The icing on the cake
If you’re into the icing arts, a Christmas cake is a good platform for them so jump in soon so that you can use the cake as a table centrepiece throughout the festive season.
But if you’re not keen on piped lace and sugar angels, skip the icing. You could put a cake frill around the edges (which is a good option if you decorated the top with almonds) or put an actual Christmas decoration on top provided it’s not going to shed glitter or other inedible substances and that you’re going to be able to wash the cake crumbs off it later.
Gemma at work mentioned that she and her husband Paul have decided not to go home to Western Australia for Christmas. They do now have a social circle in Melbourne but, although you can celebrate your birthday with friends, they’re usually busy with their families at Christmas so she was asking me about very small turkeys. (“They’re called chickens,” I said.)
“Would you like to have Christmas with us?” I asked, and she would.
I’m feeling merrier already (and I think I can justify pudding and trifle and cheesecake and fruit salad for a table of six).
 Like Auntie Pat: she didn’t just ice mince tarts, she considered cakes mere vehicles for frosting and she would even ice plain biscuits, particularly if she was practising a new technique or a dicey colour scheme. (Her family forced her to draw the line at toast.)
 Because Cassidy is not the only person who thinks that’s too much sugar.
 Nanna had a plastic sleigh she saved for this purpose every year.
 New mortgage: no funds.