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It’s Mince Pie Monday! (Edited to add: EVERYDAY)

(Edited in celebration of a pre-Christmas baby. Read on…)

(And further edited at the end because December went very badly wrong for me and I had to ignore you all.)

I have a business assistant. Yes, really. She’s clever and businessy in ways that I’m not. But sometimes I stand firm, in my ignorance of clever and businessy ways, and if I say no, no it is, even if it would be cleverer and more businessy to say yes. And thus it was when Caroline said I should do a Black Friday deal.

“No,” I said.

“Why not?” she asked.

Because a) I don’t like Black Friday and b) I don’t really understand it or why it’s called Black Friday. It messes with my mind.

But when you’re saying no to something it’s always good to offer an alternative. So I said that although I wouldn’t do a Black Friday thing I could do a Winter Wednesday or Winter Warmer or Wednesday Warmer or Wild and Wonderful Wedne… Unfortunately, this unleashed a torrent of creativity from Caroline and before I knew it she was suggesting Sparkling Saturday, Special Sunday, Mince Pie Monday, Tinsel Tuesday, Winter Wednesday, Turkey Thursday. So, before she could get as far as Fantastic Friday, I said we’d do Mince Pie Monday. (And then it became Mince Pie Everyday, because I had an unexpected grandson so I forgot about Monday! He’s three weeks early because I think he wanted to be part of Christmas instead of waiting till January. Sensible boy. And, to celebrate, I have made this offer for every day for the rest of the year.)

I do love a mince pie.

And, just like Black Friday, one thing about Mince Pie Everyday is that a lot of people don’t understand what mince pies are and think they are a bizarre or horrible concept. We once had a young South African Canadian man staying with us for Christmas and he struggled a lot with the concept of mince pie and mincemeat being sweet. I think his Afrikaans and transatlantic upbringing had led him to associate mince irrevocably with meat, understandably, and the idea that this sort of mince meat was neither mince nor meat was a British step too far. And I’ve had this reaction from people from other countries, too. TBH I suspect is only UK people who take mince pies in their stride. Certainly, when I went on a US image site to look for photos of mince pies, there was an awful lot of steak in the options and the only one that looked like mince pie turned out to be blueberry pie.

So mince pies requiring some explaining. And so does Mince Pie Everyday.

When is it?

Today. Also any other Monday on which you’d like to eat a mince pie in 2021. (Other sweet pies without meat are available.)

What do you do on Mince Pie Everyday?

Eat a mince pie.

Is that all?

No.

What else?

Ah, that’s the bit that requires explaining.

Before you sit down with your mince pie, you have to find something to write on and with. It could be a digital something but I’d prefer if it were paper and a pen. It will make you focus better.

Sit down and take a bite of mince pie. Savour all that sticky sweetness and the sense and scents of Christmas.

That is not all.

Now think of three good things that happened to you during the year. They can be big or small. You might find it hard to think of them at first, especially if you’ve had a really tough year, but after another bite or two you’ll find them. This practice of thinking of “what went well” is an established action that is known to have positive effects on those who do it. Doing it each day (“What went well today?”) is even better.

One good thing per mouthful of mince pie. You have until you finish the mince pie to finish the task. If you wish, you are allowed another mince pie but don’t blame me if you regret it.

Anything else?

YES!

I’d love to hear your three things – would you add them to the comments?

I will GIVE A FREE SIGNED BOOK TO ONE LUCKY COMMENTER – all names put through a random generator on Dec 31st 2021!

Don’t we have to buy anything? Like Black Friday?

Nope. Only the mince pie. And you might even have made that yourself.

Aren’t you going to give us a bargain, though? Isn’t that the point?

Well, OK. You can have a 15% discount code off things (not books or live events) in my shop. Use the code MINCE15 any time till Dec 31st.

See the bottom of this page for Terms.

Is that all? After all, it’s Christmas

No, that’s not all.

Anyone in the UK who spends at least £15 on my shop till the end of 2021 gets a FREE signed book and my undying gratitude. 

Shop here.

(Terms below.)

That’s ridiculous, Nicola! You’re going to lose money on this! Caroline won’t be happy!

Yes, I know, but it’s Christmas. And next year I’ll do everything Caroline says.

What three things were you grateful for this year, Nicola?

A good day’s harvest

Note that this isn’t the three things I’m most grateful for, just three things. Mine are big things. The small things are often harder to think of and I’m not actually eating a mince pie because I’m typing so I can’t focus as well as you can with your mouthfuls of sweet meatlessness. (Sweet meats – that’s another weird one.)

  • My health – well, I was ill for a while but I got better,. Actually, being ill made me even more grateful for my health.
  • My garden – all I learnt, all I grew, all I ate, all I gave away, all the smells, tastes and colours
  • Everyone who took the trouble to write to me, buy a book, engage with me, add a comment to a blog post…
  • Edited to add: obviously, my new grandson. I totally know how lucky I am

Happy Mince Pie Day)! And remember: Anyone in the UK who spends at least £15 on my shop till the end of 2021 gets a FREE signed book and my undying gratitude.

And visit the shop here.

AND add your three good things below to have a chance to win a free signed book!


ADDED ON JAN 8th

A family medical crisis happened after I wrote this post, so I had to drop everything including all the mince pies. I was unable to promote this blogpost and offer.

Thank you to the two people who spotted it and commented anyway! You both receive signed books. I’ll email you both very soon.

5 Responses

  1. My three things:
    My friends – don’t know what I’d do without them
    Books- kept me going in lockdown
    My garden – makes me slow down and appreciate nature

    1. Happy New Year, Heather! Things went distinctly wonky for me in December and over Christmas and I completely failed to follow through with Mincepie Monday but a free book is yours! I’ll email you very soon.

  2. It’s 2022! But I’m still eating the last of my homemade mince pies, and I have one last jar of home made mincemeat to make a few more as our expected family gathering didn’t happen over Christmas for obvious reasons. I am hugely grateful for so much but for today (sparkly Saturday) I am grateful for being able to walk in a National Park approximately 0.5 miles away from my front door (once I’ve crossed a busy A road), which refreshes and restores me whatever the weather. I’m grateful for the escapism of a good book when the weather is completely wild and too wet for a walk, and I’m grateful for the darkness of winter mornings. They really make you appreciate a glint of sun when it finally appears.
    Having worked in a secondary school library for 20 years until the dreaded cancer came and changed my life, I am beyond thrilled to be shortlisted for a new job working within a lower school library- really hoping 2022 will be a new beginning.

    1. Lovely comment! Happy New Year and congratulations on being shortlisted for a brand new job! I’m so sorry cancer came and changed your life but I hope there are now new leaves and new hope.

      I’m about to add something to the post to explain why I took my eye off the ball and ignored all the mince pies. Meanwhile, please accept a free signed book from me! I will email you in the next few days.

Do comment but please remember that this site is for all ages.

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