What your Christmas chocolate says about you

I'm 41 and if there's no Terry's Chocolate Orange in my stocking on Christmas morning there will be tears. That's milk Chocolate Orange for the record.

One year my parents gave my sister and I the dark version and there was beef. Like all family crisis', we met in the kitchen to decide the appropriate course of action.

"But we ALWAYS have MILK chocolate orange," I whined  as I tapped and unwrapped more aggressively than usual over family Trivial Pursuit. "Did you forget?"

"Perhaps Sainsbury's ran out?" my sister offered weakly, I felt it gave them a get out.  

"FFS!" Said my mum. (Since she learned the Queen swears there's no stopping her). "Does it even matter?", she shrugged stuffing 2 segments in at once and swilling it down with a double brandy.

Here's where agreed to differ for the sake of the kids witnessing a full on family brawl before watershed. See, getting the chocs right at Christmas DOES matter. It matters A. Lot.

You only have to look at the furore surrounding the scandalous double spacing of Toblerone triangles to see that we Brits do not like our chocolate traditions fiddling with.

And that's when I realised. Right there, as I hovered incessantly over the Like button on a Facebook post documenting the gradual demise in the size of Quality Street tins since 1980. I had joined the army of pathetic, fully grown adults who were stuck in a chocolate rut.

I cannot allow this to happen. I loathe ruts, even chocolate ones. I insist upon moving with the times as absolute basic practice, the ultimate life goal of course being to find oneself ahead of the times more frequently than not.

So lock up the mint Match Makers. Feed the Ferrero Rocher to the dog (if they'll eat the evil little suckers). We are updating our festive chocolate supplies as of NOW and there's not a Lindt Reindeer or a Roses Caramel Keg in sight.

Yes, I will weep on Christmas morning if there is no Terry's Chocolate Orange in my stocking, but they will be tears of joy and on 2 counts:

1) It means my husband actually read my blog.

2) Hopefully the orange will have been replaced by one of these thoughtful chocolate gifts that are far more representative of my on-trend/progressive nature where candy (house or otherwise) is concerned:

1) Chocolate Cacti

White chocolate cactus lollies £2.95  Trouva

White chocolate cactus lollies £2.95 Trouva

2. Chocolate Flamingos

12 pink chocolate flamingos £4.95 + shipping from  Etsy

12 pink chocolate flamingos £4.95 + shipping from Etsy

3. Chocolate Avos

Chocolate Avocado £12 + P&P Choc on Choc at  Notonthehighstreet

Chocolate Avocado £12 + P&P Choc on Choc at Notonthehighstreet

4) Chocolate biscuits

Box of biscuit shaped chocolates £10 Choc on Choc by  Notonthehighstreet

Box of biscuit shaped chocolates £10 Choc on Choc by Notonthehighstreet

Happy advent all.

Claire xx

P.S Did you know that chocolate coins were also passe? These days kids deal in dollar. Let me know if anything in this blog post disturbs you!





How to handle the candle situation

I do enjoy a candle.

Vintage giant candlestick  www.theotherduckling.co.uk

Vintage giant candlestick www.theotherduckling.co.uk

I like the romantic ambience they create, the forgiving light they project, the luxurious smell they (can) produce. Candles of course are not just for Christmas, but for making any occasion instantly special. Like kebab night for example, which in our house is always a candle-lit occassion.     

But when it comes to candles, things can go spectacularly wrong. If you’ve ever made the mistake of going to a high-pressure-purchase candle party you’ll know the kind of thing I’m talking about. I have only one piece of advice when it comes to buying candles and it is this: Like a cheesy Christmas song; the old ones are the best.

Some candles can cause naffness on a grand scale. Others add class and sophistication to an experience. The easiest mistake to make is thinking that the best candles are the expensive, designer branded variety. I mean, I am totally guilty of falling into the trap of scented candle snobbery (Diptyque being a particularly swoon-worthy example) But in fact my favourite candle-lit scenes - and the one I’m staging for my family Christmas dinner - cost just a few quid to create. I’m talking about these: 

Vintage cut glass jars create pretty tea light holders for a party table

Vintage cut glass jars create pretty tea light holders for a party table

I buy old cut glass jars whenever I see them. Why? Because they can be got from charity shops for pennies and a prettier tea light holder I am yet to find. Tall, short, fat, thin - the more mis-matched the better as far as I’m concerned. I don't even mind if they’re a bit chipped.  I just love getting them home and giving them a boiling hot wash in fairy liquid. My Christmas dinner table will be loaded with these lovelies next week, no light bulbs allowed.

On the mantlepiece I’m lighting up a variety of vintage candlesticks of all shapes and sizes. Mostly glass with the odd bit of brass works for me. All of these were picked up for peanuts at market stalls, charity shops or car boot sales. 

Like the look but no time for rummaging? I’ve got just the website for you. www.theotherduckling.co.uk know how to switch on the vintage glamour alright. Their ever changing selection of unique and vintage candlesticks currently includes this tall glass number which pretty much nails the vibe don't you think?

Glass candlestick £14.95  www.theotherduckling.co.uk

Glass candlestick £14.95 www.theotherduckling.co.uk

All this talk of romantic room settings has got me feeling all emosh. In fact, whilst the lights are down and you can’t see me blushing, I’d like to tell you how amazing you all are and thank you hugely for your support this year. My first 12 months as a bonafide blogger been so much fun and yet not without its frustrations. To all of you who have read, liked and shared or commented, please know that you keep me going.

May your homes be filled with love, happiness and house candy this Christmas.