Christmas is over for another year.
It’s a bit strange because for the first time ever I’ve not worked up until Christmas eve, and will be having nearly 2 weeks off work. For me it feels like a bit of wasted time because friends go away or are busy with family, we do a few meals with family, but on the farm it’s still pretty much normal working apart from a few hours off on Christmas day. And because of the time of year, lots of places are closed so we’re limited on being able to visit places.
Instead, we’ve vegetated, watched a lot of films (I’m trying frantically to catch up on all the films I taped from the last month or so), built lego and dens, and online shopped the sales pretty much unsuccessfully.
But Christmas itself was nice enough, and covered the usual traditions we have.
The OH’s family have always gone to the local pub for a meal, and now there’s 15 of us we still go there. The pub is small, but the landlady is a wonderful host, and the men go there for their shoot dinners as well, so we always get a great welcome.
We take over one room so we’re out of the way of the customers all coming in for a drink. Annoyingly, I spotted a family who live opposite one sister-in-law, go in the pub along with lots of others turning up. But it wasn’t until the next day I realised an old school friend who’s now living in Australia was also in the pub. She’s over in the UK for Christmas, so it’s a shame we missed each other.
We had a delicious meal. N loves being out in the pub and had been looking forward to his fish and chips order for days. But he came down with a horrible cold that day so was really flagging and didn’t eat as much as he usually would.
Quite often we’ll go for drinks at the farm afterwards, but this year it was straight home to put out Santa’s mince pie, milk and a carrot.
N was determined to set the tray out just right. It’s so sweet to see him rationalising what he has to put out and why. Knowing that Father Christmas was coming meant there was no moaning about going to bed, or struggling to sleep. Straight to bed, asleep and all by 8.
Father Christmas did have a bit of a worry when there were footsteps across the landing just as a filled stocking was about to be put in N’s room. Luckily he went straight back to sleep so all was fine and delivered.
We were having a quiet Christmas day again. Just us and my brother.
N woke and came into bed with me before the OH came back in from work, and before N was allowed to open his stocking gifts. He was so excited, but was really good about not going downstairs or opening any presents until everyone was in.
Father Christmas did a good job and N liked everything in it. Then it was time to get up, get dressed and head downstairs to have breakfast and open presents.
N was so excited to see he’d got a new bike. I was a little worried that it seemed to be too high despite us trying out the 16 inch bikes in store. But luckily, he tried it in shoes, and its manageable.
However he was even more excited to see he also had new farm models. So much for getting rid of old toys, when the OH is buying new ones.
On Christmas morning we always go over to the farm to exchange presents, then down to each of the sister and brother-in-laws. It’s one of the good things about living so close, that we can just nip over and still be back in plenty of time for my brother to arrive.
Bucks Fizz is always the order of the day when visitors arrive. And we always have turkey for Christmas lunch. The OH and N have Christmas pudding while this time I made a cherries in kirsch bakewell magic pudding. It tasted so good, and that was without the additional booze being included. N really struggled at lunch time with his cold. All of a sudden he was almost asleep in his plate, so he went for a long sleep.
We chatted and played with new toys until the OH had to go back out to work. N was back on better form on waking, so back out came the farm vehicles along with the space hopper.
Despite thinking we couldn’t eat any more, we did have the in laws over for a tea of leftovers, rolls and crackers.
While I always think it’s disappointing that for such a big close family we never do a big Christmas lunch for everyone, a quiet one does mean it’s less noisy and stressful. So it was a lovely day.
Boxing day was a drier day. N was determined to get out on his bike, so we spent the best part of an hour with his riding the bike up and down the drive. I had been worried about it looking too big, but with shoes on it’s perfect. The bike lights he had in his stocking went down a treat too.
For the rest of the day, the weather went downhill. N went out to work on the farm with his dad, and I did a bit of online sale shopping. I have to say I struggled to get hold of jumpers and trousers for N. Nowhere seemed to have anything at all. I’ll be heading into town instead to see if I can get something in there.
I spotted the boxing day hunt going past the farm. They didn’t come over our fields, but elsewhere we discovered someone (likely followers rather than the hunt themselves) had moved a fence round our sheep, and not replaced it afterwards. Needless to say, sheep escaped which wasn’t fun for my brother-in-law trying to round them up again. He wasn’t best pleased, and the Master of the hunt has been round to apologise yet again. More leftovers for tea – cold turkey, and ham, jacket potatoes, salad and reheated red cabbage . Delicious and so much less hassle than having to think of something to cook every day.
Overall, it was an everyday Christmas with a sprinkling of magic at certain times. But it works for us, and helps that N is at prime age for Father Christmas.
We also had a big family meal at the farm this evening, and it was nice to have the cousins all together. The evening didn’t end too brilliantly, after N fell and bumped his head. He then just wanted to go home, so grumbled and cried a lot before agreeing to go to bed.
I hope all my readers had an enjoyable Christmas, and all the best for the new year.