It's a hive of activity here today. I've been to collect the turkey and ham, prepared the tiramisu for Boxing Day, decorated the Christmas cake, made canapes for the big day tomorrow. The turkey is roasting and the ham is boiling, ready to be glazed and put in the oven to brown off. I think all that sounds like a lot more effort than it really is because I've had a lovely morning pottering in the kitchen, drinking coffee, Christmas songs playing on the radio in the background.
The Christmas holidays started well with a fixed boiler and a fantastic Christmas night out with my work colleagues on Friday night. So much dancing and laughing, what a fun bunch they are. The weekend was a nice balance of jobs and fun; I blitzed the house and caught up on the washing, but we also went to the panto at the King's Theatre in Southsea, had fish and chips for dinner, went for a long, muddy walk in the woods and watched our favourite festive film, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
There has also been time for a little festive crafting. Bella wanted to make crackers this year for when we host Boxing Day lunch, so we had fun yesterday morning doing that. They're a bit messy and very definitely homemade but we stuffed as many chocolates as we could fit inside each one so I think they will be well received.
I also made an advent candle, based on a tutorial I saw recently on Jen's blog Mum in the Madhouse. I've always coveted the beautiful Ferm Living advent candle but could never justify the price, and this was so easy to make.
I did my usual Christmas mantel faffing this year, using off cuts from the tree and some wooden trees I got from Sainsburys a year ago to create a sort-of woodland feel. I like it. The tree cuttings are holding up remarkably well. We chose a Nordmann Fir this year and it has hardly faded or dropped needles at all, I'm so impressed with it.
I need to walk the dog and do a few other chores before I can relax. We are going over to my sister's for mulled wine and mince pies later which will be lovely, but I don't really switch off until John gets in from work, usually around seven, and we can have a few drinks and watch something together on TV. The children will hang their stockings (Angus still believes!) and the elves will deliver Christmas Eve pyjamas, as is traditional. I hope they never outgrow this kind of stuff, I love it. We're at my parents' house for lunch tomorrow, then hosting ten on Boxing Day. We're doing turkey, ham and leek pie. Then comes my favourite part, that delicious few days between Christmas and New Year when you can stop and relax a little, read a book, do a jigsaw, a little crochet.
Wishing you all a wonderful, happy and peaceful Christmas. Thank you for always being here and reading and saying hello. Merry Christmas!