Isn’t it funny how everyone has their own take on Christmas? Like which presents Father Christmas brings – for us, our stocking presents are from him (yes, we still have stockings), but for other families he brings ALL the presents. And when we cooked our Christmas meal at university, everyone had different ‘proper’ ways of cooking things – some boil the potatoes before roasting, others don’t. Some cook the carrots in the microwave with sugar and butter (yummy!), others don’t. I think it’s interesting to find out how everyone does their own Christmas, so here’s Christmas as celebrated by us.
The first ‘child’ to wake up and see the filled stockings wakes all the other ‘children’ up and we gather in one of our rooms and open our stocking presents together. Suitable presents for stockings in our house include socks, chocolate, shower gel, jewellery, pretty tissues, a small game etc and at the bottom there MUST be an orange of some kind and a handful of nuts. When we were young and excitable, we would be given a time deemed suitable to wake our parents up, usually about 7:30 or so. Now, they’re usually up, showered and dressed before we’ve woken up! The only other thing we would do before waking them would be to sneak very quietly downstairs and peek into the sitting room which would look absolutely magical. The tree, which must be real, would have been decorated with a mismatch of decorations by all of us on Christmas Eve and the room would be in darkness apart from the glowing fairy lights (both white and coloured). Also on Christmas Eve, we would have placed all the presents under the tree apart from the ones from our parents, so on Christmas day the underneath of the tree, in comparison, would be overflowing with presents.
As children, we would then creep back upstairs and play with things in our stocking until we were allowed to wake our parents up. We would then sit on their bed and show them all the things we’d got in our stockings. After that, we’d all head downstairs and eat croissants together for breakfast while Bunny had his Christmas morning hop. This year, we were a bit behind with Christmas (I think it’s because Heather wasn’t here and she’s a definite driving force behind all things Christmas in our house!) and we still hadn’t watched any Christmas films, so we sat down to watch The Snowman, Father Christmas and the sequel to The Snowman – The Snowman and The Snowdog – which was released on Christmas Eve, while my mum started cooking. At about eleven, my mum went to pick up my grandma and once they came back we sat round and opened a few presents.
(Me sporting my new apron and pyjama trousers.)
There are certain rules with present-opening in our house. One of us will dive under the tree and dig out a present for each person amongst cries of ‘Not that one yet!’, or ‘Do my one for Rachel next!’. Once everyone’s got a present, we take it in turns to open them and appreciate them. This process gets repeated for as long as my mum can spare time from the kitchen. Because of this and the fact that there are usually around eight of us for Christmas, the presents last nearly all day long.
(Not sure where the third King’s wondered off to in this picture! He was definitely there when we set it all up!)
We have our Christmas meal at lunch time and all cram around the table for the best meal of the year. We stuff ourselves to the brim, pull crackers and then somehow force even more food in in the form of Christmas pudding, ice cream and mince pies. The next hour or so is spent rolling around on the floor groaning, or washing up (depending on age and gender). After that, a few more rounds of present-opening is done before putting the television on so my grandma can watch the Queen’s speech. We then usually have a bit of down-time, watching the children’s Christmas programmes on television (this year, Room on the Broom) and then the Doctor Who special. We open any presents that are left and then have some cheese and crackers followed by a chocolate Christmas tree decoration.
Once my grandma goes home in the evening (in time for her to watch the Eastenders special uninterrupted), we have the television on in the background and play a few games. This year, I got Pit in my stocking which is a very loud kind of card game. We play until quite late and then head to bed ready for Boxing day.
Traditionally, we all head over to my grandma’s house on Boxing day for another huge meal prepared by her. This year though, Rachel was working and my grandma didn’t really fancy cooking a huge meal, so we went for a morning paddle on the canal/walk. We had bubble and squeak from all the leftovers for lunch and then went to my grandma’s late in the afternoon. We had a bitty tea of bread, cheese, crackers, crisps etc and then chocolate log/apple crumble/mince pies and GINGERBREAD HOUSE for pudding. I was actually kind of glad to finally start eating the gingerbread house, but I think it would have been nicer if we’d eaten it closer to the time we made it!
We didn’t make much of an impact in it! I think I might take it down to the canoe club for all the juniors to gorge on. After tea, we watched a bit of Toy Story and played a few more games of Pit before going home and going to bed at half nine because we were all so tired!
Christmas this year was a bit different than usual and didn’t really feel like a proper Christmas, but we all had a nice time and I’m sure next year will come around in no time at all. I hope you all had nice Christmases too!