We have spent the last few days surrounded by family and friends and loved it. We have eaten WAY too much, walked miles on dog walks and opened and gifted plenty of presents. It has been the perfect festive period.
|Everyone was lucky enough to get a present|
Our Christmas Eve was spent wrapping presents, then attending a community carol service at the local church. We had Laura's 91 year old Nan with us and she loved every song. After singing out loud for all to hear - as is the order according to Elf - we returned home to a dinner of party food (sausage rolls, mini sausages etc) and cheese and meat. It was SO good. Then we settled in to watch Elf, which seems to be becoming a tradition. We also got stockings ready for each of our guests to open in the morning.
On Christmas morning we woke early to speak to Laura's Australian grandparents who were full of the of the Christmas spirit and were showing off a delicious looking passion fruit pavlova. As we were all awake we decided to start the day with a full cooked English breakfast courtesy of my wonderful wife. Then on to presents :)
Laura's wish list was set in place well in advance so I had an easy task, quite a few household and beauty requests that included a garlic crusher, a carving set and selfie light. Then a few extras of my choice like earrings and a mini party raclette. We also need to track down Philip Hue lights for the last addition and Willam's 'Suck Less - where there is a Willam there's a way' book arrived today.
I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Charlie and the chocolate factory, Britney's new album and an Amazon Dot.
From Laura's parents we received a lot of goodies from their travels in France that including syrup in peach and raspberry flavours for prosecco or champagne, tubs of Haribo sweets and slippers that get heated in our new microwave that was also a gift a beautiful table cloth and an Amazon Echo tower.
|A snapshot of our goodies|
From my parents we also got slippers, a few new clothes additions, lots of make up and Laura got a driving lesson to get her on the road.
From my sister we got tickets to Little Mix - woohoo - and from her boyfriend we got a Spa day - whoop! From Laura's brother we got tickets to the cereal cafe and as we now have one in Birmingham it's a reason to check it out.
We were also lucky enough to get great gifts from friends including a full size raclette grill, an Amazon Fire Stick and tons of sweet treats.
The house is bursting which is part of the reason we wanted to start the tidy up.
Laura is trying to make our house a smart house which is helped by the addition of the Amazon Echo devices and Philip Hue lights. Funnily enough after my confusion about what exactly it does and why we would need it Laura went into sales pitch mode and if hearing about all the 'benefits' from her weren't enough we arrived at my parents on Boxing Day only for my sisters boyfriend to be pushing the same pitch on my sister. Always one to fear progress for progress sake I never willing go in search of technology enhancements but I am told that over time shouting Alexa........' for any question I have, setting timers, turning on or off lights and getting news will become perfectly normal. We shall see.
After presents we visited Moseley Bog for a dog walk, it was all going so well with Bisbee walking nicely on the boardwalk that went over the bog until the last part when something got her attention and she performed a perfect dive straight into mud. Thankfully we had packed a towel and we could bundle her into the car to get home and into the bath.
Laura and i then cooked a beef roast dinner which was wolfed down by everyone in record time - I guess fresh air does that - and over dessert we played charades and guess who. Laura's Nan was on great form and after rolling from the dinner table we played a few games of Apples to Apples before dozing watching Miracle on the 34th Street.
Boxing day was another early start to get to my parents and we had a lovely day that included another dog walk and another roast. This time my Mum had done the hard work by peeling all the veg so we just had to turn up and figure out the cooking times, The turkey was delicious. Even though my Dad disappeared to watch Reading play we managed to fill the day with fun. We even manged to get in a game with the mouth guards - although I have now seen my families teeth way too much. It was hilarious though.
On the 27th Laura had organised a London afternoon so we could see Charlie and the chocolate factory. We walked around seeing all the lights but our plan to see the window displays failed as Selfridges, John Lewis and Harrods all had Sale signs up instead. We had Wahacca for dinner then planned to check out the new Lego store but the queue was around the block so we settled for a stroll in the French market. Only thing was we spotted mini pancakes / Poffertjes and they are SO good we had to get some. I cried eating them they were that good.
We spent the next morning hanging out with my my Mum psyching ourselves up for the journey home.
Once home we had less than an hour to get ready for our next guests. Thankfully Laura's parents had started dinner so all we had to do was finish it off. Our friends arrived and the rest of the evening was a merry blur of food, drink and Cards Against Humanity - which Laura's Mum was surprising good at. We all went to bed slightly disturbed.
To clear the cobwebs we headed to Cannon Hill Park for a dog walk in the frost and sunshine. It was just what we needed. After our friends packed up Laura started on the decorations while I had a much needed bath before we headed to our neighbours for dinner.
An evening of sitting around eating other peoples cooked dinner and watching everyone get more and more drunk was a great way to end a busy week.
Today we are tidying and relaxing before getting into the party spirit for a New Year's Eve in Sheffield.
I think work may come as a rest :)
We hope whatever you've been up to you've had a great time. Wishing you a very Happy New Year.