I'll admit now that I am a big fan of the holidays. I always was, but I've deteriorated since living away from my hometown. Instead of getting homesick, I get fanatical about the holidays. From 1st October through to the 15th February, I get starry eyed and nostalgic. I hum Christmas carols at odd and inappropriate times. I've forced people to drink homemade eggnog.
Living in Germany has made things worse. Germans know how to do Christmas with gusto. Therefore, I've had a secret hankering for Christmas since holidays cards went on sale in August. Publicly, I cried, "Too early! Not yet!" though I longed to pick them up and run my fingers over their green and red glitter. I withstood. At least for a little while.
I finally broke down mid-October. One right after another, I produced my goods -- Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, and glorious mincemeat. I sat down amidst of my flour-strewn kitchen and surveyed my booty. One whiff and there was Christmas in all its spicy, fruity, boozy glory. With precision, I wrapped, sealed and secreted each away into the deepest, darkest corner of my pantry.
But that wasn't the end. Every few weeks whenever I'm home alone and need a dose of holiday happiness, I lock the door, out comes my supply and off comes the wrapping. I jealously survey each for blight, add in a bit more alcohol, and take a deep, delightful breath. Satisfied, back they go, my family none the wiser.
Finally, the tree is up, lights are aglitter, cards posted, Christmas markets are scheduled, and my holiday mania is pacified (for now).
So, for the truly obsessed, I've compiled the following list of my minimum holiday eating requirements: