If you read my post on it beginning to feel like Christmas you’ll know that I was a little behind in getting into the Christmas spirit due to works taking place at home. Whilst that didn’t stop me preparing in the background, I was certainly slow on the decorations uptake. We finally got the decs up on the 18th when Stepson Number 2 arrived having finished school. Every year we chose a colour scheme for the coming year and it was therefore important that I awaited his arrival! Not to mention the small fact that the work was not due to be completed until the 23rd. Nothing like cutting it fine!
Despite everyone’s lack of faith in us, we did it. With some careful project management (me) and some hard graft pulling the furniture/rooms back together at the eleventh hour (Mr. High Heels), we made it. In the days leading up to Christmas, and in between the building works, we shopped, wrapped, prepared, cooked, ate, drank and were merry. We pulled off a full-on Christmas lunch for 16 people (14 adults and Toddler and Baby) and were even clear before the last guests left and we collapsed in bed at approximately 1 am on Boxing Day morning!
5kg of turkey, 3kg of beef rib, 2kg gammon, 5kg roast potatoes, 32 pigs in blankets (we love these, I don’t know why we don’t have them more than once a year!), 24 Yorkshire puddings, endless sprouts, veg and 3 litres of gravy later, and now it’s over and a distant memory.
I don’t know about you, but I spend months planning Christmas. My plans are made in September (always the first thing I do upon my return from our summer holiday), I start Christmas shopping much earlier than that picking up items that I know people will like from January. Every year I am my own benchmark and, as with everything, I am always trying to improve. And this year was my best ever. I’ve learned a number of things on the way and this year these definitely made things easier.
Firstly, I’ve learned that I definitely need a bigger kitchen (watch this space for the High Heels’ Household expansion plans). Secondly, I’ve learned that you can never be too prepared. The key to pulling off anything successfully I find is in the preparation. I prove this to myself every day, at home, in my work, and in the kitchen. I’ve learned the limitations of my kitchen, my oven and myself. I’ve learned that delegation is an art form and that no-one ever succeeded on their own. I am no longer too proud to ask for help (Mumma High Heels, the mother-in-law and the sister-in-law al turned up with a tray each of spuds because I know my oven does not cope with these!). Finally, I have learned that for some dinners, the disposable foil tray is our saviour. And Christmas dinner is undoubtedly one of those dinners.
So as I’m already ordering Christmas cards, printed stockings and wrapping paper for next year I look back and reflect on how although I (clearly) get older, Christmas never gets old for me. I love it and look forward to it year on year.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year in 2017!