Yesterday, the last Sunday before Advent, was Stir-Up Sunday. At least in the Anglican tradition. Apparently, there’s a prayer in the service that has the line “Stir up we beseech thee, O Lord” (or words to that effect).
It’s the day when, traditionally, all the Christmas cakes and puddings are made, with everyone in the house giving the mix a stir and making a wish.
If I make a festive cake this year, it’ll be Delia’s Spiced Cranberry Muffins or a Cider Fruit Cake I first made last year, which M happens to like, because it tends to be less fruity and more cake-y than a normal fruit cake. But neither keeps very long, the cider cake up to a week, so they’ll be made in the week leading up to Christmas. If I make them. Probably with any other baking I do that week. I have plans for proper gingerbread, and Irish tea-cake, and – oh, all sorts!
And we aren’t doing Christmas pudding, either, for much the same reason.
So there’s little reason for me to partake of the Stir-Up Sunday traditions. Not, it must be admitted, that I normally do.
For one, because I’m not from the Anglican tradition – mostly, I’ve learned about Stir-Up Sunday from Jill Archer, matriarch of the Brookfield Archers, and from a couple of Enid Blyton stories – and it has therefore never really been a part of my life.
And for two, because normally I’d’ve already made my cake by now, and would be feeding it with a dash more alcohol every other week. I tend to end up with quite boozey cakes.
However, now that we’ve reached the end of the liturgical year and are approaching the First Sunday of Advent, I feel more relaxed about getting the tinsel and fairy lights out. And getting the tree up. But I do need to start by making a space for it…