Normally we would spend Christmas Day at one or other of our parents’ houses, but this year, being far from ordinary, this year – being baby’s first Christmas – we decided we wanted to spend it at home and “host”.
However, with neither of us having ever cooked a Christmas lunch before, Richmond Daddy and I decided to approach things in the only way we know how, i.e. in a professional and overly-controlled manner i.e. he created a spreadsheet to plot out the timings for each component of the lunch, while I fussed over things like the festive table setting.
One of the things that worried me the most actually was having enough food and ensuring we had all the essentials. I’m not talking essentials like your meat and veg, we were unlikely to forget those obvs, no, it was more the stuff like the box of Quality Street, assorted crisps, enough nuts to sink a small ship, that kind of thing. The essentials. I did stop short of buying dates – well, I figured that they were fairly universally unpopular in our household so we could live without them. However, despite the lack of dates, I was still able to rack up a bill of around £300 with Ocado, thereby concluding that this hosting business is an expensive one. Ouch!
So, as I said, we were hosting, and the preparations essentially began on Christmas Eve, when I embarked on a simultaneous present-wrapping and soup-making marathon and Richmond Daddy sat on the couch sipping his Santa’s
sherry Baileys, eating a mince pie, and putting the final touches to his master-plan in excel. Having already made sure that Santa had visited Richmond Baby, leaving her with not one but two stockings of pressies while she slept, Santa Richmond Daddy and I, fell into bed weary and a bit blurry on Baileys at around midnight, hoping to get a good night’s sleep before the onslaught of activities the next day.
Christmas morning broke and thankfully Richmond Baby let us have a lie in until around 7.15am and then we were up-and-at-’em to get started on our busy day. First though we did take some time to open a few of the presents that Santa had left, Richmond Baby was a bit bemused and confused but soon got into the swing of things…
A spot of breakfast, a jump in/out of the shower, and then Richmond Baby and I headed off to church in our Christmas-best outfits, leaving Richmond Daddy holding the fort (aka having to cook the Christmas lunch). This turned out to be quite a smart move, for once RD was left alone, armed with his spreadsheet, he suddenly turned into Gordon Ramsay and by the time we’d returned from mass he had cleaned and stuffed the goose, with it already in the oven smelling delicious, peeled and prepped the potatoes, parsnips, and carrots, started manhandling the sausage meet and stuffing balls (ooo-er) and was about to make a start on the turkey. Ahem, yes, we decided to serve goose AND turkey. This would have been a good plan to ensure there was something for everyone, had the turkey turned out to be about 2-hours away from being ready when we were all set to serve the goose. Ah well, even the most carefully prepared spreadsheets can sometimes fail you. Anyway, essentially, Christmas lunch? Done!
Well, actually, not quite “done” but very much on the way.
Anyhow, RD’s parents and sister then arrived, well we think it was them, we could barely see their faces behind the enormous armfuls of presents they arrived with, and then my Dad also joined the party, also with armfuls of present. Unfortunately my mum and sister weren’t with us on Christmas Day, they were spending the day with my wonderful Granny over in Ireland, which was lovely for them but we missed having them with us of course. Before long we were settling down to our lunch, Richmond Baby sat at the head of the table in her highchair, chomping her way through her own little roast dinner. In truth, much of it ended up in her bib and/or the dining room floor – we’ve moved on to baby-led weaning… – but that aside, she enjoyed having all of us round the table eating alongside her. Well, she enjoyed it apart from a brief moment of terror when we decided to do a simultaneous cracker-pulling around the table. The bang-snap-bang caused RB to have a bit of a wobble, but she soon cheered up again when presented with a portion of Granny’s trifle…
Of course the absolute highlight of the day – goose and all the trimmings aside (bravo Richmond Daddy, it was delicious!) – was the big present opening extravaganza! I couldn’t possibly tell you how many presents RB had to open, but blimey, it was A LOT! Rather unfairly, we dressed her in her final Christmas outfit – a pretty Christmas fairy dress (I know, so cruel!) – for the occasion, which added a certain touch of magic to the occasion!
There were books, there were soft toys, there were bath toys, there were walker toys, there were puzzles, there were musical toys and there were clothes, wooden toys and high-tech plastic numbers. Generally, there was lots, of EVERYTHING! Let’s put it this way, she wasn’t short of opportunities to rip open parcels. What a lucky little girl
And do you know what? we did it all over again on Boxing Day!