Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas & Boxing Day

Christmas got off to a slightly rocky start after a night of not sleeping particularly well. Chris was sad that he'd not gotten me a stocking* or filled it up and then he was frustrated that he'd have to spend half of the day cooking for his father just like he'd done for the last however many years and would continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We have tentative plans to be elsewhere next Christmas, just the three of us, as soon as we figure out where we want to go (hint, somewhere quiet and easy to get to).

Pressies started with exchanging Christmas cards**, in our case the traditional matching Boofle*** cards with messages of preprinted and hand-written affection. In addition to the socks, I gave Chris a new pair of fuzzy lounge trousers and a cable-knit jumper from the kittens. Chris gave me a book of Fair Isle patterns and a mug with a knit Fair Isle design, the soundtrack from a French musical, a potato ricer, a set of rectangular teaspoons that fit into spice jars(!!!), and from the kittens, a satsuma and tickets to see the panto. Chris was sad about not buying things for my stocking, but it clearly wasn't because he didn't think to get me presents. And, while the cooking utensils were "for me", thus far I've been on the receiving end of riced (mashed) potatoes, which are really good - extra fluffy and light, but have yet to use the ricer. So it all works out about even.

Aged Parent came over around 2, shortly before dinner was ready and we had a turkey breast wrapped in bacon and stuffed with sausage stuffing, roasted potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, Brussels sprouts, and rolls followed later by the Christmas pudding I made earlier this month, served en flambé and with brandy whipped cream. After dinner we gave Aged Parent his presents, a warm woolly cardigan and the mitts I knit for him (he also got a folding cane which we wrapped and delivered when it arrived so he could start using it sooner rather than later).

We spent most of the rest of the evening discussing the possibility of his moving into a local community for retired persons, an idea that Chris and I like a lot as we'd been looking for properties with a ground floor in-law unit but had been unable to find anything that wouldn't require selling both our properties. Unfortunately when we went over on Boxing Day, Aged Parent announced that he has absolutely no interest in moving out of his 5 bedroom house and was sorry he'd ever brought it up.

Chris again spent most of the day cooking, making pastry puffs with cheese in, (riced) mashed potatoes, and a sausage and cranberry roast which he cooked at our house and then reheated at his father's. Thus the need to go away next Christmas and avoid cooking altogether****.

Oh, and we gave Oliver and Libby a water fountain to drink out of. It's hand-thrown and burbles up, and they've both drunk from and played in it but Oliver still thinks water should come out of the tap in the bathtub. We're weaning him off of that.

And lastly, I am now 37 weeks along which means Little Djinn is full term. The midwife thinks 41 weeks is the perfect length for gestating so I've still got 4 weeks before it's a diet of nothing but pineapple and days spent jumping up and down. Meanwhile my feet have swollen beyond recognition, sausage toes are the order of the day, and my blood pressure is starting to climb. And getting showered and dressed seems like sufficient accomplishments before going back to bed.

~ * ~

* We don't have official stockings yet. For the last four Christmases I've given Chris a pair of socks, one stuffed inside the other with the rest full of candy. This year he got two pairs of slipper/socks and a Green & Blacks 75% dark chocolate bar and I gave myself a pair of slipper/socks and a multipack of Nerds (American sugar-based candy). I was even able to hang the socks up using my sock blockers.

** Not a tradition we observed in my family. Fortunately(?) the first Christmas I was here Aged Parent was convinced he'd never see us again and gave us our Christmas cards the first week in December, saving me a fair bit of awkwardness Christmas day when everyone (Chris and his father) had cards for everyone (Chris, his father, and me) and I'd be sat there saying in a small voice, "I didn't know we were supposed to get cards..."
Don't worry, there was plenty of other awkwardness.

*** I just discovered that there's a Boofle app. I think Chris is going to die of squee. I see lots of Boofle-addended baby photos in Little Djinn's future.

**** Yes, I could do some of the cooking (and did for Christmas dinner!). I could even do all of the cooking or most of the cooking, or some of the cooking. You know this and I know this and the reasonable part of Chris knows this but somehow when it comes to the day and everything needing to get done, he always puts on his Project Manager torque without remembering his Delegator Apron and locks himself in the kitchen.


  1. Makes me sad to think of Aged P spending Christmas alone ...

    1. Happily, you have the power to control both what you think about and how you feel about those things.

  2. That food sounds wonderful. Now I'm really hungry.

    Well if Aged Parent wants to get on a plane he can come to me. I'd be thrilled to put him up for a few days during Christmas. I find him wonderfully charming. :) But I assume he has options he prefers more than that. :)