Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Like Christmas Day 2010, my day started shortly after 6.30. I turned on the water heater, drank my coffee, read a little and sat quietly, thankful that we had cooked the turkey on Christmas Eve. 

I looked at the tree, with parcels beneath, and switched on the lights:

I remembered to turn on the steamer for the Christmas puddings, which needed another few hours, and then I finished cleaning the kitchen, which I had abandoned around 11pm the night before after making a double-sized chocolate pineapple fudge pie as an extra dessert, as well as another dozen mince pies. 

By the time we were all up, and had breakfast (if wanted) etc, it was 9.00. So we set to work to open the various parcels. Here's Richard looking at one of his new books, with a pile of mine (and a DVD) on the sofa next to him:

 It's always hard to know what to get Tim; he seems to have everything he needs, and his wants are few. However he finally suggested that we could get some extra RAM for his laptop. We had it sent to his UK address and he brought it out here for me to wrap up so he could open it on Christmas morning:

Shortly after 9.30, Tim and I departed for Larnaka Community Church, as the service was due to start at 10.00. It was remarkably short; despite several people wanting to chat with Tim afterwards, we were home again by 11.05. 

With the majority of the food preparation done the day before, Tim's role at Christmas is to pull it all together so that everything arrives on the table at around the same time. This shows the food (with the turkey and stuffing in the covered roasting pan, carved and arranged by Richard, and reheated for an hour).  

It was only when I looked at the photographs today that I spotted that we'd forgotten to put out the juice we had bought, and hadn't put dessert spoons on the table either. Oh well. At least Richard remembered to offer the adults some wine, which we were given free at the supermarket when we picked up the turkey. 

Oh, and that vast quantity of food wasn't just for the three of us. We had invited our friends with six children again. Once again, the sausages appeared to be the most popular item with the children, closely followed by potatoes. Tim had prepared an enormous number, and there were quite a few left at the end of the meal. 

Then, when we were all pretty full, we cleared the plates and brought out dessert: 

Not that most of us were hungry, but Lukas was excited by the dried fruit:

None of the children like Christmas pudding, so although I had made three - and steamed two - we only served one of them. Richard thought it might be fun to try setting it alight, but we had never done that before and didn't know that we should have heated the brandy first... 

There was a sort of flicker of flame when we looked hard, but most of the brandy (about a thimbleful in all) dripped onto the plate. It tasted good, anyway. 

After lunch, most of the children opted to watch our DVD of 'The Sound of Music', and the rest of us decided to play a game of Settlers of Catan:

After that we had a couple of rounds of Rummikub. I don't THINK Elisabeth understood what it was about, but one never really knows what's going through the mind of a toddler:  

Sophia usually escapes upstairs when the children are here. But the smells were evidently too tempting, and she has become a bit braver recently. Still, she kept out of the way most of the time:

We weren't really hungry by 6.30, but the film had finished and we had plenty of tea-time food, so we loaded the table once more, with bread rolls - made on Christmas Eve - and veggie sausage rolls - which I'd made a week or so ago - and cut-up vegetables, and a small gammon joint which I boiled on Christmas Eve, and which Richard sliced. Several of the children ate cold potatoes too... but there were still quite a few left.

Then out came the mince pies, and the Christmas cake I decorated on Wednesday, and the rest of the chocolate fudge pie... and some dark chocolate Cadbury fingers, which Elisabeth liked very much. She had at least four: 

Then she wiped her face on my convenient trousers, and Tim took the camera when she climbed on my lap: 

It didn't take long before we had all eaten our fill: 

By 8.00 our friends had gone home to put the younger children to bed, and we had done the initial clearing up. We were pretty tired, so decided to watch one of my new DVDs, 'Driving Aphrodite'. It was light, and amusing in places, and just the thing to end another enjoyable Christmas Day.

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