This may seem a lot of work but BOY is it worth it! Christmas Pudding is pure tradition and worth doing from scratch if only once, for first-time pudding makers this is foolproof! Make and cook the pudding 6-8 weeks before Christmas. Also as it does take a fair time to steam, make things easier for yourself by preparing the pudding up to the end of *** stage the day before. Keep the pudding in a cool place overnight, and steam as directed the next day. Cover the cold pudding with fresh greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool place until Christmas. It is quite useful to use a see-through bowl for the pudding as you can then check the colour as it is cooking, the longer and slower the simmering the darker and richer the pudding will be.