The Bitter and Sweet of Christmas!

This morning I woke up to realise it’s only 4 weeks to Christmas, so today is the day I started preparing to cook all things Christmas for this special time of the year.

I love Christmas and everything it represents: the decorations, the birth of Christ, giving more than receiving, forgiveness, family time, food, holidays, summer time (well in OZ it is!) and missing those who have left us. And this year there is one person in particular who will be very much missed – my dad, but I know he is alway watching over us and will be with us in spirit on Christmas day.

My dear dad, whose hugs and smile I miss every day.

So, as I said, today I started cooking christmassy goodies and, as I often do, I decided to wear an apron to avoid making a mess of my clothes (which usually happens when I cook). So I pulled out an apron from my drawer and realised it was the one bought from the Helen’s Hope afternoon tea. Putting on the apron brought a tear to my eyes, because I realised Helen Hatzis is someone else who will be dearly missed by her family this Christmas.

Unfortunately, Helen passed away from ovarian cancer after a long battle and Helen’s Hope has been set up by family and friends in honour of her memory to raise much needed funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, so please feel free to support them in any way you can.

Beautiful Helen Hatzis, who left us far too early

The first batch of goodies I made are Cranberries and White Chocolate cookies, a recipe I found in the Bill Granger Holiday Cookbookbut I have made them a little less sweet.

IMG_0320I love these cookies. They make great little Christmas gifts and are so deliciously moorish that you just can’t stop at one. Actually, you don’t have to because they have fruit and oats in them, so they are (sort of) good for you – but … please … in moderation 🙂

If you want make them, here is the recipe for CRANBERRIES & WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES and if you’re missing someone this Christmas, remember they aren’t really gone when they are forever in your heart.