Many of our festive traditions developed in the 19th century, from decorating trees to sending greetings cards, to the well-known soft drink delivered by an old guy in a red suit.
One popular Victorian custom that’s less common today, though, is Stir-up Sunday, when families would gather to make their Christmas pudding.
It falls on the last Sunday before advent and takes its name from a line in the Church of England Book of Common Prayer for that day: ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people.’
This year, Stir-up Sunday fell on November 21 but it’s not too late if you feel like baking a festive favourite.
Here are three ways to mix Victorian tradition with modern-day environmental concerns.
Best for ingredients
Fairtrade standards encourage sustainable agriculture and help producers adapt to the effects of climate change.
Baking essentials include Taylor & Colledge Fairtrade Vanilla Bean Extract and BART Ground Cinnamon from Waitrose and Ocado, Marks & Spencer Fairtrade Dark Muscovado Sugar and Sainsbury’s Fairtrade Brazil Nuts.
Best for baking products
If You Care keeps the impact of baking paraphernalia to a minimum thanks to its cruelty-free, unbleached and compostable products, such as waxed paper, parchment roll and baking cups.
From £2.95 at stockists including Ocado, Waitrose, Abel & Cole, Planet Organic and independent health stores
Best for vegans
Balk at the idea of baking, or want a plant-based option alongside your tried-and-trusted recipes?
The Waitrose Christmas collection caters for vegetarians and vegans whether they prefer mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pudding — or can’t choose between the three.
From £1, in stores and at Waitrose
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