I often spend Sundays at my parent's house and we sit around, have dinner, watch TV etc and it feels like a normal day. The board games rarely come out. Why do they always make an appearance on Christmas day in houses throughout the land? Why is it that at Christmas people feel naked without a drink perpetually clamped to their hand? And stuff themselves silly with nuts and various nibbles despite the fact they feel close to vomiting? Who knows. But that's Christmas.
I had four Christmases this year and enjoyed them all. The first was Sunday evening at M's aunties house as his Grandma was off to Ireland for Christmas. We exchanged presents and had a delicious starter of prosciutto, mozzarella and rocket followed by Delia's Boeuf Bourguignon, cheese and biscuits, coffee and grappa. Thursday evening M & I had our own Christmas at home and opened our pressies over Cava followed by homemade Beef Wellington. On Christmas Eve at my parents' we had various antipasti followed by roast beef and roasted winter vegetables. On Christmas day itself we had a bottle of Prosecco followed by a traditional Christmas dinner which I just love. Prawn cocktail, turkey and all the trimmings; potatoes roasted in goose fat, leeks in cheese sauce, carrots and swede, parsnips in honey, pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon) and the star of the show, sausagemeat stuffing.
We couldn't manage any Christmas pudding until 10 O'clock (which I don't even really like, but always have anyway). We didn't even have room for any panettone so we had it for breakfast instead. Then finally Boxing Day at M's parents for a delicious turkey and ham pie with all the trimmings. Even Casper enjoys Christmas as he always gets a treat of a prawn in exchange for a photo with the Christmas hat.
The exchanging of presents is my favourite part of Christmas. Seeing people's faces as the paper is ripped off to reveal something you spent hours agonising over and traipsing the streets for is worth every minute. And receiving lovely pressies too of course. I got some lovely pressies this year. Here are some of the best ones:
From my parents, a handbag and a cute little Alessi wine stopper for those unfinished bottles of wine (which, er, is a rare occurrence in our house but it looks cute anyway).
From M, some great DVDs including Tsotsi, Coffy and the fantastic comedy series Look around You. Cds, Gwen Stefani and The second album from The Magic Numbers which I'm not sure about at the moment – certainly not as good as the first but might need a few more listens.
I hope next year's Christmas will be as good as this one but next year I must remember to do a new background for my Mum's nativity. At the moment she's still using the same one I made when I was 8! Enjoy the rest of the holidays everyone and have a great New Year!