After a whole year of waiting,
my favourite month has arrived. December is a special time for me. It’s not just the start of a beautiful season of giving and love, it also marks two birthdays in the family – mine, and that of my eldest daughter, Claire.
The month is proving even more memorable this year – I’m due to give birth to my fourth child, making it a trio of December birthdays. I’ve been joking that from now on, I’ll have to take leave during the last two weeks of the year, to prep for all the celebrations and parties!
As it is, for the last few months, I’ve been juggling getting ready for a new baby in the house, sorting out my festive shopping, and figuring out if I’ll be in any shape (and size) to help with the holiday cooking.
I’m the sort who finishes her Christmas shopping by July, so it’s stressing me out that everything is still up in the air. Until the baby comes, I have no way of knowing when anything will happen. It’s truly a lesson in letting go.
So this year, I’m roping in my kids as Santa’s helpers. At eight, five and three years old, they’re big enough to help with present wrapping (never mind if it isn’t neat, it’ll be torn off anyway!), putting things away and some cooking. Claire is making creme brulee for the family party, and I have a lovely recipe for baked bananas with rum that’s perfect for the season, that the younger ones can help with.
If you haven’t made plans for the holidays yet, our December issue will galvanise you. Try cooking an Asian-inspired menu and see how you can cleverly transform store-bought cakes into gourmet confections (pg 200). Also check out our pick of the best turkeys (pg 206) and log cakes (pg 212) this year. And for a nice office celebration, we have five fab restaurants you can go to (pg 214).
You’ll want to look your best for the season, so turn to page 36 for tips on how to wear glitter eye makeup, plus dramatic but easy nail art ideas to do at home (pg 60).
It’s also that time of the year for some soul-searching – read our feature on the 10 questions to ask yourself, to guarantee your happiness (pg 84).
We haven’t forgotten the little ones either. Spoil them silly with our list of the best theme parks in the world, great local playgrounds and fun December activities (pg 64). And for long, rainy days, turn to page 220 for two craft projects that will keep them busy for hours. Enjoy!
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PENELOPE CHAN, EDITOR