Even though it’s been sunny in Tokyo, almost spring-esque some days, I have still been enjoying getting in the festive mood. Each year I enjoy Christmas more and more and strange really as in Japan it’s not really celebrated in the way that I like. Yes, there are Christmas trees, decorations, the full commercial side, even advent calenders for sale in the last couple of years, but something missing. The indulgent, ‘why not, it’s Christmas’ feeling, ‘keep the change’, Christmas charity I remember from living in the UK and the food! It’s possible my memory is slightly romanticized but I like it anyway and each year with my Tokyo family I guess from missing the usual festivities we make what effort we can and have our own little version. This week with catering for Xmas events and baking cookies, I feel particularly Christmassy and maybe the snow in England has something to do with it, but I really felt like some Mulled wine. Such a perfect warm drink and I love the smell of the citrus, spices and wine as it’s being prepared. I had a lonesome orange, a bottle of red and with some whole cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar this was a treat for my first night off in ages. Lots of ways you can vary this. Try different spices, slicing the fruit or keeping it whole, oranges, lemons, say the bells of St. Clemens… whatever you feel like. I like the fruit whole or sliced in half with the spices pushed into the fruit like Christingles. I remember making them at school and like the feeling of the spices being pierced into the peel with the spray of citrus. Try some and get festive I say. Why not, it is Christmas!

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