I’ve done a lot of festive things this December to get me in the mood for Christmas. So I thought I’d write a little post about my favourite events that occurred in this wonderful, twelfth month.
The fifth of December: I headed into London to meet my old university housemates for a Prosecco brunch. I lived with them for three years at University and we had an absolute whale of a time. It’s funny how you can go so long without seeing people and then when you finally meet up (11 months later!) you simply pick up where you left off. I’m a very lucky girl to have such wonderful friends in my life, friends who I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life. We met at Forge & Co, a lovely little brasserie set in Heal’s department store on Tottenham Court Road. We ordered delicious brunch dishes with eggs being the stars of the show and sipped a few too many refillable glasses of perfectly chilled Prosecco. Needless to say, I got my monies worth and drained about six glasses! I was certainly extremely merry by the end of it. It was a gorgeous afternoon, catching up with three girls who know me very well, laughing loudly and feeling festive as we took in London’s Christmas lights.
The twelfth of December: Today was time for a family Christmas day out to Hever Castle. Hever had laid on a festive spread including Christmas dinner, Santa’s Grotto, lights and a winter wonderland complete with Huskies. The Castle was also open, each room decked out in multiple and beautiful, Christmas trees. It really was quite spectacular. It was lovely to be out and about with my family and Oli, breathing in the December air and gazing at tenenbaums all lit up and decorated in different styles. The Christmas dinner was super tasty and Oli and I managed to secure a great stash of pigs in blankets. When Oli and I returned home, we enjoyed a large glass of mulled wine in front of the film Christmas with the Kranks – if you haven’t had the pleasure of watching this festive delight then do!
The eighteenth of December: I broke up from school for the Christmas holidays! Two weeks off of work is an absolute treat and is undoubtedly one of the best things about working in a school. After school I drove straight up to Oli’s to help with his Youth Club’s Christmas party. It was a black tie affair complete with chocolate fountain and bucking reindeer. He sure knows how to throw a party and I always come away from these events feeling so very proud of him and the amazing work that he tirelessly does.
The nineteenth of December: Oli and I went to see the new Star Wars film (which was amazing) at the cinema, followed by a Christmas food shop for our own Christmas dinner for two that we planned to have the next day. With the chicken, pigs in blankets and veg secured, Oli and I headed to his friends house for a Secret Santa exchange during which I drank quite a few glasses of mulled wine. We then headed to another friends house for dinner which consisted of the most succulent and tender roast beef that I think I’ve ever eaten. It was a really lovely, relaxing evening. I drank quite a lot of red wine, now that I come to think of it. Whoopsy…well, ’tis the season to drink and be merry, right?
The twentieth of December: Oli led a really wonderful youth service at the church complete with pantivity – a cross between a panto and the nativity. It was excellent. We then rushed down to my neck of the woods for a Christmas lunch with my friends. The whole group of us managed to make it which is quite unusual for us and it was such an enjoyable afternoon. I do love my friends, we have a whole load of stories and ‘be there moments’ and hilarious tales to reminisce over and we did just that over lunch. Some of the laughter was induced by pictures of the horrendous haircut that I used to sport, it was truly awful and looked like someone had plonked a cereal bowl on my head and simply cut my hair around it. We’ve been friends for over ten years now and they’re undoubtedly friends for life. They’re a bunch of good eggs!
With the flurry of shredded wrapping paper settling, food chewed and swallowed and Christmas greetings exchanged, Oli and I hopped back into his car and drove back to his, just in time for the Carols by candlelight service at his church. Oli was doing a reading and my parents were coming with us along with my cousin and his girlfriend. After the service, we drove past a pub that had the most amazing Christmas display outside it, or on it actually. On the exterior of the pubs building was a giant cracker with presents spilling out of it; not something you see everyday! We headed back to Oli’s with my family for cheese, biscuits and mulled wine by the mugful.
The twenty first of December: Oli and I had our own Christmas Day together. We had a lie in, then had fried eggs, smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce and toasted english muffins for breakfast accompanied by large glasses of Bucks Fizz. Then came the present opening and Oli truly spoilt me this year. Oli bought me the most beautiful Olivia Burton watch, an external hard drive to backup all my writing, a calendar of the two of us, some Benefit primer, a Little Miss Sunshine mug, fairy lights and the cutest present of all was two mix tapes – well, mix CD’s – of all my favourite songs for when I’m driving to and from his. I’m a very lucky girl; he’s so sweet and thoughtful! We spent the day watching christmas films, walking, drinking and eating our home cooked Christmas dinner which was outstanding if I do say so myself.
The twenty second of December: Oli and I headed for Mottisfont, an amazing National Trust property in Romsey. They had a Christmas Carol exhibition on there and in each of the property’s rooms they told the tale of Charles Dickens’ festive fable. It was an unexpected delight and all the costumes on display were made entirely of paper, I was very impressed. After a cream tea, we drove into Winchester to go ice skating. I spent most of the time on the rink, holding onto Oli’s hand for dear life, terrified of falling over. But on the upside, the backdrop of Winchester Cathedral was the perfect setting. When we got home we reheated yesterdays Christmas dinner leftovers and had the whole meal again and it was ideal.
The twenty fourth of December: My parents and I have gone to Bath for Christmas, as my sister and her children are spending the day with her husband’s family in Wales and Oli is in Scotland for Christmas. So away we went. I decided to take my parents for afternoon tea at the Pump Room as part of their Christmas present. And what a lovely treat it was too. I donned my favourite pink lipstick and spent the afternoon sipping hot tea and nibbling delicious confections.
And now here we are on the eve of Christmas, I can’t say I feel terribly festive mainly because I’m missing Oli a ridiculous amount but tomorrow is Christmas if I’m ready or not. December’s been a full and rich month and I’m sad that it’s coming to an end. I guess what I’m really trying to say is, Merry Christmas! Have a great one! I hope to make the New Year as full and exciting as the one that is slowly but surely concluding.