Double Dare
Christmas Cards

Stephanie Hansen who presented us with the Collaged Boxes and the Home activity has come up with a fascinating concept. This year she is giving her partner a double dog dare card, the card you give someone, with a ticket to some outrageous adventure, tucked inside.

I could make Mum a truck load of double dare cards tonight but I doubt that she will leap from an areoplane any time soon.

Double Dare Card for Dorian

I loved Stephanie Hansen's Double Dare Card idea so when she asked so nicely for Dorian to find a copy of his card here at Soul Food I could hardly refuse.

Because Stephanie is known by all as an avid issuer of challenges and for her insistence on the incalculable importance of simple companionship, she thought up what will be her annual theme for Christmas cards hereafter: cards that challenge friends, family and colleagues to make time to share a specific adventure or pleasurable experience with her.

I double dog dare you to take up Steph's double dog dare Dorian. Show her what you are made of darling!

We want photographic evidence Dorian!


Christmas Eve in Australia

Once when we were all small, Mother selected an inexpensive Christmas toy for each of us from one of these catalogues and gave the letter, containing the money to the man on the grocery van. When Christmas Eve came, and not a toy had turned up, Mother and Father sat up half the night making toys for younger children. Father made paper kites, while Mother manufactured and dressed peg dolls and painted faces on them. For the older children, who could understand, Mother baked gingerbread men, and made up batch after batch of toffee - butter, sugar and vinegar boiled in the frying pan.

Mother wrote straight away to the toy firm only to learn that they had never received the money. The man on the grocery van, a temporary employee, had left the district hurriedly, and Mother's money, along with many other people's, had gone.

extract from Mad as Rabbits by Elizabeth Lane

Christmas Eve Activities

In Melbourne on Christmas Eve the Carols by Candlelights Concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl is televised so that those who do not make it in to sit on the lawns surrounding the bowl can listen to the concert.

It is the one time I really enjoy listening to Christmas music and a stirring rendition of the classic, Silent Night always manages to move me.

When I was little everyone scattered to parts of the house and the rustling of paper filled everyone's heart with anticipatory pleasure. I still like to wrap the majority of my presents on Christmas Eve. I must say I was taken with the idea of manufacturing dressed peg dolls with painted faces and making batch upon batch of toffee and Rocky Road to squaff on Christmas Day.

If you are inspired to participate in some last minute frivolity here are some traditional recipes from my childhood. Perhaps you could leave some surprise celophane bags filled with goodies, on a stranger's doorstep, to find on Christmas morning.

Carol Concert

The inspiration of Carols by Candlelight was borne one Christmas Eve in 1937 in Melbourne. Radio announcer Norman Banks walked along St Kilda Road after a late night shift and noticed a lone elderly woman by her window, lit by a candle, singing along to a radio broadcast of a Christmas Carol.

Norman Banks once said that this image had givne him 'an idea' of what Christmas was all about' and gave him the inspiration to ask Melbournians to gather in the city's gardens to hold candles and sing carols and share in the joy of Christmas. In 1938 10,000 people gathered at midnight in the Alexandra Gardens to sing carols with a 30-strong choicr, two soloists and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Band.

Light a candle and sing Carols tonight.

Gooey Toffee

1lb of sugar, two thirds cup of water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 dessertspoon butter. Place sugar, butter, vinegar and water in saucepan on fire. Boil until little of syrup will crackle when dropped into cold water. Pour into greased tins or paper cup cake papers, sprinkle with hundreds and thousands and leave set till cold.

White Christmas

1 cup icing sugar
1 cup coconut
1 cup ricebubbles
1 cup mixed fruit and few chopped cherries
1 cup sunshine powdered milk
6 oz copha

Melt copha and pour over dry ingredients. Press down in Swiss Roll Tin and cut while warm.