Every year seems to be different when it comes to the festive period, when I was younger they all seemed to have the same feeling and atmosphere. It was so exciting, massively anticipated, it really was the most wonderful time of the year, lots more family would be around the table for Christmas dinner too but as the years have gone on traditions have changed, relatives have started families of their own and their own traditions, moved away or have sadly passed away.
I remember when the whole family would go to church then crowd into my grandparents house, the house was always full of people on Christmas day and lots of different foodie smells. Each of us would be tasked with something to keep us occupied, either something simple like making the brandy butter or setting up our prawn cocktail starters or looking after our younger cousins and making sure they didn’t get into any mischief but as we got older the tasks we were allowed to help with expanded.
Nowadays Christmas is quite a small affair. Years gone by I remember having over a dozen people around the table, this year there was just the 5 of us; me, my granny, my mum, my stepdad and my younger brother.
This year as I am working in retail again I had Christmas day, boxing day, Dec 27th, 29th and 30th off but had to work 28th and 31st. Not too shabby really, it could have been worse but I’m still hoping next year I’ll be able to have a solid week or two off over the festive period so I can go on more adventures ^_^
Christmas eve 4 of us stayed at my Granny’s house (I’m currently living here full time, parents were in the spare double room but Jac was at his dad’s), once the others had arrived with the Chinese takeaway we’d ordered, put their things in their room and gifts were put under the tree we all sat around the fire place eating food and drinking wine, my cousin Hannah popped round to pick up the gifts mum and I had bought them which was a lovely little visit. 3 of us then took turns showering and got into our matching PJ’s, we skyped my family in New Zealand and then called it a night.
Christmas day we got up, had poached egg and salmon on toast and a fresh pot of coffee (I felt very posh, if it weren’t for my stripey elf pjs and hat). Went to church, sung some of our favourite Christmas carols and hymns, chatted to the rest of the congregation and our lovely vicar then my parents went to go and get my little brother while Granny and I went to Penault to put a Christmas wreath on my Great Grandparents grave and give it a little tidy up. Usually we do this on the run up to Christmas but due to the bad weather and my work schedule we hadn’t managed it so decided to go visit them on Christmas day instead which was lovely.
We drove back home, created our Christmas feast, demolished as much of it as we could, then went into the living room to dish out and open our presents. I have been very lucky this year and have received a lot of amazing things including things for my car, some books, lots of chocolates and alcohol sets and some pampering items amongst other things. My parents and brother were driving to Wolverhampton in the evening, having to go home and pack the car ready to go to New York extremely early on 27th first so they left around 5pm. After they had left Granny and I opened the few gifts we hadn’t unwrapped yet then relaxed in front of the tele watching the Christmas episodes of Call the Midwife and Gavin and Stacey, had a phonecall with my cousins and auntie and I got lots of cuddles from Granny’s cat Oli, he barely left my lap all evening which was lovely, he keeps me very toasty.
Boxing day I drove myself and Granny up to Wolverhampton to spend the day with some of my step family, 4 generations of them in fact. We got there later than planned thanks to roadworks and delays on the roads but it was lovely to spend the day together, we had lots of food, catch ups and even more gifts, I got a lot of lovely hugs from my step nephew and step nieces, there was lots of love in that house. Time flew by and before we knew it it was 4.30 and getting rather dark so we finished watching the new Jungle book on TV, said our goodbyes then I drove us back. My sat nav did not want to cooperate however so the journey home took longer than expected and we didn’t get home until 8pm, very stressful journey back but at least I got us home in one piece. (I did take lots of photos but going to keep those to myself for my scrapbooks ^_^)
27th was my chance for a lie in so I took it, first day without having to set an alarm for the next morning and it was bliss! I woke up around 10 but I was in bed reading and on my phone just relaxing until midday. Had a late breakfast, drove to my mums to drop off all the gifts they had from yesterday so they didn’t have to take them to New York with them and stayed in their empty quiet house to do a bit of work and catch up on some writing that I haven’t done for ages which was lovely.
In the evening my auntie Sarah, uncle Donald, cousins Louise and Becky drove down to visit. We had a lovely evening of catching up, scratching off the map I’d bought Louise for xmas, playing games and trying their Hello Fresh recipe that they had brought down with them (fragrant lamb pilaf with spinach and minted yoghurt) which smelled and tasted AMAZING. If it wasn’t for the cost- and the fact I currently live with my Granny who cooks for the two of us every evening- I would be tempted to try out the subscription for myself.
28th I had work during the day and had planned to meet up with some friends for pizza afterwards but plans fell through so spent the evening eating dinner and playing card games such as Uno with my family instead.
29th I had a nice lie in, had breakfast, went to see some more of my family then had a girlie afternoon with my friend Lola, went shopping in Gloucester then went back to hers to watch Mary Poppins returns as she hadn’t seen it yet, I played the original Mary Poppins soundtrack on my drive home, had a gorgeously cooked steak, veg and wedges then had an early night after reading a couple of chapters of my current book.
30th I went to my mum’s (they are away in New York but said I could stay there if I wanted), did some more writing, watched a film called ‘Surviving Christmas with the Relatives’ then headed into town for my drs appointment, back to granny’s for dinner and cuddles with the cat, watched a bit of tele then went upstairs to watch ‘Beaches’ before bed, lots of emotions meant I fell asleep quicker than usual, bonus.
New Years Eve I worked until 4 then drove to Ross to bring in the new year with two of my friends from secondary school, Mhairi and Lola. We watched ‘The Sweetest Thing’, had an old school predrink/get ready session, had lots of gin and wine between us, ate pizzas, chips and snacky bits, had a LOT of laughs, took lots of photos, played around with most of the snapchat filters, watched the fireworks at midnight through the window and on TV and had a really chilled out NYE, it was just what I needed-thanks girls.
January 1st we had a lie in, chilled in front of the TV, Lola made us an epic roast dinner then it was back to lounging infront of the TV screen. We watched The Lego movie 1 and 2, Bridget Jones’ Diary (the first one), How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World (the 3rd one) and Game Night. All opf course accompanied by the obligatory snacks, we had tubs of pringles, chocolates, sweets and several cups of tea- bliss.
I was meant to be going to London for New Years eve until 2nd Jan but plans were changed last minute, I drove up Wednesday night and drove home late Thursday instead. Spent most of the time giving lots of attention to the gorgeous and very loving guide dog called Woody (so much so he looked really sad whenever I stopped, bless him), also watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and ate takeaway- was great! Another very chilled out day.
It was then sadly back to reality. However, I started my full time role with one of my former part time jobs today and I have lots of things in the pipeline so lots of things to be looking forward to.
How were your Christmas celebrations this year? How did 2019 treat you? How did you end up bringing in the new year? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time, TTFN.
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