Lord, I wish I could knit!
If I could, I'd fashion the most preposterous festive jumper and matching waistcoat ever! Eeeeeeee, never mind eh!
I was just thinking about how families develop their own Christmas traditions, over the years. Christmas simply wouldn't be Christmas without them, right!
We have watered ours down, over the years now the kids aren't little, but still love a new pair of festive PJ's for wearing on xmas eve, also a stocking full of sweets, socks and in the case of my son, tiny bottles of gin. I fill them with items specific to their hobbies and fads! Cheap and cheerful! His own best girl now makes him a homemade advent calendar full of gin! Go Sophie, saves me a job!
Just had my youngest asking where her advent calendar is......she's nearly 18!
We do eat a lot over the space of a few days! I bet you do too! No matter, we can always walk it off with the equally overfed dogs!! It really is all about food in our house!
I always cook around 50 sausages on Christmas day but it's never enough! We always have turkey curry on Boxing day! If there's any bird and pig left, we have turkey and ham pie on the 27th! Oh and bubble and Squeak with poached eggs on boxing day morning! I love these timeless festive food traditions, don't you? They are unique to our family and possibly a bit odd to some, but who cares!
These odd traditions are comforting and they add routine to an otherwise manic life! Homemade is also best isn't? I've promised the kids we will do the 'real' decorating, in other words, the fresh foliage bits, when they are here and not before! So we will have a proper craft day and make the table centre pieces, wreaths and swags together!
Having kids around in the lead up to Christmas is what I'm most missing this year. The dogs do try to appreciate my giddiness but hide, when I yell at Alexa to turn up the Christmas carols! I find myself really finally looking forward to the grandchildren not born yet....probably not even a twinkle in my son's eye.......don't worry son I can wait.... say as much as five years! Start that clock!
I've just spent a couple of hours tracking down fresh duck, which doesn't seem to be a thing in the supermarkets. I ended up at the DUCK Farm shop! Who knew duck could be presented so many ways! I wanted to pop some fresh duck breasts, pulled duck and duck confit in my freezer, ready for Christmas! So I'm pretty pleased with myself today! I also went further out to a different supermarket and managed to finally find some decent sized sliced Gluten Free bread and pork sausages! I guess I am still finding my feet here!
Winter is definitely on it's way back after a mild few weeks! We are due a dump of snow again at the weekend and so I'm going to stay indoors this weekend. I need to tick off somethings on my pre Christmas to do list! To make this more palatable I'm going to make Rick Steins Duck Cottage Pie, or Parmentier de Confit de Canard if you are French! I've really enjoyed his series 'Rickk Steins Secret France'. Always good to have trip down memory lane, isn't it!
Winter TV is far better than at any other time of the year I feel, don't you?. We are already looking forward to the Queens speech, Doctor Who and Call the Midwives specials! Wouldn't be Christmas with a few reruns of the UK golden oldies such as Only Fools and Horses and The Vicar of Dibley!
I love it when it's my sons turn to come to us. We do the every second year thing now, to ensure it's fair to both sets of parents. I love that my Daughter in Love is uber creative and loves wrapping gifts! So I manage to farm all the wrapping out to her! She's also great at setting a pretty Christmas table and so, somehow I do get time off on Christmas eve!
Christmas eve has always been when my youngest takes her Dad, to do his Christmas shopping. Always a last minute scramble! I use this quiet time to get all the veg prepped and the ham cooked. Always seems easier in an empty house.
I really do miss a good English pub at this time of year, don't you?
Throughout all of this frivolity it is really important to do our bit for those not so lucky at Christmas and we do. We give to charities and ensure we make up boxes of food, clothes and toiletries to pass on to folks in need. Christmas really is less about gifts and more about the gift of time and thought for us these days. Just as it should be.