What will you be doing to celebrate the solstice, or the Roman Festival of Saturnalia, or the birth of Christ? A pagan sacrifice (please restrict yourself to vegetables and inanimate objects), engaging in unbridled revelry, or attending a candlelit carol service? Or just enjoying the company of family and friends?
As I went out to Baglan Hall,
I saw a wren upon a wall;
I up with my stick and knocked him down,
And brought him home to 'Bravon town.
Loaf cake: Loaf cake was synonymous with Christmas celebrations in the industrial valleys of south Wales. The dough, prepared in large quantities, would be carried to the local bakehouse where the baker would be responsible for baking the cakes for a penny or two per loaf.
Neighbours were invited to taste each other's cake, and tradition has it (in the district of Margam near Port Talbot) that if a young maid was given the opportunity to taste thirteen different cakes in one season, she would marry before the following Christmas.
I didn't include it in the book because I couldn't find confirmation or verification of it anywhere else. But if you know of a young maid who tasted thirteen cakes and got lucky then please let me know!
I don't have loaf cake for you but here's the next best thing, a slice of home-made (by me) Bara Brith (after all you're going to have enough of all that rich stuff soon), to wish you and yours a Happy Solstice/Festival/Christmas/Holiday and a good and joyful end to 2013.