I am going to give you, lovely reader, an insight into my Christmastime at home, I absolutely love this time of year to be around my friends and family, feel festive with the decorations, enjoy the challenge of picking presents to give people and most of all, to stuff my face with amazing Christmas food! This might end up being a bit of a long one but I’ve conveniently split them into categories so you can skip to the parts you wanna see.
First things first, I have been burning Christmas candles constantly for the last few days. The scent of the house is so important and can totally shift my mood into a total Christmas-fest. I have been loving Yankee Candle’s Candy Cane Lane, Cinnamon Stick and Red Apple Wreath.
Of course the most important decoration in the house is the Christmas tree and we have a huge one, I love that it is themed around a red colour scheme as that is my favourite colour and it makes our tree a bit different. Our decorations are a whirlwind of things collected over the many years that my parents have been together, some may be our (honestly) terrible homemade things from school but it’s all very sentimental and makes me feel truly at home. Shout out to my favourite decorations, the disco ball – as any true dancer should have!
Coming home is super exciting for many reasons but mostly because I get to see my lovely friends again, we may usually live miles away from each other, focusing on uni work in different cities but when we get back together it’s like no time has passed at all. The other day we went to the cinema, for dinner and caught a wee mulled cider at Aberdeen’s small attempt at Christmas markets.. it was really lovely to see them again.
It’s a little tradition of mine to go St Andrew’s Church on Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass, although I do not consider myself to be much of a religious person it gives us an excuse to reunite the high school choir from our ‘golden age’ and sing together in candlelight. It’s a really lovely way to bring in the best day of the year and reminds you of why we even engage in all this nonsense in the first place. It also helps to tire you out so you fall asleep as soon as you get home.
So Christmas Day in the Daniel household consists of having to laboriously wake everyone up at 9am so we can open presents! This is always my job because I am basically still an overexcited child. Then we get to open our Santa presents – with stockings first of course. Following that we received a visit from a couple different sets of cousins and then opened the family and friends’ presents from underneath the tree. Some things that I’ve noticed over the years as I get older, you get less actual presents from your relatives but a lot more alcohol, my tipple of choice for the day was the Edinburgh Gin Plum and Vanilla Liqueur topped up with prosecco to make a lovely Kir Royale. Then came the most important part of the day: food! The rest of the day is to be appreciated with chilling out and catching up on the various Christmas specials, as I type Singin’ In The Rain is on the TV.
Boxing Day is always a fun one. One of my friends’ birthday is on Christmas Day but we celebrate him the day after. It’s a grand tradition of the last three years that I love. Especially because I never really used to do anything with my Boxing Day before, other than eat leftovers. P.S. my leftover sandwich this year was so good – toasted sandwich with turkey, sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce and wensleydale with cranberries. I had a really fun night dancing until the lights came on and ended up super tired the day after but some good memories were made and time spent with my school friends.
Falalalala la la la food!
Tis’ the season to eat everything and a little Christmas Eve restlessness has resulted in a batch of gingerbread biscuits. I used this recipe from BBC Food as well as some chocolate and caramel icing and some little salted caramel balls. This also gave my little cousins something to do as they got to get involved with the decoration – icing everywhere! However they ended up being pretty delicious and I couldn’t help myself from creating some icing sugar snow…
And now the main event, the meal we’ve been waiting for all year long. I think every family has a slightly different idea of what a Christmas Dinner should look like and what should be involved but I think ours is pretty perfect.
So here we go… First course: a light fruit salad with honeydew and golden melon and mandarins, we have the chance to have that with serrano ham but I wasn’t feeling that. This course was possibly unnecessary but still a good start to the meal. Second course: my mum’s amazing homemade tomato soup topped with some cream cheese and chilli flakes, it was absolutely lovely! Then we come to the all important mains, third course: my ridiculously stacked plate includes turkey, mashed potato, sweet potato mash, roasties, roasted parsnips, broccoli, stuffing, pigs in blankets and the obvious toppings of cranberry sauce and gravy. Only on Christmas day can you have a meal with three types of potato on one plate. After all that I felt like I was gonna give birth to a food baby. Several hours later… Fourth course: toffee cheesecake with salted caramel ice cream.
Giving and Receiving
I was really quite organised this year on the gift front and had the best time wrapping them all up with a red and gold colour scheme – surprising because I am usually not a huge fan of the colour gold, but there’s something about Christmas and trophies that makes it okay… Ha. I really hope that everyone I got gifts for really likes it. I have a book swap coming up when my Advanced Higher English class reunite for a little ‘Plathmas’ get together, we’re gonna cook and bake and discuss literature like it’s the old days!
Last night I had a book exchange with my best girls, we were going to just book swap but then made it a not so secret Santa with a £15 limit on presents for each other. And although we said we weren’t going to do books… we obviously did. I got Hannah a book called Theatre and Law because she studies law and a notebook that says The Thoughts and Contemplations of Hannah Baigrie on the cover, she also got Game of Thrones shot glasses and an Arthur Conan Doyle notebook where the lines are his novels. I got Kaylin an Alice in Wonderland friendship bracelet from Literary Emporium (an absolute gem for finding book-ish gifts!) and a great book that I read recently called Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. She also received a beautiful book of Fairy Tales and The Night Manager by John le Carré from Hannah. I luckily received the delicious Coconut Truffle loose leaf tea and The Regulars by Georgia Clarke from Kayls and His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet and The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky from Han. I feel so blessed to have such great friends who know me so well and I can’t wait to read those books with a cuppa in my hand.
On the note of books, that was the majority of the gifts I received because my mum just knows me so well – you can read my Bookmas post here!
I have had such a great Christmas and I feel so grateful and relaxed from being at home. I am definitely in the need to eat a bit healthier because the last few weeks have been one long, never-ending cheat day. Even though I’ve been excited for Christmas since October, the season’s festivities certainly didn’t disappoint and I’m refreshed and ready for the new year!