The bottled tomatoes and grape juice are on the shelf. The garden produce is blanched and frozen or dehydrated. The dry beans are in their mason jars. The patio furniture is secured in the shed, and the netting is over the pool cover to catch the last of the autumn leaves. The garlic is planted (well, doing the last of it today). I'm stocked up on cocoa, and I'm recording Hallmark Christmas movies on TV. Just need to bring in a stack of books and I'm set for the season!
My husband's grandmother used to do lots of Christmas baking, and before she died I spent a day with her in the kitchen, learning all the traditional family recipes. After her passing, I took over the Christmas baking, putting together boxes of goodies for every family. When that became too expensive, I started just providing the goodies at the Christmas dinner we hosted each year. But over time, people trickled off and stopped attending -- age, weather, distance all take their toll. So the tradition sort of stalled.
This year I've decided to go back to doing the goodie boxes again. I may not be able to deliver to every family, because we've become somewhat far-flung, but I look forward to doing what I can this year. Butter tarts, lemon tarts, chocolate no-bake cookies, shortbread, date snowballs, tablet... I've taken three days off work to do it, and it will likely take up two months' worth of grocery money. But somehow I just can't let the tradition die, or the recipes fade away. Tradition is such an integral part of holidays and families, and you really can't think hygge without thinking food.