You know it's Christmas when... people start bringing out the fruitcake. Sometimes fruitcake gets a lot of bad press, but for me and Rick, a generous slab of rich homemade fruitcake paired with a fragrant cup of Earl Grey tea is a perfect way to enjoy an afternoon break around Christmas time.
Heather, a long time good friend and a member of the Birthday Club to which I belong, gave us a porcelain fruitcake bakery for Christmas one year. It's a long standing joke about how she despises fruitcake -- it being an awful addition to any self-respecting buffet table in her view -- so we love to share fruitcake jokes and hunt for zany fruitcake cards for us to giggle over.
I don't know if it's clear enough, but if you squint really hard, you may see the sign in the very first picture. Notice what it says about shopping at this particular fruitcake bakery: "Cash in advance. No Refunds EVER!"
Fretta's Fruitcake Company, North Pole Series, Department 56
Now, I would be most interested in your feelings about fruitcake. Is it an integral part of your larder or is fruitcake banned from your Christmas celebrations?