Christmas - Spending time with Family and Christmas Day at Mum and Dad's

December 10, 2014

Probably the thing that I love and look forward to most at Christmas is spending time with family. For some people that thought fills them with dread but I'm lucky in that us five - my parents, brother, Ben and I are a really close family and have lots of fun together. I love the week between Christmas and New Year so much, when everybody has a couple of weeks off work and can just enjoy watching Christmas TV, films, eating, drinking, seeing friends, going to neighbour's and going on long dog walks. The build up to Christmas is always pretty hectic with lots going on but the best time really begins on Christmas Eve when we all gather at my parents and spend most of the next week there, the days just merge into one with no clock watching. I'd love to share a few photos of my parent's beautiful barn conversion where we spend our magical Christmases every year. 

I don't think I'll ever be too old for a stocking, even the dog gets one! My Mum is like Mrs Claus at Christmas, I've definitely got my love of all things festive from her over the years. And the mantel is perfect for hanging them from.

Christmas Eve normally involves getting everything ready for Christmas Day. We have a working party peeling sprouts and making the stuffing, we walk down to the village and see the carollers and sometimes go to the pub. Then we light a fire and have a traditional supper of ham {cooked the Nigella coca cola way, blog post on that to follow}, cheese and pickles, some of the best kind of christmas food. Last year we watched Christmas in a Day, a really lovely documentary made up of real footage submitted by people around the UK of their Christmases. Then you go to bed and feel all excited with a jingly tummy. When I was little my Mum used to say that you'd be able to hear the sleigh bells and reindeer on the roof if you went to sleep quickly on Christmas Eve, the whole concept of Santa is so magical for children leaving the mince pie and carrot out! 

Despite being all grown up, we still shout 'He's been, he's been' when we come out on Christmas Day morning to find full stockings and start handing out the presents from under the tree. Mum puts the turkey in the oven and then we can get unwrapping! The lounge quickly looks like a bomb site with wrapping paper everywhere. 

The dog gets to open his presents from Santa Paws, and takes his new toys off to his bed with a waggy tail. 

We then take the dog out across the fields, I've even been running on Christmas Day a few times, it's surprising how many people are out and about too, everyone has a smile on their face though for Christmas! And then it's time to get ready, Ben and I normally go to his Mum's for a couple of hours in the morning to see his family to exchange presents and have breakfast.

My brother and I were accidentally colour co-ordinated last Christmas {and he's taller than me now, sob}

We always have a huge turkey but last year was crazy. There were 13 of us for dinner but even if there's just a small gathering we love leftovers. My Mum cooks an amazing roast dinner. 

Ben's the sous-chef and chief turkey carver!

My Dad's got a real soft spot for this pup <3 

Grandpa doing what Grandpa's do best, keeping his hat on for the longest. You can guarantee that he'll be the one last wearing his hat from a Christmas cracker. Love my Grandparent's they're so cute.

My Mum always does a beautiful job of laying the Christmas table in the dining room, this year it's going to be a sort of kraft paper, red and white theme. 

We normally eat around 3 or 4pm, after the Queen's Speech of course.

And then a feast is served! Red cabbage and pigs in blankets are my favourite with turkey. And cranberry sauce. Allll the trimmings. 

Riley gets his very own Christmas dinner too. Lucky dog. 

Cheers! My tummy is rumbling just thinking about this year's dinner, not long to wait now. 

My Dad's had a Christmas tradition since he was young that we all chant, and bang on the table 'CHRISTMAS PUDDING, CHRISTMAS PUDDING" while you're waiting for it to be lit and carried to the table flaming. 

This photo was from two years ago and I just realised we were in the same colour again. We love maroon at Christmas it would seem. This was when my brother had long hair too. 

After the huge roast dinner we collapse on the sofas for a while. Christmas TV is always disappointing so playing games is normally a better idea, Linkee was a new favourite last year or sometimes just good old fashioned charades if we're not too full to move. 

My parents have an old granary barn opposite their brick barn that was converted into a games room, gym and bar. It's fun to go over there later in the evening with some cheese and biscuits when you start getting a bit hungry again. My Dad could play snooker for hours. 

Boxing Day always brings a long family walk to start burning some of the previous day's dinner off! 

But the best thing about boxing day?! Leftovers!!! Turkey and stuffing sandwiches, ham, cheese, pickles, bubble and squeak, chocolate, gingerbread, chocolate in front of the TV. And it's still Christmas until New Year so you can eat everything and then think about the consequences when January rolls around. 

I've got a lot of love for this crazy family.

Is your Christmas Day similar to this? Drastically different? Any fun traditions? We have family friends for Christmas Day this year. 

R <3 xx 

{15 days to go! This time in two weeks it will be Christmas Eve. This makes me smile so much.}

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