Welcome to Christmas
It’s here! Finally! In magazine land we’ve been thinking about the big day since July (honestly – we’re knee-deep in mincemeat and turkey giblets pretty much as soon as the clocks go forward) but it never makes it any less special. It’s a time when families and friends come together, celebrate another year past, and are thankful for each other (and that it’s acceptable to eat chocolate before breakfast and drink alcohol at midday, or is that just me...?). Either way, it was with all this in mind that we planned our bumper Christmas issue. From our special, soft-touch cover (stroke it and tell me that’s not lush) and the tasty slice we chose to grace it with, to our guide to the ultimate family Christmas dinner – everything has been carefully considered. Our white velvet snowball cake on page nine is what all of us at HQ will be making instead of a traditional fruit cake this year. It’s an extra special, light and fluffy sponge flavoured with coconut (the ingredient of 2016) that looks incredible and tastes even better. The truffles on top, too, are the perfect addition to homemade Christmas crackers – find out how to make the latter in our festive, table-styling lowdown at the back of the comic. We’ve also been sharing our ultimate recipes for Christmas dinner with each other this year (and now with you). This meal is so personal, after all, we thought it only right that we reveal what we really cook when we’re at home over the holidays. Janine our food editor, for example, makes life easy while still ramping-up the flavour with her stuffed, porchettastyle turkey crown, while my mum and I always top our mince pies with viennese whirl biscuit. Get both recipes (and loads more) page 25. Inside, too, there are plenty of ideas for big sharing feasts – I especially love the idea of the mix and match mac ‘n’ cheese bar – as well as healthy and quick midweek recipes for the rest of the month. We’re pros here at O at finding the best shortcuts – for the third year in a row we spent the last month blind-tasting the best the supermarkets have to offer, selecting our favourites to make your life that little bit easier in our Christmas Supermarket Awards 2016. Read the results and look out for our winners’ stickers in stores – it’s our stamp of approval. We’ve also a sneaky look at the trends for next year (and there’ll be more online, too), a round-up of our favourite Christmas shopping destinations around the world if getting a glass of glühwein is as important as stocking up on gifts, and ideas for food-inspired trips in the new year. So, enjoy this month of excess, let us know what recipes you’ve been cooking with the hashtag #Omagrecipes, and I look forward to seeing you in January. Merry Christmas my little olives!