This is a post written in advance, today I will be in the kitchen cooking up a storm. To me the food is a key part of Christmas, it's what gives structure to our whole day.
Christmas Eve is when I do all the preparation, there will be a few types of stuffing to make, pigs in blankets to wrap, bread sauce needs making, the giblets will be simmering to make stock, and there will be a couple of different deserts being made.
All that means that on the day itself it's mostly just a case of putting trays in and out of the oven in the correct order, and turning on the hobs under the pans of vegetables. For many years we've eaten goose at Christmas, it's a real seasonal splurge, and not a meat that we eat at any other time. However last year our family gathering trebled in size, so we needed a bigger bird, and went back to Turkey. The family businesses tend to have been quite busy during November and December, so we try to put that money back towards another small business. Our turkey comes from a small family farm specialising in rare breeds, as does our ham, bacon and sausages. We also go and spend some money with our excellent local butcher.
On Christmas Day itself we will usually go for a walk with the dogs. They don't care that it is Christmas, so up the hill we go! Whilst we're out the turkey will be cooking. We get back home, change out of muddy clothes, and then sit round to open our presents. Fwen the dog loves presents and new toys, she usually manages to find and open her present several times before December 25th. Meg finds the whole thing to be far too much, and goes to hide until the food reappears.
We usually sit down to eat at around 2pm, and the rest of the afternoon is spent in a self-indulgent style. Much drinking, squeezing in more food when possible, and much debate over what TV to watch together.
My brother and his girlfriend alternate Christmas days with us and her parents, we get them on Boxing Day this year, so we'll be repeating much of the day all over again the following day!
I'll be going silent on the blog now for a few days. I'm not back at work until the New Year, so will be enjoying some computer-free time. I have knitting planned... this is going to become a jumper!