Happy New Year! I hope everyone doesn’t have too sore a head after last night, and that you all have a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. As New Year’s day is here, and we’re now a week away from Christmas 2017, and just 358 days from Christmas 2018, I thought it was high time that I unwrapped Christmas for all of you.
Christmas is always a time for family in our house. Since I’ve moved out of my parents house, I had been taking a couple of things round with me when I went round to put around the Christmas tree, before moving myself back into my old room for the festive period (I didn’t return home until late on 30th December!) This meant old traditions of making more than the specified amount of stuffing and also meant new traditions of having a takeway on Christmas Eve (Indian of course) followed by a quick trip to the local pub. It also meant going to bed on Christmas Eve knowing that family, and presents would be there on Christmas morning. Like always in our house, my Aunt and Uncle on my Dad’s side had travelled up from the Midlands, and my Gran was down near Oxford with my Aunt, Uncles, cousins, and dog.
Sometimes Christmas Dinner can be a bit of a palaver. In our house we don’t have too many roast dinners as they are not universally loved and they often create quite a lot of mess. Of course, this all goes out of the window and we go to town with everyone else in the country. My Mum prepared the turkey like usual, but this year, my Dad and brother James volunteered and nominated themselves to make the actual dinner. Now, I don’t want to go round offending anyone, namely my Mum, so I’ll be a bit diplomatic, but, this was up there with the best Christmas dinners that I have had!
It didn’t start with Christmas dinner though, oh no, we had a lovely festive breakfast to start with. I say and highlight festive, because the consituant parts were shaped like Christmas trees. To accompany our proper coffee we had Christmas tree shaped brioche and Christmas Tree shaped crumpets. Somehow, things shaped like Christmas Trees just taste better on Christmas. I may , or may not, have also munched some Christmas chocolate. What?! Something has to keep you going while you open your presents!
And to end the evening, we all munched on Christmas Leftover sandwiches. If I am honest, as much as I love Christmas dinner and Christmas breakfast, there is no bit of Christmas food like a Christmas leftover sandwich. The turkey this year was especially scrummy, and as always the stuffing was incredible, so when you pile it on a warm part baked roll, it’s just to die for!
Emma and I waited until quite late this year to decorate our tree, which is quite out of the ordinary for us. Not my parents though, their house became a festive grotto near the beginning of December, and once it got to near Christmas, the two trees were decorated, the house inside decorated, and the outside lit up brighter than any house on the street. Now, I don’t want to say that there is a battle for the brightest Christmas lights, but, the more they put out, the more other people seem to, but theirs was definitely the brightest. As usual, Mum had her artificial Christmas Tree in the bay window that would overlook Christmas dinner in the dining room, and Dad had his real tree in the Living room (this year it was rather fat and barely even fitted in the Christmas Tree gap!)
This year though, they went a bit more over the top than usual. The Christmas dinner table is always one to look forward to. They have Christmas themed table clothes, and Christmas themed plates, and Christmas themed bottle scarves, and Christmas themed place mates, and Christmas themed napkin holders complete with Christmas themed napkins. I set the table this year, and if I do say it looked rather nice. But that wasn’t all, oh no, Dad had invested in seat covers that sat over the backs of our chairs that would make each of them look like Santa hats. And, possibly the most tacky thing of all, was the Santa Toilet seat covers! Yes, you read that right, it has to be seen to be believed, that’s why I took a picture!
I love giving and receiving gifts at Christmas, and if we’re being honest here, who doesn’t. Whether it’s strangers from across the country (who become awesome friends) or the closest of family, choosing gifts, carefully wrapping and gifting them, and excitedly opening the presents you have received is the best bit about Christmas.
This year has definitely been the year of the secret santa for me. I’ve had two really awesome Secret Santas as work, and taken part in the brilliant TBTB Santa online. For those not in the know, Secret Santa is a system whereby a group of people enter their names and choose someone else from a hat. You buy just your recipient a gift. Everyone has a present bought, everyone is thought of, nobody is bankrupted, and it’s lots of fun. Who doesn’t loved fun?! At work, I had a secret santa for each of the teams I am in. They both spoilt me, and I was super grateful for the presents I received. I mean, look how lucky I am! Thanks Steph and Sarah!
TBTB Santa was a whole other ball game, one that actually prompted a whole post of it’s own before Christmas. I have made two awesome friends in Ellen (my recipient) and Jenn (my Santa). I can’t thank Jamie and Jana enough for facilitating the whole thing! Bookish gift buying is something a lot of us don’t actually get to do enough, so it was an awesome thing to do. For a full lowdown, please check out my TBTB Santa Unboxing Post.
Family and Friends
Before you say anything, no, I’m not saying those in my secret santa groups were not friends, I just wanted to highlight their generosity in their own section. Firstly, I love wrapping and creating presents, and I love seeing how other people wrap presents that they give. I just think it’s all super exciting and fun. Opening my TBTB Santa box was awesome, and Jenn wrapped my presents amazingly (there was red stringy awesomeness and wrapping paper featuring dinosaurs with Santa hats one!) My parents wrapped my presents in London Underground Festive paper which was pretty cool, I love maps and we have two versions of the London Underground map on the walls in the house. My presents were in my sack too(which I’ve had since I was a small child and refuse to let go of)!
I know I am spoilt every year. I know I get great, thoughtful presents that I end up liking, but this year was just something else. I seem to have got such a brilliant, awesome, amazing, [insert more superlatives here] haul of presents this year that I am going to be saying thank you until next Christmas! I got books (and vouchers that I used to buy more books) Pandora Charms and Disney Safety Chain, pyjamas, dressing gown, socks, make up, smelly bathroom stuff, candles, Harry Potter stuff, art prints,a Disney towel, and chocolate (which isn’t pictured because I took the pictures on New Years Eve, and most of it had already gone by that point!), plus more that I’ve forgotten to mention! So yes, I don’t mean to show off or rub it in anyone’s face, but thank you. Thank you for such an amazing set of gifts!
That was Christmas 2017 in a nutshell. There were ups and downs, and couple of family squabbles and snapping, very little TV watching, and even a sneaky bath on Christmas day night! (sometimes, you just need the peace, quiet, and relaxation to read a new festive book!). There was over-eating, and lots of mess, but all round, it was pretty good!
How was Christmas 2017 for you? Was Santa kind to you? Did you get everything you wanted?