Christmas Tradition

It's becoming a bit of Christmas tradition on our hillside to go out for a family meal in the villages that surround our home. We'd like to say this has everything to do with shop local, and part of it does; what you spend in a business based in a community reaps benefits for that community compared to going to a big chain. However, our choice this year meant a leisurely walk, no taxis and a bottle of wine to warm us up when we got there. Yes, this year we have decided to eat local too and the meal was wonderful. Happiness was in the air at around 12% volume (though of course Little D didn't even get a snowball).

Christmas tradition

Christmas tradition

We should have photographed the meal for all you foodies but frankly we'd had a few glasses by the time the steaks came out and Little D tucked into his fish. This set us up nicely for the big event, not Christmas Day, but the day Little D discovers he is on the nice or naughty list. This involves a letter, a message from Father Christmas and a hamper, if he has been nice to set him up for Christmas Day.

Father Christmas visited

Father Christmas visited

Father Christmas visited

Fortunately, Little D did not get a lump of coal and woke to a message from St Nick and some nice things to tuck into including cherry pancakes.

Cherry pancakes

Not everything went to plan, we nearly forgot to put up the advent calendar and some last minute running around meant we saved the day if not the original advent calendar. We forgot to go to the light switch on in the village and can't remember where we put the Christmas angels for safe keeping, something that has greatly upset Carol as they belonged to her late-Grandma. However, Carol cooked some wonderful sausage rolls and these lasted for at least thirty minutes after coming out of the oven. Carol sighed at this and said that she has more sausage meat in the freezer, so we have promises of more sausage rolls for New Year! If we get round to it we'll share our recipe.

Sausage rolls

By the big day the tree was brimming with decorations that Little D and Carol had been adding whilst Andrew's back was turned. Even the pickles were broken out early, showing that some early chutney and pickle planning back in summer paid off! Showing that some larder planning always goes down a storm in our home.

Plan your pickles at Christmas in summer

The big day started at 6:00am when Little D found a present on his bed, in the hope that this would keep him busy until daylight, at 6:30am he had flung himself on our bed and was jumping up and down. We managed to catch a few more minutes sleep before he turned up, fully dressed with a complete itinerary for the day. Surprise, surprise, Father Christmas has come to our's during the night and we had one delighted little boy.

Merry Christmas, kids

We had a delighted big boy and girl too.

Giving at Christmas is what it is all about

Then family descended and food was prepped, cooked and laid out with wine and sherry, and water for the none-drinkers. Thankfully, the drinkers didn't have far to stagger.

Christmas meal at Pig Row

At the end of the night, we even had snow! For us, this is the first white Christmas since 2010 and not a patch on 2013, which was more of a cabin fevered Christmas than sledging down a hillside Christmas.

White Christmas

Even the leftovers made it into our traditional Boxing Day omelette.

Boxing day omelette recipe

And, Carol and Little D commenced the great build of Little D's toys, with much back ache and love.

Building toys at Christmas, the back ache and the love

Through it all though has been the wonderful crackle of wood on our stove, making us warm and keeping down our heating bills. Merry Christmas, everyone, and a Happy New Year.


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