The last guest has left and we have the house to ourselves for the first time in nearly two weeks…and I don’t much like it!
For us, the Christmas and New Year period is ALL about family and we have had lots of different house guests coming and going since 23rd December. Our home has been filled to the brim with the sound of laughter and excitement and, of course, song – imagine a constant stream of the very refined and beautiful Downton Abbey’s Christmas album interspersed with the equally fabulous Wurzel’s Christmas CD and you might get the picture.
Cooking for an average of fourteen people twice a day and three changes of bed linen for the same over ten days was self imposed madness, but wonderful at the same time. Fantastic mayhem, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
It started with the Christmas Eve Carol Service in our church.
The dogs accompanied us in their Santa outfits and The Boys took part in the annual five minute Nativity play, whilst a packed church sang Christmas carols, drank mulled wine and nibbled on hot sausages and mince pies.
The Boys sent their letters to Father Christmas the traditional way before going to bed whilst the grown ups enjoyed a comforting stew and dumplings in front of the fire.
Christmas morning – The Kids all came in at 5:10am to open their stockings in our bedroom.
“Pin The Nose On Rudolph” at 5:30am seemed like a good idea at the time!
As did wearing silly faces:)
We were far too busy having fun to take many photos, but here’s one from Christmas Day lunch.
Presents are opened one-by-one after lunch at about 4.30pm and lasts two hours as we each watch every single present being opened separately. The Boys were thrilled to bits with all their new riding gear!
Boxing Day was more of the same – eating, drinking (the Sloe Port and Sloe Gin didn’t last long!) and generally making merry. Games were played, films were watched and a good time was had by all.
Remember the Hansel & Gretyl Gingerbread House I ordered, complete with all the characters and lit up by a tea light inside?
The Boys loved it and, I have to say, it was the tastiest gingerbread I’ve ever had!
Monday meant a change of house guests for a couple of nights – this time all six kids (including the two that live in Brighton), one boyfriend, one Fiancé and the newest addition, baby Lilah.
We take a group photo of them all which has been lovely to see over the years as it doesn’t happen very often that they all get together at the same time.
Wednesday saw six more guests who had Eggs Royale for breakfast which was declared “The best breakfast I have ever had” by one of the men. He can come again!
My auntie and cousin joined us later in the day – here’s my cousin complete with all her travelling paraphernalia from her recent knee op.
Talking of ops – I went in at 7am on New Year’s Eve for surgery and waited in my hospital gown and sexy anti-thrombosis socks for six hours…
….before being informed that my notes had been lost meaning the surgery had to be postponed until the New Year!
At least it meant I could rejoin the party at home and enjoy a great New Year’s Eve celebration.
Yesterday, we were invited to another family lunch at my dad’s cousin’s ancient farmhouse. We LOVE visiting, and have happy memories of staying as children. Such an unspoilt building with heaps of character and has, rather wonderfully, escaped ‘modernisation’. This is the view through to the dining room with the Christmas tree glowing in the background. Perfect.
Just one last photo for Teresa – this is the dress I was talking about:)
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!