It's tradition to spend Christmas Eve at my mum and stepdads house. This year we went over a little later after getting the house ready and finishing some last minute chores and had some relaxed family time.
Our mischievous elf, Elfie, somehow sneaked his way to Grandma's house and surprised Ollie. It took him a little while to notice that he was there and when he noticed he exclaimed "Grandma has an elf too!"... erm...
Anyway, Elfie brought with him 3 parcels. One parcel had pyjamas for James and I and the other 2 parcels contained pyjamas for both of the boys... cute matching ones. Ollie was very pleased when he opened them!
We toasted marshmallows with Grandma... we went through a whole bag. They were yummy. Even Nate had a little share of mine.
Santa (My Uncle Trevor), rang Ollie a little while before we went home. Trevor used to ring me and my brothers when we were younger too and it's lovely to have that same kind of magic for Ollie. He told him "When you come to my house, be quiet because I might be sleeping". Funny lad.
Before we left for home, the boys got into their pyjamas and my mum read 'The Night Before Christmas'.
James and I waited until we knew for certain that the boys were asleep and Nate had finished his last feed, and then we filled the stockings. That's one of my favourite parts of Christmas I think.
On Christmas day, I woke at 6.30 to a house filled with silence. What?? Silence at 6.30 when the kids would be awake already on a normal day. I left them until 7 and then I went in to wake them up (also, to show them how to do Christmas properly!)... I was shocked at how slow Ollie was to come around and get excited haha!
We opened the boys sacks/ stocking first. Santa brings nick nacks and small pressies in our house and larger pressies come from me and James. Nate's Santa presents included a Fisher Price telephone, new sippy cup, a board book, a bead frame and some chocolate buttons. Ollie's included Connect 4, Star Wars figures, Glow in the dark planets, chocolate, Usborne Doodle Book, Playmobil and Lego.
We then packed the sacks back up and took them downstairs to look through again while opening all of our other presents. Nate and Ollie got stuck in!! James only had a couple of presents to open because he got an iPhone 5 last month. Ollie chose lovely heart earrings for me and James gave me a goooorgeous bag I had asked for and a lovely purse to put inside. He also gave me cute slippers, socks and a sleigh Pandora bead. Spoilt rotten!
Nate unwrapped a rocket, stacking boxes, Playskool Poppin Elephant, some books and a pirate ship!! It took him a lot longer to open his gifts than it took Ollie. Ollie had fun playing postman and giving the gifts out to everyone.
Ollie was really chuffed with his presents. Especially his Playmobil Pirate Ship, Scalextric track and a Darth Vadar dressing gown!! Very lucky little boys. They were spoilt rotten this year!
After we had opened our presents, James and I cleared the rubbish away and Ollie and Nate had breakfast. We normally have a fancy Christmas Day breakfast but this year James and I just weren't hungry at all! We all got ready (I dressed the boys in super cute Christmas clothes), packed the car with a million things and drove to James mum's house.
It's tradition to go to James' folks house on Christmas Day morning. The whole Hughes family father there for a coule of hours, some nibbles and some drinks. It's normally the only chance the boys get to see James' aunts and uncles and cousins, so it's always nice and they always notice a big change!
Before they arrived though, we all exchanged more gifts. Ollie adores his Auntie Sandra and this year along with lego, she gave him a photo frame decorated with their names and with a photo of them both inside. He was so pleased!
Nate was in a really good mood when everyone was there. He had fun having a look at everybody and particularly liked those with beards... like James Uncle Nigel above!
After a glass of mulled wine, more presents and a catch up with family, we packed up the car again and headed to my mums for Christmas dinner. It was a tense car journey with sprouts and roast parsnips at my feet and a pavlova on my knee... my mum lives in the middle of nowhere amidst bendy, bumpy roads. Phew. The boys slept the whole way there.
Mum and Harry surprised Ollie with a whole knight outfit... the whole thing including a helmet, wooden sword and wooden shield. He was so surprised and put it on immediately. Nate got a bath toy, Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Chair and a fisher price little people batman car.
My mum lives in a small cottage so it was a tight but cosy squeeze around the table. Ollie had his own table decorated all Christmassy with his own cracker. Nate sat at the end in his highchair and nibbled on things like paper hats etc. Haha!
Jason made an amaaaaaazing starter of toasted ciabatta with prawns cooked in a ginger, garlic and chilli butter. It was out of this world and there was so much flavoured butter to mop up with the bread. Ollie and Nate both ate the prawns too and both enjoyed them.
I helped mum serve up dinner. My mum makes amazing ham... she boils it in coke and then puts treacle and sugar on top and cooks until it carmelises and it is delicious. She also made turkey, stuffing, mashed sweet potato... gorgeous roasties, we added my carrots and parsnip and sprouts fried with bacon and chestnuts and put mums renowned gravy on top. There is definitely something about your own mums cooking. YUM.
Ollie collected all the cracker gifts for himself!
And Nate devoured almost a bucketload of sweet potato and some stuffing.
For desert, I made a pavlova. My first ever attempt. I can't eat cream and read somewhere that you can whip coconut milk and it goes to the consistency of whipped cream. Well I tried that... it didn't work. So I ended up having a mini pavlova to myself with no cream... just white chocolate and fruit. Everyone else tucked into the large pavlova with raspberries, pomegranate, melted white chocolate and cream.
On Boxing Day morning we got ready and went to see friends of ours before heading to Flo's house for another feast.
Flo laid on beef, stuffed pork fillet and leftover turkey. We had it with roast potatoes, sprouts and carrots, stuffing, mash and gorgeous gravy. Flo makes a good roast... she always uses her slow cooker and the meat always falls apart. We finished off with a selection of deserts including some mince pies that I made. I use the Jamie Oliver recipe!
After dinner was eaten and we chatted for a little while, James, the kids and I headed home to put the kidlets to bed and waited for James mum and sister to get there to stay the night. We watched a movie on a monitor since our television is broken and we had some drinks to finish the night.
All in all a lovely and busy 3 days with 2 lovely feasts cooked for us but the one downside of having Christmas dinners cooked for you is the fact that you don't have leftovers sitting in your fridge for 2 or 3 days afterwards and as I type this, I am sitting here frantically craving some sprouts fried with bacon.