I'm rather joyously early this year with this ritual - blame the weather - but it's a thing nonetheless. I made my Christmas cake - the fruit for which has been soaking in sherry for well over a week now and might have been in danger of growing whiskers if I hadn't got on with it.
As befits an annual ritual, I notice - as I have for some years now - the antiquity of my utensils. The cake tin is at least 44 years old, the hand electric beater (used to whisk up the butter and sugar at the beginning) is probably about the same age. I can tell you this, Best Beloved, because I made my first Christmas cake when I was expecting my first child, revelling as I was in finishing work the statutory three months before my due date and therefore having the free time to indulge in such domesticity.
I cannot think I ever made a cake without tin or beater, and they're both showing their age: the cake tin is brown with - I suppose - some form of rust (it's carefully greased and lined - it'll be all right) and the plastic of the motor part of the beater is dull yellow on the white bit. (Do we even get orange equipment these days? So '70s!)
So yes: an ancient ritual, a recipe shared by a friend and never varied, and the antiques used in its execution.
The cooker, by the way, is only two years old...