just waiting to fill platters and gift boxes.
e-book A Fitzwilliam Legacy: New Year Resolutions (Volume II)
For me, once the cookies are completed, Christmas-tide has begun! I shop for gifts throughout the year, but they must be wrapped and many of them mailed to distant family and friends in a timely manner. The house gets a good cleaning, top to bottom. More cooking and baking ensues for safekeeping in the freezer until wanted. Decorations are brought up from the basement and tucked into a corner of the dining room until they are wanted. Although I put a wreath on my front door after Thanksgiving, the rest of our decorating is done on Christmas eve.
The anticipation of it is half the fun; gathering all the family who are home to participate supplies the rest. I hereby confess that I absolutely love a decorated Christmas tree, but I dislike the actual doing of the decorating.
In my younger days, I solved that problem by hosting a tree trimming party every year. One added bonus of this diabolically clever plan was that, although it was never required, most friends showed up with an ornament as a gift. I have the loveliest assortment of novel ornaments now as a result and each one brings warm memories of people and Christmases past.
I equally cherish time spent with family readying the house for festivities. They join in even without the promise of food and drink — but of course I still do cook for them. Cookie platters would not have been a commonplace Christmas-tide tradition in Regency England. Families then would have had their Christmas puddings and Twelfth Night cakes, among other treats. But it was traditional not to decorate a house until Christmas eve. And the decorations all had to come down on January 6 th , or the house risked bad luck.
Here is a snippet from my latest novel, A Fitzwilliam Legacy , that describes the results of one Christmas eve effort at Pemberley. Evergreen boughs draped tables and mantle, filled window ledges, edged door openings — accented here and there with ivy and mistletoe, cones and holly berries. Ribbons of velvet and striped satin intertwined among the branches of garlands to increase by their contrast the convivial setting.
The room glowed softly from the flickering light of beeswax candles established at doorways and windows and in wall sconces, their flames mirrored in the polished silver sticks and candelabras and reflected, jewel-like, in crystal. But sensation redolent of yew, box, rosemary and bay, mingling with candles and warmed spiced ale, after being enclosed all the afternoon, was released upon the opening of the doors, and brought a sigh of contentment from Lizzy as she surveyed the scene.
Christmas also would have been a time, just as it is for me every year, for gathering together family and friends, as Jane Austen herself wrote in Emma. I have shared with you a couple of my traditional activities to prepare for Christmas. I would love to hear some of yours as well. And as the primary subject of this article is cookies, I would like to know: what is your favorite Christmas cookie?
I have one paperback set and one ebook set to giveaway. And if you are still looking for a perfect gift for a Jane Austen fan, or simply a holiday indulgence for yourself, you can purchase a copy of A Fitzwilliam Legacy at the below links. I have just reduced the price of the ebooks as a nod to the season. Whatever your own traditions, I wish you all a joyous holiday season! Tess Quinn. About the author.
Tess Quinn is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen who became inspired to write Austen-based fiction about eight years ago. She began publishing her writing in when asked to contribute a short story to The Road to Pemberley , an anthology. Principles of Pride working title will be available in Newer Post Older Post Home.
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