Sunday, December 28, 2014

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

We did!

It's been wall to wall excitement, family, and food. Today we're packing up Christmas but before we do I thought I'd better capture the frivolity here.

Christmas started a few days before Christmas here, with the arrival of a brand new 55" television, thanks to a number of my family's (Dad, my brother, and my parents) help. This extravagance was mostly a gift for me as it had become impossible for me to see our old 32" television with my deteriorating sight. Of course, my sight will continue to deteriorate and I guess one day (hopefully not too soon) the new television will also become impossible for me to see, but this gift means I can enjoy my favourite show and characters for a little while longer.

Because of the size of the new box, we had to rearrange the entire lounge room, put the buffet out in the hallway and bring the hall stand (a trusty old Expedit shelving unit) into the lounge as a television stand. This has really opened up the lounge room, actually and made everything a bit more airy. This is where I want to say that I LOVE those removable 3M hooks and velcro strips I use to hang the photos and paintings in the hallway! The came right off the wall without leaving a mark, and I moved all the photos and paintings to the lounge room wall in no time at all! 

And of course the first thing we watched on the tv was Doctor Who.

This Christmas I decided to give making a pavlova a go! I love pavlova but I was frightened away from trying to make my own by tales of pav failures. Anyway, this year I bit the bullet and gave it a go, and I'm glad I did because pavlova is really the easiest thing in the world to make!

Into the oven she goes...

First attempt with passion fruit... Lukas said it was like eating a rainbow!

Second attempt for Christmas Eve with my family, this time with mixed berries!

I also made my signature layered pudding with baked apples, cherries and biscuit. 
I have to say. On Christmas Day, when MIL ate with us, she brought a store bought pav based, and it must have sucked in a lot of humidity at the shops because it was like rock candy. My pavs were melt-in-your-mouth soft. Homemade is definitely best!

It was a delight to bring out the table cloth mum and I made last year...

Having it on hand makes life so much easier!

My parents and brother turned up on Christmas Eve ladened with presents, much to the boys delight!

Before they arrived...

After they arrived!
My happy little Christmas elves...
And then it was time for the first round of food; Double smoked ham with brown sugar glazing, candied potatoes, mushroom cream sauce, carrots, asparagus and brown gravy (we totally forgot the red cabbage, again!)...

You can always trust someone to take advantage of the blind photographer and pull a face!

We three kings, eh?

And my brother looking like someone straight out a parody of Game of Thrones...

Dessert time!
And then it was present time... Also known as paper ripping time!

Look at that mess!
Funny story... During the day, my brother texted me, he was Christmas shopping (he works six days a week, there is no time for Christmas shopping so inevitably he does it on Christmas Eve)... He texts, 'I've found a Hulk Onesie in Dave's size, should I get it?' Dave saw my phone before I did and literally ran (he NEVER runs) down the hall with it yelling, 'Tell him NO!' So, my brother didn't get him the Hulk Onesie (which I, personally, would have loved to see), instead he got him those blue and red polkadot shorts, emblazoned with 'Mr Perfect!'... Dave should have said yes to the onesie...

The boys got an assortment of books and clothess and video games, the little boys got remote control cars.

Ari got a talking Weeping Angel, which everyone else thinks is kind of creepy, but which he insists of taking to bed with him each night... He's my odd-little-bod!

Ari with his remote controlled car - Erik tells me it is modelled on the fastest car in the world.

I received some awesome presents, myself. A colourful hanging tea-light holder in the shape of a star, which now hangs in our hall way. A gorgeous pair of earrings from Dave, and from my brother (man, this guy can think outside the box), a ukulele! So, for the past few days I've been learning ukulele chords and strumming patterns. I think it will probably take a long while to become competent, but I'll have fun getting there... The guys are just happy he didn't get me a saxophone or a clarinet...

On Christmas Day - after a very late night of almost 3am chatting with my brother and doing the dishes and so on - we backed up for lunch with Dave's mum...

Christmas lunch is always a traditional turkey of some variety (sometimes turducken, but this year a turkey loaf), with all the trimmings.... My fave is her cherry sauce, which she made and brought herself this year.... Yum!

Also, roast veggies, which I took charge of this year. I did the potatoes Jamie Oliver style... I added an unplanned secret ingredient, which I will not mention here, but which no one noticed in the end. Bryn asked if we could ALWAYS have these potatoes because they were the best... Erik said, 'Sure, I think we should always have 'floor potatoes', and then he winked at me, little so-and-so...

The obligatory pre-eating photo... That, by the way, is Dave and his mother smiling their smiliest smiles.... I kid you not.

Boxing Day was spent resting and eating leftovers and watching the Doctor Who Christmas special... I don't have many photos from Box Day because, well we were relaxing, but here are a couple of the indulgences from that day...

Left overs (though I made fresh candied potatoes because they're never left over), this time I remembered the red cabbage!


One other exciting thing that happened this Christmas was the arrival of the birthday present my mum made for me!

Isn't she lovely? Of course she doesn't live in that spot since we moved all the furniture around, she is on the cabinet in the corner of the lounge room next to the Christmas tree - but you can't see her in the photos above. This figure is from an Icelandic story and in this position she is singing a much loved Icelandic lullaby which is a sort of apology to her child for bringing the child into such a harsh environment and life. It is actually very sad, but speak of a mother's love for her child. I love it!

So, there you have it, our Christmas wrap up. Now I'm going to go pack up all the Christmas decorations for another year. A part of me really hopes we will still be in this house next year as we had such a lovely Christmas here this year!


Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful Family... You are living the dream...

Sif Dal said...

You are so right, Smilie! I am living the dream, and I'm very grateful for it!

Good Job!