Christmas mornings. Everyone who's ever been a child knows how magical these can be, especially if there's children (young or old!) around to share it with. For us some years we've had that but now that my nieces have grown up it's been a while since we've been entertained by young children. It means our Christmas mornings are generally less frenetic than they might have once been, but they're no less fun.
For me though, I can't talk about Christmas mornings without mentioning Christmas Eve. They are normally frantic. But they should be right? They're about being prepared and getting as much done as we can. If we're staying at home and having family over there's a list as long as both my arms of jobs to do.
That's most likely to include preparing as much of the lunch as I can in advance and most years Christmas Even means wrapping presents, helped along by a tipple or two and a Christmas soundtrack. We will have already decorated the house, and MOH will arrive home clutching his last few presents and add to the pile. After watching him wrestle with the wrapping paper and sellotape I'll do the decent thing and offer to wrap his too, as long as he writes the gift tags.
And dinner is always a fish pie. And even now, the evening is full of anticipation.
And Christmas Eves lead to Christmas mornings. We have three kinds of Christmas mornings. There's the ones where we wake up at home and then head off out to lunch or host lunch at ours, or the ones where we're house guests with family. Each have their own positives, but my preference is to wake up in my own bed on Christmas morning if we can.
If we're off out to lunch, or starting what I affectionately call our "tour of the country" to visit family, that can mean a rush of a morning, but if we've time breakfast will be a leisurely affair. With no dinner to get in the oven, it can be.
If we're staying home and hosting Christmas it's likely we'll have overnight house guests, which means we have to get the presents wrapped before Christmas Eve!
And I've been pleased with how the tree looks. It's six foot and I had to move our chess table out of the way to accommodate it, but it made sense for it to sit in the window. It certainly brightens that part of the room, in a way I didn't expect it to. MOH always says that I have too many Christmas decorations (and sssh! maybe I do) but this year I wanted to just use my glass baubles. Part way through decorating the tree I realised on a tree this size I'd have to use all of them, so my theme became "jewelled" and that's just the permission I need to add to my collection!
I've a mix of lime green, gold, brown, turquoise and red baubles and with the pearlescent white branches they all work together I think. My new owls have also made it into the tree, and while they don't fit into the jewelled theme, they've made themselves at home!
I've been impressed with the tree, not only for its looks but also for how easy it was to assemble. It comes in three parts which fit together easily. And the thing we always struggle with with real trees is the base. I refuse to have a tree skirt, because I think however pretty they are, they look awful and so often we'll use a clamp base if we can find it in the shed, or I'll use a wooden bucket which takes forever to get the tree straight in. The simple white base on this tree was a much better solution. I assembled the tree on my own, and connected the lights for each section, so that'll tell you how easy it was.
If we're at home our Christmas morning breakfast is likely be toasted bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon with a squeeze of lemon and some freshly ground black pepper. Delicious. There'll be a teapot on the table, which will be filled and topped up and poured out regularly. There'll also be some bubbles to toast the day. There'll be a spill somewhere, at some point, it's almost part of tradition. And the crockery, cutlery and glassware will have been carefully thought through to eradicate the need for washing up. No one needs washing up going on in their kitchen while Christmas lunch is underway.
After a leisurely breakfast and the final cup of tea, and if the weather's good we'll usually suggest a walk for our guests. That usually involves MOH too, so with some time to myself I can check and double check the time plan to get lunch ready roughly on schedule.
And with the house to myself I can take my time and lay the table. I want it to look stunning, stylish and festive but as practical as it can be, because there's always a lot of dishes that we need to find spaces for. Candles always look good but rarely last the duration of the meal.
The other thing about Christmas mornings that often gets a lot of thought beforehand is what to wear. It's nice to have something new to wear but not being a huge fan of shopping, that doesn't always work out. But whatever it is, it needs to be comfortable doesn't it. There's often a lot of food so there's really no point feeling uncomfortable, so good eating clothes are required. But presententable ones at that.
You might be wondering what happened to the presents - I haven't forgotten. They're definitely a before lunch activity and even now there's mess. It's part of it isn't it, I don't think you can have even several adults opening presents at the same time without some chaos, and throwing the ball of wrapping paper into the recycling bag - or trying to at least - is part of the fun!
And after lunch, well there's the TV, a board game, perusing my presents - especially the books - and maybe a doze. Having fun at Christmas is hard work!
How do you spend your Christmas mornings?
* This is a collaborative post with Treetopia, who sent me this tree for the purposes of this post, but as usual, all views are my own.