So this is Christmas… (Aussie Giveaway Linkup)

Aussie Giveaway Linkup | Competitions | Win

So this is Christmas… what have we here? Basically me. Someone who has lost all her Christmas spirit and wants to scream ‘STOP the world I NEED to get off’.


Anyone else struggling with this time of year? If you could WIN one thing this Christmas, what would it be?


Me? I’ll get to that soon enough…




December 1st. I can now officially look a Christmas decoration in the eye, speak of all things jolly and host our annual tree trimming party. A party that kicks off on the December 1st each and every year since I joined forces with hubby. So 23 years. An occasion for our family to stop, take a minute to reflect on the year and well basically trim our Christmas tree, discuss Christmas gifts and wish lists.


This year, my hubby is away at sea. On a survey ship in the middle of nowhere the Indian Ocean. A two-month stint for his job, broken in two parts which will see him home briefly for Christmas. He departed early Sunday morning and I’ve been missing him like crazy ever since. Our tree trimming party is going to look a lot different with him away. If it goes ahead at all.


These work trips, now thankfully have intermittent email contact but even still by the time a reply email hits my inbox, you can guarantee I’ve moved on from the initial question/email/family dilemma. There is no phone contact, there is no opportunity for him to pop home, even for an emergency.


If an issue arises or I want to chat with hubby, I hit send, hope for the best and wait. I am effectively single parenting during these stints and with extended family over 5000 km away, the parenting (& everything else) buck stops with me.


We’ve been doing this ship-in/ship-out stint for a long while now. Our girls are now so much older (15, about to turn 17 and 18), so the parenting side of things is a whole lot easier in some regards. In other regards a whole lot tougher. This week, our eldest having just graduated from Year 12, is about to head off on her toned down version of schoolies with a group of friends. I’ll be at home, trying not to worry too much and distracting myself with work, as well as Christmas preparations with hubby away.




I must confess, when the Christmas decorations hit the shops in September this year, I was all kinds of over Christmas by October. Nothing to do with being organised just completely over it. The chaos that descends with the silly season at this time of year, almost had me wanting to cancel Christmas completely. Something I broached with my family over dinner before hubby left.


Rather oddly, not one person put up any real fight or staged an intervention and for a very brief moment, it looked like my cancelling Christmas wish might actually come true. Our girls up until this week, have all been rather distracted and exhausted with their major exams, as well as their part-time jobs and I get the general feeling they are just as exhausted and over things as I am right now.


There’s also the fact that we are still in smaller, temporary accommodation, while we look for our dream forever home. This means, there really isn’t that much room for our massive Christmas tree. It also means if we do decide to put it up, I need to tackle our storage shed or go shopping for something new. More work for me, when I already have too much on. It also means our Christmas traditions, like our annual tree trimming party are out the window.


Told you I’ve lost my Christmas spirit!




I’d like to say ‘out with the old, in with the new’ but I’m not getting any younger and I’m probably the ‘old’ that needs to be taken out here.


We’ve never been a family to go too overboard at Christmas (apart from my menu) and that’s not about to change anytime soon (the overboard approach, not the menu) but I’m wanting something a little different and even less fuss this year. Decadence with a difference springs to mind. Only I’m not entirely sure what that looks like.


Christmas Eve Menu Agent Mystery Case


I think with our girls so much older, it is time to throw some of our Christmas traditions out the window (like my Christmas Eve Menu above). After years of being the one and only person that makes an effort to make the day special, I’m wanting time out.


I’m wanting someone else to do the hard yards. I’m wanting to be able to click my fingers and have it all done. Which kind of sounds like a Christmas cruise but as hubby goes to sea for work and suffers from terrible seasickness, he won’t entertain that idea. Not one bit.


Given that just isn’t going to happen (the clicking a finger scenario or the cruise), and we’ve all had a relatively tough year, I think I might have found the next best thing… Maggie Beer.


Maggie Beer Lemon Tart

When life gives you lemons… make a Maggie Beer Lemon Tart and ask her to adopt your family for Christmas.


A Mystery Christmas with Maggie Beer


Yes, that’s right, I asked Maggie to help me find my Christmas spirit by adopting me and sharing all her secret and not so secret recipes with me. Starting with Maggie’s lemon tart, the one with the sour cream pastry because right now my lemon tree is dropping lemons at 10 to 11 kilos a week.


Maggie has also perfected a gluten free pastry that is possibly the best I’ve ever tasted. I’m in gluten free, lemon tart heaven right now, so is my family and my friends. The even better part to this equation though, my girls are in the kitchen with me, whipping up a lemon meringue storm and helping with the mess afterwards.


It’s a WIN WIN… for you as well. Keep reading!


So while wishful thinking would have me lunching with Maggie at her property on Christmas day, reality means I’ll be home with my family feasting on treats from Maggie’s online store. Treats that you can also find at nearby stockists, including your local supermarket freezer! Have you tried Maggie’s ice-cream?


Maggie’s hampers, starting from just $25.00, make the perfect Christmas gifts for my family far and wide, as well as provide some much needed inspiration for our Christmas feasting.


There’s also the option to choose your own hamper adventure via their online pantry or through their mystery box collection.


I love, love, love a good mystery. You could say it has my name on it, even if I’m gifting to hubby. We have a tendency to overlook the Indian giving aspect in our house when good quality gourmet food is involved as long as the produce is shared equally and hubby isn’t left alone for too long with any chocolate or cheese gifts because given half the chance he would inhale them.


WIN – Maggie Beer Mystery Hamper


Maggie Beer Mystery Hamper for Agent Mystery Case Giveaway

As a special Christmas treat, Maggie Beer and her team have put together a mystery hamper for one lucky reader. Not the hamper pictured but keep an eye on Instagram in the coming days for sneak peeks of the actual hamper on offer.





To be in the running, all you need to do is head over and case the hampers currently on offer at Maggie Beer’s online store (HERE) and then let me know which one is your favourite by commenting below. TOO EASY!


As a Christmas BONUS… I’ll also be including a small mystery prize with the hamper. In order to get the prizes to you in time for Christmas, this giveaway will be short and sweet.



  • Game of skill.
  • Comment below letting me know your favourite Maggie Beer hamper.
  • One winner – drawn 10/12/16 at 9 pm (Perth time).
  • Winner must make contact within 24 hours or there will be a redraw.
  • Open to Australian residents only.
  • Mystery hamper will vary from one pictured.


MORE, MORE, MORE with Maggie


Now just in case you decide, like me, to do a little Christmas hamper or gourmet produce shopping while you are visiting the Maggie Beer website, make sure you sign up as a VIP. It opens your inbox to special offers and keeps you in the loop for worth casing promotions. Keep in mind, the cut-off for Christmas delivery for your online orders is December 9.


Now for even more winning…





Our last Aussie Giveaway Linkup for the year. A huge thanks to my two new co-hosts… Kell from All Mum Said and Jody from Six Little Hearts.


Both Kell and Jody will return as co-hosts next year and we are all of the feeling that in blogging and giveaway terms, there really is no rest for the wicked. This mean the January Linkup will kick off on the 1st! I’m, oddly enough, reviewing a musical on New Year’s Eve this year, which will hit the website around the same time.



Aussie Giveaway linkup


Aussie Giveaway Linkup Guidelines:


If you’re a blogger or business wanting to take part in the Aussie Giveaway Linkup:

  • Only link directly to the giveaway post/s.
  • Include the prize and end date in the linky tool below.
  • Link each giveaway separately.
  • Giveaways must be open to Australian residents and be run by Aussie-based bloggers or businesses.
  • Grab the AGL button to add to your post or sidebar (optional but much appreciated).
  • A new list is added on the 1st of the month so bloggers and business owners need to add their links monthly.
  • Start entering the giveaways! Entry is at your own risk. We do not take responsibility for unfulfilled prizes or a blogger/business not abiding by their own terms and conditions.
  • Leave a comment each time you link! It really is the quickest way to notify us of your giveaway, so we can start sharing the social media love your way!





Are you looking forward to Christmas? Do you have any family Christmas traditions?



This is not a sponsored post but Maggie Beer has very generously donated a mystery hamper for this giveaway. I just really admire Maggie and love, love, love her produce, her way of living and approach to life. Any talk of adoption by Maggie, while welcomed is very much wishful thinking on my part. I’m also waving to Mrs Woog, who introduced me to Maggie (& her team) in a way, last year with her In the Bag featured post.

About Mystery Case 462 Articles
Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.


  1. I totally understand the Christmas fizzle. I very much live in the moment these days. Christmas is literally done a couple of days before the event. We put up our tree late too. Sometimes on Christmas Eve. Having everything up too long makes it all lose its sparkle.
    PS: We do Christmas dinner the very easy way and do dish’d! Their meals are superb and so easy. Highly recommend.
    Sorry your husband is away at this time. Eat your fill of Maggie Beer and be jolly regardless! I will enter soon! Yum! X

    • We found a potential house to purchase the day before hubby left. I’m trying my best to pull it off while he is away, so that we can finalise things on his brief return but it appears everyone shuts down completely late December. I’d also prefer for our NSW property to be sold and settled before putting in an offer on the next place. At least I’m busy.

  2. The breaking bread hamper because it takes me back to the last Christmas before we had kids. We spent it in the Swan Valley, 3000kms from family. Around the same time I got to visit Maggie Beer’s and eat glorious dukkah. Mmmmm.

    • I’m trying hard to remember a time in my life before kids and our last Christmas as a couple. I can’t. Pretty sure we would have traveled far and wide to visit relatives. I would have been pregnant with our first.

  3. I’m totally over xmas – I’m stressed, out of days to shop and it’s all just a pain. Now that’s the attitude, isn’t it? So for Maggie, you could just send me a tonne of the pate, but I’m guessing that doesn’t post – and I’m def keen for the slow cooker hamper in winter, but as it is summer, I’m picking the Sparking Celebration Hamper, as I think I need some sparkle right now to get me over this hump….

  4. Christmas can be a lot of fuss and bother plus extremely harsh on the credit card. Sometimes we just have a small Christmas lunch with the four of us and other times we do a big extended family Christmas where everyone contributes towards the meal. I actually prefer to cook at home and have a more intimate affair. We also don’t make too much fuss about presents, now that our kids are grown up.

    • Thankfully, no credit card here. I do like our Christmas Eve tradition. The one that has us feasting on our favourites with left overs for days. It means Christmas day can be rather lazy. I did toy with the idea of heading to a restaurant for Christmas day but the expense, just isn’t worth it, for me, in the end.

  5. We’ve chosen now to put our house on the market ahead of a move to Qld next year. It’s putting a dampener on what our normal Christmas traditions are, & to be honest, I’m considering putting the whole thing on hold until the end of Jan – just so we can have one last open home free Christmas in the house we’ve been in for nearly 18 years. As for the hampers? The Maggie Harvest Cookbook one would be my fave…

    • I feel like we’ve put everything on hold too. Hopefully your house will sell soon and you will soon be settled. Our house in NSW finally went on the market last week. I feel sorry for our tenants but it had to be done and we’ve requested impact on tenant be minimal. Well as minimal as possible. We found a possible house here in Perth last week, the day before hubby went to sea, which is making life difficult because there was no time to act before he left.

  6. We are having christmas at our place and I need all the help I can get as I am not much of a chef! The Merry Making Hamper sounds great, it reminds me of my grandmother’s homemade goodness.

    • I haven’t hosted Christmas since we moved. Although it was never Christmas. That day was spent traveling from one relative to the other (generally 4 or 5 hours away or more). It was always a Boxing Day late lunch at our house. These days we tend to do a massive Christmas Eve feast (menu in post) and then feast on leftovers till boxing day night when we would have an elaborate bbq.

  7. I can’t go past the Sparkling Celebrations hamper. Quite frankly I didn’t have to read any further than Salted Brandy Caramel. Has my name all over it (or my spoon all in the jar if we’re being accurate). Christmas will hopefully be a low key affair this year. With lots of taking it easy and some air conditioning to combat the heat.

  8. Oh for me it’s the Sparkling Celebrations or the Celebration Table Hamper, cos hello – sparkling wine and good food! I’m hosting Christmas this year for the first time ever and am a tad worried.

  9. Oh my gosh – I adore Maggie Beer! I think I’d go the Sparkling Celebrations Hamper but I do like the Summer Kitchen Harvest hamper too – for the recipe book and Ipad stand. I don’t have an iPad though – so I’d have to get one! lol I hope you get a nice rest over Christmas Raychael! #TeamLovinLife

  10. The Merry Maker Hamper, these are a few of my favourite things ?

    Plus it has a wooden spoon in case any of the kids get out of line lol

  11. It sounds like you are not feeling the Christmas spirit and I know how that feels too. I have made an effort and put up the small tree and a few of the decorations we kept after giving all the grandkids their special ones from our large tree. We will have a chicken and ham salad on Christmas Day and neither of us are big or fancy eaters. Each of our kids are doing their own family thing too and I am accepting of the fact that the old ways and day of Christmas have done. Memories are good and traditions too and one of my GD’s said “Grandma I learned how to love Christmas from you” so that is great! Passing on the love.

    • I was surprised this morning with our massive tree, fully decorated and taking pride of place (the only place it would squeeze) in our lounge room. My middle daughter, took it upon herself to firstly tackle the storage shed, find the tree and then decorate it. She even purchased new decorations with money from her first pay packet.

      It looks delightful. I keep catching glimpses of it and it stops me in my tracks. There is hope for me finding my Christmas spirit, after all.

  12. Favourites List Hamper chocolate and booze will be needed to survive December as not only do we have Christmas at our place we also have 2 of our kids birthdays in December, I know what were we thinking!!!

    • We have one birthday (Miss just about to turn 17) on the 14th. She is throwing a themed party this year. Hopefully we’ve given everyone enough notice because from experience, people tend to have too much on at this time of year. You can invite several people and be lucky if half attend.

      • We have one on the 4th and one on the 14th so I know what you mean!!! One of my daughter’s boyfriend was on the 1st and have other relatives too in December, talk about a baby boom,lol

  13. If I could win anything … the Today show is currently giving away European river cruises and I desperately want to win one! The Yuletide Cheer hamper looks pretty damn special to me, with a mix of goodies catering for both savoury and sweet. Quince paste to go with cheese; salted caramel goodness … I could go on but I have to wipe the drool off my keyboard!

      • Yes, I managed to get my teens in at the children’s price (less than half the adult price) and we are still paying off the tickets. We’re only going to a local club, so it’s not too expensive. Some of the places further up on the Gold Coast were up to $325 per person!!! #Ridiculous !!

        • Oh my that really is ridiculous. $325 per person. I haven’t found a restaurant that still has bookings that doesn’t make you pay full price for teens. It’s hardly worth it for our youngest, she tends to nibble on fruit and veg and still come home hungry.

          • Oh I don’t blame you, that would be a bit of a waste of money. The cutoff age for kids was 15 – our daughter may or may not have turned 16 😉 ahem! Kids are only $45 – that’s why we said yes. No way we were paying for all of us at adult price!!

  14. The Maggie Beer Christmas hamper would be just the ticket for me. I love all the festive eats and treats of Christmas as long as I don’t have to source, plan or prepare them 😉 Now our kids are grown, I too am a little over Christmas, and hope my attitude bucks up a bit when the grand children start arriving – I think it will. It’s so much easier to be enthusiastic when little people are full of excitement around you 🙂

    • Do you find it weird speaking about grand children or is it just a natural progression? I suppose I’m rather in denial in that department and still feel like it is a long way off.

      I might need to surround myself with little people but honestly the thought of that also has me exhausted. Find me a Christmas cruise. I bet no one will even notice I’m gone. 😉

  15. The celebration Table Hamper would really cheer up my christmas lunch which so far due to financial constraints is going to be a kind of brunch

  16. Sweetness of the Season Hamper, glorious sweet condiments to compliment our Turkey, baked ham, beef and overflowing plate of cold crumbed chicken schnitzels.

  17. A Cook’s Kitchen Hamper, I can dream!
    This hamper, I can look like Maggie, BEAM!!
    Ready to cook, tasty treats from her,
    Looking the part, maybe my guests tastes
    wont stir 🙂

    Merry christmas 😀 thankyou

  18. Yuletide Cheer Hamper. Because after visiting Maggie’s Farm in April in the Barossa, with a sore throat, 3 busses of tourists and no soup on the menu…I could do with some cheer.

  19. Jam and Cream would be divine,
    The flavours would pair nicely with a glass of wine.
    Baked into biscuits or little tarts,
    I’d be hard pressed to share with my counterparts!
    This would make my Christmas complete,
    And look almost too lovely to eat.

  20. My children are super excited for Christmas this year which helps keep the festive spirit alive … as does a glass of yummy egg nog 😉 I feel the most organised I have ever been with my Christmas shopping, but there’s always so much on at this time of year that I start to feel a little frazzled and I’m sure the calendar starts to fill up earlier each year! I’m really looking forward to the end of Term 4. I hope things settle down for you soon and Christmas spirit finds you again. PS Thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway link up too, it’s the first time I have joined 🙂

  21. I’m lucky enough to live just under an hour’s drive from Maggie’s Farm Shop and it’s a great place to take visitors, have seen the lady herself working the kitchen as well! My favourite hamper would be the Celebration Table hamper, that would be Christmas evening sorted.

    • I was thinking the same with the Celebration Table hamper. That would be Christmas evening sorted here too. I’m really hoping to make it over your way next year. A visit to Maggie’s farm shop is definitely on the agenda.

  22. Thank heavens someone else is ‘doing Christmas’ this year and we get to go along, although the tree will have to be up and presents wrapped for a Grandson’s visit just after Christmas. I have made a cake and done about 80% of my shopping so I must not grumble (nobody is listening anyway).
    Sparkling, it’s not how I feel right now but it is how I would like to feel and I do love a little bubble, lots of savoury and not too much sweet so the Sparkling Celebrations Hamper please. Then we could share it with our Christmas hosts.

    • When you say, you’ve made a cake… are we talking a Christmas fruit cake? That’s one thing my hubby misses now we are on the other side of the country. His mother’s annual fruit cake. I’ve never attempted to make one myself and I’m not sure this oven (1960s, Fahrenheit, no fan) would do one any justice.

        • Eggs, gluten and a host of other things are off my list right now but I’m the only person in the house with issues, so just do my own thing, food wise and generally try not to kill the rest of the house when they indulge in my favourites without me.

  23. Celebration Table Hamper – its got everything in there that makes me drool! From sparkling chardonnay to salted brandy caramel, my taste buds would have the best Christmas ever! Plus I’m curious to try the Ginger Chilli sauce . . .

  24. The sparkling wine hamper would of been fantastic but with baby number 4 on the way I’d choose Maggie’s favorite hamper

  25. The Farmhouse kitchen hamper sounds so homemade-ish and delicious, it reminds me of something my grandma would prepare for us all.

  26. I’d stir up Christmas with picnic recipes from Maggie’s softcover book before getting happily pasted with her Celebration Table Hamper

  27. Look at that menu!
    I need to get to mine.
    You’ve just inspired me to actually write up a menu and have it printed for everyone on Christmas Day. That’s a great idea! I know you don’t want to bother this time, but you can pass the baton to me AMC.

  28. The Celebration Hamper would be divine!
    Treats for everyone at Xmas dinnertime!
    Sweets and wine for each and everyone!
    A treat for our grumbling tum!

  29. The Sunday Favourites Hamper appeals to me, as the items with our weekly roast would go perfectly. The fig & fennel paste together with the Verjuice would enhance the meat greatly. The ginger chilli sauce sounds divine and we could eat it with our potatoes. The jam sounds too good to eat but would be even better with dessert with the refreshing bubbly to finish off a great family meal.

  30. Your Christmas menu is epic! I love everything Maggie Beer so I think I’d have to go for the favourites hamper, it’s it’s Maggie’s favourite then it’s my favourite too. Plus there’s some sparkling ruby cabernet in there and I’m all for drinking to bubbles not troubles. I bet your best Christmas present will be having hubby home for Christmas – that’s just priceless x

    • I haven’t actually tried the sparkling ruby, it sounds all kinds of wonderful to me. I’m in two minds about hubby home for Christmas. Sadly, I know the work that is involved once off the ship both in terms of the trip itself and the one to come, it usually has him distracted and beyond busy.

  31. I love the Slow Cooked Hamper because I do in fact do a lot of slow cooking and make a lot of pasta so this would be perfect for me!

  32. Cheese Please Hamper is my favorite, its perfect to accompany a bottle of wine or two with my girlfriends over the Christmas holidays.

    • Great choice Malinda. I’m leaving my choice to the last minute with the Christmas delivery cutoff because I’m having trouble deciding but the favourites hamper is on the top of my list.

  33. Being a sweet tooth, I love the sound of the “Merry Making” hamper. The accompanying recipes look so delicious and could even tempt me into the kitchen!
    P.S. I note that you have your traditional White Chocolate *MOUSE* on your menu again this year. 😉

    • It’s an inside family joke that one. My eldest called it chocolate mouse when we first served it up, years ago and it kind of stuck. Although, I should update the recipe because no one else would get it. LOL

  34. Celebration table hamper has a bit of everything, chardy for the wife, a wooden spoon to keep the kids away from the desert, verjuice (what the hell is that) and a cookbook which might tell me what to do with verjuice.

  35. I’m having a huge time trying to decide on just one, they all sound divine and would help make my Christmas day and Christmas table a real celebration. Which brings me to the Celebration Table Hamper as my top pick.

  36. I adore Maggie and I’m slowly making my way through her products (when I can find them locally). I didn’t even know she had an online store that delivers. I’m going to sign up as a VIP, hopefully they will have free postage or some other great offer.

    If I had to choose one hamper, it would be the favourites list hamper. A great way to boost my pantry/cooking and have it looking/tasting more festive this Christmas.

  37. The Home Brew Hamper as hubby and myself are just starting to get into home brewing and it also comes with a Christmas bonus.

    • I’ve never tried to home brew before. I hear all the horror stories about the brew blowing up in your face. Let me know how you get on, I wouldn’t mind trying brewing our own ginger beer.

  38. I honestly can’t decide. They all look so good. Maggie’s Favourites Hamper might be a good place to start but I also love the idea of a mystery hamper.

  39. Christmas is at our house this year,
    We’ll celebrate with lots of Christmas cheer.
    The Celebration hamper would be great,
    Something for everyone-I can’t wait.
    I’d wear my Maggie beer apron so I look the part,
    Serving dukkah and olive oil for a start.
    Next will be a simple cheese platter for us,
    With Maggie’s quince and plum pastes there will be no fuss.
    Maggie’s Christmas book will give me some new inspiration,
    To help me with what to cook for our celebration.
    The sparkling Piccoloy Chardonnay will be fun,
    Perfect to drink while still feeding my little one.
    How fantastic a Maggie hamper would be,
    Just divine- ready to spoil my family.

  40. I’m getting hungry browsing mouth watering wishing Maggie would join me for Xmas. Wouldn’t we have a ball. If I must choose one I think I’ll go with the celebration table hamper for the inspiring cook in me. Bet the family would prefer Maggie cooking ?❤️️

  41. After watching The Cook and the Chef for many years, I finally visited Maggie’s Pheasant Farm in Nuriootpa and had one of the best days on my SA holiday!!! How hard was it to choose my favourite hamper, but I knew when I saw it, it was the one – “A Breakfast Spread” Hamper, my favourite meal of the day, tea and toast!!! Boy those jams look delicious! 🙂 Thank you!

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