Happy Christmas 2016

Thursday 29 December 2016

So, that’s Christmas been and gone for another year.

Did you have a good one? Whatever your thoughts on the meaning of the day itself, I think its a valuable chance to spend time reconnecting with loved ones, and we’ve been enjoying doing just that this year.

Here’s a little look at what we got up to....

Last Christmas, we had a three month old baby, so we mainly spent time at home. On Christmas Day, we had people over to us – and somehow ended up cooking dinner for eight, which may not have been the best idea!

Although it was Theo’s first Christmas, he was far too little to play much of a part in the day itself.

This year, everything was different. At 15 months, Theo was old enough to enjoy some of the nicest things about the day.

He enjoyed trying Christmas dinner, loved playing with some new toys and gave the Christmas tree a round of applause each day when he came downstairs in the morning!

A lot of people told us he’d be big into messing around with the wrapping paper but he wasnt. He’s actually bizarrely tidy and doesn’t really seem to enjoy making a mess – sometimes he'll be tidying away his toys as I’m getting them out for him to play with!

On Christmas Eve, my mother in law held a little party, so we all went around there for the evening, had a few glasses of fizz and enjoyed her log burner along with Seb’s two sisters and their children.

That evening, I was so excited to help Father Christmas out by filling up Theo’s stocking. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited in my life as I was creeping out of his nursery, imagining him waking up in the morning and seeing it magically appeared there, full of presents.

On Christmas morning, Seb and I were awake quite early, but Theo slept in a bit longer, tired out from running around with his cousins the day before.

We were sat in bed with a cup of tea, watching the festive cartoons and waiting for him to join us. When he woke up, he came in to have a cuddle and we found out what was in his stocking – lots of fun stuff like animal dominoes, bubbles and a couple of Kinder chocolates.

We put on his knitted snowman print Babygro from Baby Boden and took him downstairs to find more presents under the tree! Seb made some delicious Danish pastries and we had them with some gingerbread espresso while opening all of Theo’s gifts – which took a surprisingly long time.

He had so much lovely stuff including collectors editions of the Winnie The Pooh and Dr Seuss books, a toy Bing bunny, a wooden fire engine, and lots of puzzles and games.

We didn’t even bring his main present -  a swing set for the garden – into the house. He had so much, its nice to stagger the rest, so he’ll have stuff to discover next year as well.

After all that excitement, Theo went for a morning nap so Seb and I seized the lull as a chance to open our own gifts.

I was an extremely lucky lady indeed. As well as a stocking full of gorgeous gourmet chocolates and biscuits, Seb had also got me some Rosa Absoluta bath oil from Molton Brown, a pair of stunning burgundy leather gloves from Reiss, a burgundy suede belt from Paul Smith, a Fitbit Alta (which will help me on my quest for a healthier 2017 life), some Hortus winter spice gin (which definitely won't, but c'est La vie), and has also somehow managed to track down the particular ideal grey jumper from Modern Rarity that I’ve been coveting since spotting it at the Intu Autumn VIP Bloggers event.

I also got lots of other fun little bits including gin and tonic lollipops, Grounded coffee body scrubs, a pair of crystal candlesticks for the dining table, and a biscuit making machine that stamps little designs out. So afternoon tea at mine, anyone?

I wasn't expecting so much, especially given that he bought me my dream bag, a Mulberry Bayswater, last year, but I got spoilt again. He's very thoughtful with gifts. I'm a lucky lady!

In the afternoon, we went over to Seb’s older sister Kirsty’s house. Theo got even more presents from his Granny and his auntie. He wore himself out playing on the trampoline with his cousins Annabel and Jude before dinner.

It was quite nice not to have to cook this year, so I made the most of it! Dinner was delicious traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings, and pudding was especially a hit with Theo – Kirsty made cookie dough pots, and there was Christmas pudding too. A really cosy, family evening.

My dad and stepmother were actually running a community dinner on Christmas Day for homeless or otherwise lonely people, so we didn’t see them on the day. On Boxing Day we drove over to their house to spend some time together and swap presents. They got Theo a really lovely snow suit and snow boots along with some toys.

The rest of the holidays so far have actually been quite busy. We went out for lunch with our friends Adam and Phil the next day, to a great gastropub near the cricket grounds called Larwood and Voce. I ordered the pie and a big glass of red wine - it was absolute heaven.

We haven’t seen either of the boys for a while, actually not since we were all at Phil’s wedding to the lovely Vicky. We got a brilliant surprise when we opened our Christmas card from them- they’re expecting a baby! I about squealed the place down when I saw they’d signed off the card from themselves and ‘bump’.

The next day we went to visit our friends Rich and Katie, who are Theo’s godparents. We pulled our boots on and went for a walk through the gorgeous countryside around their lovely little cottage.

It was one of those days that’s super frosty but really golden – perfect weather for a walk. It was amazing to have a wander and a catch up, then we went back to theirs and had a cheeseboard for lunch. The absolute best thing about Christmas is cheeseboards.

The day after I went to meet one of my oldest friends, Claire, in town. She works in London, so I don’t get to see her as much as Id like, but its one of those friendships where it doesn’t matter how long we go without seeing each other – things just pick up where they left off seamlessly. That is worth its weight in gold.

We went to Bills for brunch -  a stack of blueberry buttermilk pancakes with crispy maple bacon and a latte. After, we decided to go to the cinema (this was a big deal to me -  I never get to go because Seb doesn’t like it) and we saw Passengers.

Today is the first day of the holidays we’ve actually had at home! Another frosty welly walk in the morning and a poke around HomeSense for any sale bargains.

Tomorrow is New Years Eve but also Seb’s birthday, so well be cooking a special dinner and enjoying a fire and maybe another cheeseboard!

Happy Christmas to everyone.

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