I moved into my house in Jan 2016. That year Mum and Dad visited and we had Christmas morning here at home but headed out for a big lunch and most of the day with Kindergarten Friend and his family.
In 2017 the whole family arrived from the UK and we decamped to Middleton for an awesome Christmas by the beach.
In 2018 and 2019 I was lucky enough to spend Christmas in the UK with my family, but that wasn't going to happen THIS year was it? (CURSE YOU COVID19)
So in December 2020 I had my first ever, totally Blackwood Christmas.
I went mad with decorations. There was not a spare space on any flat surface.
As Christmas approached and I was assured of the presence of the BA and her new beau, I was also surprised to learn that he was determined to cook! As he was, until recently, a chef, I decided to go with that offer for this year at least!
On the night before Christmas I was frantically sewing him a linen dressing gown as requested by the BA. This endeavour was decidedly slowed by the constant stream of Netflix Christmas movies, supposedly playing in the background, but actually stopping me from doing much of anything. I think I watched 'The Holidate' and 'Tall Girl' but there have been so many junky Christmas movies this Christmas, I may have the wrong two. Anyway, by 3am I gave up and went to bed, deciding that the bottle of champagne I had consumed in the process was probably inhibiting my sewing judgment...and anyway, I needed to try it on him before I hemmed it.
As a result, Christmas morning church did not eventuate and it was about 10:30am before I dragged myself out of bed and got a call from the BA.
"Err Mum, would it be ok if we brought another person to lunch today?"
"Sure. The more the merrier...and anyway, I'm not cooking :-D"
It turned out that one of The Chef's best buddies was on her own for Christmas, so naturally, I was delighted to welcome her to our little group. Four is a better number than three anyway.....
We even managed to rustle up a few presents for her! The BA created a goodie bag of pamper products and I managed a calendar and a succulent from my garden, in a pot I had leftover from presents to my staff.
The BA and The Chef did very well and he was extremely pleased with his dressing gown!
And the coffee maker from the BA.
So then it was time for lunch. The Chef took over my sad little kitchen, ably supported by his Buddy.
He completely deboned a chicken and reassembled it with stuffing, then served it up with a delightful array of vegetables and an avocado salad. Well, it is Summer here after all!
This was followed by delicious creme brulees with such a layer of caramelised sugar, you had to crack it twice with a spoon to break it! Sorry, too busy eating it to photograph!
The Christmas crackers were a bit of a hoot. I had forgotten to get any until Christmas eve and of course all the shops were out. All I managed to find was this pack of 6 mini crackers. When I got home, I did discover a set of 'make your own' crackers from 2015 when we'd spent a strange Christmas house sitting, in between houses. I rustled a few up, putting the mini crackers inside the bigger ones. Of course, because I didn't know the Buddy was coming until Christmas morning, I'd only made three. So I just got a mini one...
The size difference is not because I am further away.......
After lunch was your usual Christmas food coma...
But we revived enough to play games into the evening, after which The Chef took the Buddy off to another gathering whilst the BA and I spent a precious few hours together face timing the UK and watching movies snuggled up together on the sofa. It was really a super Christmas. Of course, we missed the Fam Bam but we were relaxed, it wasn't rushed and we did everything you want to do at Christmas. Oh, the BA also got me a super gift! A painting I'd admired in a local gallery on my birthday in December. Happy Arizaphale!
So that's a wrap on Christmas 2020. Here's to 2021 in the UK but many more lovely Blackwood Christmases to come.