In keeping with American tradition, just after Thanksgiving, one whole month ago, I started to well and truly get into the Christmas spirit. I was pretty excited this year (although saying that, I'm excited every year!) because not only was it our first Christmas in Baltimore, N and I were having our first Christmas together!
I knew I had to get organised this year so that I could send some stuff home before the posting deadline, so as soon as N was off in New York with his friend I headed out to a mall to start shopping. I got distracted pretty quickly though! Rather than buying presents to send home I bought several things to Christmas-ify our apartment, including advent calendars and an advent candle.
And some groceries so that I could make the Christmas cake and, for the very first time, my own mincemeat!
The following weekend N was back and went to acquire us a Christmas tree, which he sawed down with his very own hands! I think this might be the very best tree I have ever had. And of course called for the first batch of mince pies. Nom nom nom!
The next couple of weeks went by very quickly. We enjoyed adventures with N's friend from The Netherlands, including celebrating Sinterklaas which involved buying each other gifts and writing silly poems! We went to N's department's Christmas party at the aquarium which was pretty cool, but would have been even more awesome if we hadn't just become members the previous week (more about that another time, we're pretty excited!). On the other end of the Christmas party spectrum my department had a pot luck lunch in the seminar room, which was much more fun, and my second (and third I guess, I made double) batches of mince pies seemed to go down very well indeed.
The weekend before Christmas we had some friends over for dinner before we headed out to the Inner Harbour for the Power Plant light show. Of course I couldn't resist using the opportunity to do some more baking, so I tried out this recipe for stollen mince pies which turned out to be incredible!
The rest of the weekend passed quickly in a blur of grocery shopping, present wrapping, preparatory cooking and Skyping with some besties. I think the most fun hour I spent though was icing the Christmas cake!
It's been described as "busy", but I rather like it! And with that I'm off to cut into said cake because I think this post is getting rather long and I'm starting to think our Christmas Day deserves a post all of it's own!