The festive season has been and gone and like most people it tends to be rather busy and these past four weeks have no exception and have been a whirlwind for me.
The first week I spent in bed with the flu, however the first four days don’t really count as I can’t really remember much of them as I slept through them with a fever. Only on the fourth day did I venture down the stairs on my Bambi legs having to rest a while before I tackled climbing back up them to bed. On day eight I tentatively headed outside emerging as white as a sheet having been indoors for so long. I felt like a toddler taking their first steps and found being in a busy supermarket too much and ended up heading home, exhausted and shaken. It took another week or so for me to get back on my feet although still a bit wobbly not venturing far as I was still very weak. Thankfully my wonderful mother took charge of cooking Christmas day dinner and had it all in hand.
It was on the Sunday before Christmas that our marathon festive season started; I was still feeling a little fragile as I headed off to party number one: a good friend and neighbour of my mother who has open house each year for all her friends and normally goes on into the wee small hours, with lots of fizz and eats. However, I knew to behave and arrived early in order to be able to leave early as we had another party at our neighbour’s later that night. They have a huge Christmas tree in the hallway and this really got me in the festive spirit. I did however go home to rest before continuing with the partying. It was a lovely night of neighbours gathering with lots of chat and laughs which ended rather later than I had thought feeling that perhaps I had undertaken a little too much in my first day out, and was worried that I had used up a little more of my reserves than I should have.
The next day was Christmas Eve, which was spent getting in supplies for the festivities to come and dinner for friends at ours on Boxing day. This was not a joy as it took me all my strength to battle through the rather busy supermarkets not really feeling the Christmas spirit that day as folk battled to buy supplies as if it we were heading into a food shortage.
It has become a tradition for us all to spend Christmas eve together prepping the meal for the next day and starting the celebrations the night before sharing a meal and a glass of champagne and over the past few years opening one present each. As we were heading off to mum’s the next day rather than filling up the car with gifts to then ship home again we ended up opening all presents which was actually far nicer than opening them in the morning. Christmas morning was a bit of a rather relaxed affair with us all sitting in our bed supping on lattes and eating panatone chatting about our lovely gifts. The rest of the day was just as chilled, with a wonderful meal, lots of fizz, the traditional viewing of The Wizard of Oz as some snoozed on the sofas, then a buffet of turkey sandwiches and an evening movie. It was blissful.
Boxing day was all hands to the pump as we headed back home to prepare yet another Christmas meal with dear friends. In order to be ready in time, each member of the family was given a chore to from preparing the veg to setting the table. The house was looked beautiful, with all the candles and twinkly lights and a welcoming roaring fire with mouth-watering smells coming from the kitchen of the four course dinner with coffee and liqueurs. Another very late night; I was beginning to feel like I was a contestant in some endurance game show to see just how much my stomach and liver could take – and we weren’t even into getting ready for Hogmanay yet!!
Thankfully Thursday and Friday were quieter giving us time to recharge the batteries for the weekend ahead which did give me to time prepare for the gathering on Saturday evening at ours with close neighbours. The evening was a roaring success and went on into the wee small hours so we spent Sunday in bed, breakfasting, reading, catching up on missed programmes – totally indulgent but well needed as we were heading off to close friend’s that night for a huge meal and yet more champagne; day eight and we were still going strong. All the weight I had lost whilst I was ill was quickly being replaced with all the food and drink that I was consuming.
Hogmanay was back at ours with a wee buffet and an unexpected surprise of neighbours dropping in to see ‘the bells in’ watching the fireworks on TV and singing along to the tunes on the hootenanny festive shows. New Year’s day has always been an early dinner at ours and this year is was a leg of lamb and stuffed chicken with haggis and all the trimmings. We spent the day sitting around the fire watching a cheesy film and supping on good wine. Once our last guest had left we both said ‘enough is enough’ let’s have a cup of tea!
It was today I took down the chrissy decks and stripped the tree and reflected on what has been a mad time; it was all hands to the pump and I pat myself on the back for being the ‘hostess with the mostest’ at times and surviving the never ending evenings of meals and drinkies whilst recovering from the flu! It has been the most amazing time and am blessed to have a wonderful family and circle of friends and neighbours, plus a constitution of an ox! It is what Christmas is all about and I have certainly enjoyed it although I am glad that is it now coming to a close…….however I have just accepted yet another invite out tomorrow night and a night on the tiles on Saturday…….will it never end?
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