Is it too late to tell you about my Christmas last year? I know it’s already February but I figure while I’m into this documentation craze (Here are my recent posts from my summer travels, 1, 2, 3, 4) I might as well include our little London Christmas.
We have had a lot of very different Christmases since leaving New Zealand 8 years ago. I did a recap of these in 2015. We then spent last Christmas with family and friends in New Zealand. This Christmas started unexpectedly with a trip to Westminster for midnight mass. A friend let us know that she had some tickets going as she couldn’t use them, so we jumped at the chance to get inside Westminster Abbey and experience the great church at work (and for free!).
Before we left for Westminster, we had our first Christmas Skype session with my Mum, and sisters,Claire and Nikki. They were waking up on Christmas morning so we opened presents together and got into the Christmas spirit and buzz of the day.
We had a heap of presents at home under our flower bouquet Christmas tree which were mainly food based and we couldn’t resist sampling a few. So we were full of Marshmallow Santas and Whittakers chocolate when we met Ange and Helen at the station. Yum!
Although not a church-goer myself I really enjoyed the Midnight Mass experience. It was a nice way to get into the spirit – singing Christmas carols and listening to the sermons in the great hall. We weren’t supposed to take pictures inside but I did sneak a few as it was hard not to. The hall was lit with candles and had the nativity scene set up in the middle of the hall. As we spilled out into the quiet night, we said goodbye to Helen and Ange for a few hours and went home for hot drinks and bed.
We woke up Christmas morning for my Skype sessions, me with my dad and sisters after their evening meal and Ben with his parents while he prepared the turkey.
We cooked the turkey at our flat and then walked 15 minutes down the road with it to get to our friends place where they were cooking the veges. Some other friends bought hand glazed ham too! It was such a feast.
This is us turning up with our hot turkey in a bag “resting” and a pot of gravy. Too funny!
For dessert I made chocolate tarts and my first ever pavlova. Luckily it turned out fine, although probably a little bit big on reflection – there was about half left over after.Delicious Christmas pudding was another addition to the desert table so we were well sorted.
After eating our fill and then some, we opened Secret Santa presents – I got these elfie selfie photo props so we had to give them a go.
We then settled in for the longest game of Monopoly I think I have ever played. After a mammoth run, I think it was about 3 hours (although a few people tapped out before the end), we finished the game. Ben was the winner, and enjoyed it way too much. Although an orphan family, we did manage some squabbles about the rules too. Classic!
Thanks for an awesome Christmas orphan friends! I wonder where we will all be for Christmas in 2018…?