Christmas Dinner – how do you do yours?
Furniture Village is running a properly brilliant Christmas Countdown, where users can click on the different items of furniture within the page and receive Christmas tips and activities, as well as weekly competitions to enter. This week just happens to be all about dining room furniture… and it got me thinking about mine.
The Christmas menu doesn’t change much in our house – I can go back to last year’s online Waitrose shopping order for 21st and 23rd December (one for non-perishables and Jolly’s birthday goodies – he’s 13 on the 22nd – and one for fresh items) and simply re-order the same trolley again, knowing I’ll have everything I need.
That’s not to say it’s not a big part of the day – oh no no no. It’s HUGE. It’s just that we’re steeped in the family traditions, and just don’t see the reason to change.
Of course it all starts with the food – on Christmas Eve the children are packed off for the day; when they were little the grandparents would whisk them off to the country park or the beach with a picnic, and they’d come back happily worn out. Now they’re bigger (and the inlaws are older) we simply pack them upstairs; they play stupid online games with each other, watch a movie together and it’s the one time of year they’re allowed to eat up there with an ‘upstairs picnic’ which they all love.
Meantime we’re down in the kitchen, Christmas music blaring, cooking up a storm. The huge Christmas ham will go on the boil first thing, and during the day the cranberry and bread sauces are made, and the pigs in blankets are constructed and plated. The potatoes are prepped, the ham is roasted off late afternoon, and the turkey is massaged with oil, seasoned and stuffed.
On the day itself things are pretty straightforward – giant turkey in the oven around 4.30a.m., but then no activity until a frantic push for the veggies late morning for lunch at 1p.m. Turkey & ham (and beef for non-turkey-eating FiL), pigs in blankets, roasties, brussels, parsnips, cauli, stuffing, bread sauce, cranberry, turkey gravy… christmas pud (with 3rd generation charms for the 1920’s) & custard & clotted cream & ice cream…
But it’s also the best dressed our dining table gets all year. When we had our extension built 13 years ago, we finally got a dining room (as we’d built a new living room, the old one became a perfect spot for a brand new and gorgeous dining table of my dreams) About 5 years ago we made an eBay bargain purchase – a complete dinner and tea service of Doulton crockery in the cascade pattern. SO pretty. It doesn’t come out of the cupboard very often, but we all love it, and it just lifts the meal into an occasion when the beautiful crockery is out.
We have the second Christmas Tree in the dining room – the red and silver one. And when the table is laid for dinner or tea with the seasonal runner, the silly santa napkins, the candles are lit, the tree sparkling in the corner… Oh, it’s magical.
The table is the centre of our Christmas – we have days of sitting around it together, whether we’re feasting on way too much food or getting stupidly competitive over ridiculous card and board games. I love my table, and the way my family feels when we’re all around it together.