I baked my Christmas cake on Monday. That's probably late by Northern Hemisphere standards, but when Christmas is in mid-Summer and the weather hot and humid, I think it would be a mistake to bake it too far in advance, 'feeding' with brandy notwithstanding. It's a slightly 'alternative' Christmas cake this year. I used half conventional dried fruit, like raisins and sultanas, and half an island mix:
It has things like dried cranberries and papaya in it. I added a handful of our dried gooseberries too.
Our power was off for much of yesterday, so I was relieved that the cake was safely cooked already!