Christmas Scenes

Christmas starts the Sunday before Christmas for us when we head south to my Dad and Stepmother’s for Christmas with them and the extended family. This pic is my Dad, stepmother S and all their grandchildren.

The annual mixing of the Christmas pudding. Mum has a stash of threepences and sixpences so everyone got a turn mixing and wishing as they stirred in their coins.

The pud as it primed to be wrapped in cloth and cooked for five hours (with a following four hours on Christmas Day).
Christmas morning – Grover has just woken up here so everyone gathered around to see what Santa had bought him.
 A train! What a surprise! All the boys looking resplendent in pjs.
Both the little boys got trains from Santa, as they requested. (But not Thomas the Effing Engine. PROGRESS PEOPLE, PROGRESS!)
Oscar had asked Santa for a WWE Xbox game. That Santa, he knows how to deliver. At the moment it appears all our ridiculously ginormous TV can play is either this wrestling game or the cricket. I am not feeling the love.
Felix in his element, constructing something – a bionicle? Some lego?
You know, Thomas the Effing Engine better watch his back, eeoreeors are giving him a good run for his money.
Party hats!

Granpa! (My FIL)
Grandmama (My mum)
Nanna, Uncle M, Uncle J (My MIL, BIL and his partner)
Happy HAPPY!
The tiny turkey breast which turned out to not be so tiny. Still have leftovers from it.  I stuffed it with Italian sausage, breadcrumbs, pecans, onion and heaps of parsley, tarragon, oregano and sage (from the garden!). The gravy I made from the roasting pan juices was indescribably good.
Bread sauce, a first for me and one of those, why the hell don’t I make this all the time kind of moments. Seriously good and so damn easy. I also made my own cranberry relish which was equally sublime. Thank you Nigella for both those tasty delights.
 The maple glazed ham. Chef got the ham through work this year and it was, hands-down, the best ham we’ve ever had. Granted it could have fed a starving African nation, still could, but man it was/is good.
Carving! That’s me! In the dress I MADE WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS AND A SHITLOAD OF SWEARING. That’s my BIL on the left there. He just had his gallbladder out eight days ago and had been hanging for Christmas ham as the food stuff to return his diet to something more than the low fat low flavour existence he’d been living. The look on his face on tasting the first mouthful of ham was one of those quintessential Christmas moments.
I think if I ever start sending Christmas cards again I’ll just get prints of this photo. Does anything say Christmas more than this image?
 The Christmas pud. This year’s was particularly outstanding. No idea why, did it at the 11th hour and forgot to put any peel in it whatsoever. Maybe that’s what it was. Anyway, I just ate a slice with cream for dinner. Noice.
Oh, the guinea pigs are still alive!

Unrelated unrelatedness

Joke cleaned out his metaphorical fridge and so I thought I might do the same:

1. It’s a frugal Christmas in this house so the shopping was blessedly brief. It’s all done except for a present for Chef’s brother and his partner. And ideas on what to get a 40-something gay couple? Oh and the grocery shopping because I actually enjoy leaving that until the 11th hour with all the other idiots who shop as if the world is ending due to the shops being shut for two whole days. What can I say, there are bargains to be had. I once saw a whole organic turkey reduced to FIFTEEN bucks.

2. I’m making a selection of bags for relatives who have birthdays around Christmas but I’ve completely lost my sewing mojo and fabric piles and half cut patterns are littering my dining room table.

3. This house is a complete bombsite and I’m trying to find the energy to clean it up except I know that having four kids at home for the next five weeks make it a totally useless exercise. With all the crap fine examples of their work  that the boys brought home from school our chronic lack of storage is centre stage in my mind of woe yet again. Combine that with the fact that the two IKEA wire basket storage units Chef and I have had since we first moved in together FIFTEEN years ago both just collapsed (largely due to Grover using them as climbing frames) I suddenly have a lot of shite craft items and school stuff and speech materials that need a home.

4. If you don’t keep up with my life on Twitter or Facebook then you’re not up on the fact the boys got their present from me and Chef early this year. Behold:

That’s Harriet on the left, Matilda on the right. Chef didn’t think I had a chance in getting my names through. He still doesn’t know my power.
We have been talking about getting the boys guinea pigs for about a year and the discussion dragged on so long it became a ‘that could be a good Christmas present’ and indeed they are. OH MY GOD are they hardy. I’ve instigated my own GuineaPigWatch10 because quite frankly if they survive until the New Year it will be a miracle.
They are deliciously cute and adorable and squeaky and female. FEMALES ARE IN DA HOUSE!
5. We were going camping this Christmas then Chef got a new job and was going to have to work Christmas Day (which quite frankly I find outrageous because why the hell are people going out for Christmas lunch or dinner? I mean, if you can’t just hustle your arse to cook something on one day of the year then you deserve to starve in your own uselessness.) and throughout the whole Christmas New Year period. Awesome. But then he didn’t have to work Christmas Day! And then his boss told him he was going to close the restaurant for a week too! Would have been even more awesome had he mentioned this a little bit earlier than last week so we could still have gone away. ANYWAY.
6. I’m still chortling to myself about Joke’s NOS. I’m so pleased kids still write love poems – while he hasn’t done so yet I thought he was a part of the generation who’d just text each other I rly lke u. Show me yr titz pls. Or some such.
7. We’ve got 7 adults and the four boys here for Christmas lunch – positively low key for us. There’ll still be a ham and turkey. Because we’re stupid like that. At least it will be salads rather than hot veggies ‘n that.
8. Just when I think Grover the Dancer in the Poo has outgrown this appalling habit I find him covered in shit and the back paving a paler shade of shit yet again. It was bound to happen and Monday delivered – when he took  a dump on Mum’s carpet and then danced in it for a good two metre radius. That was a delightful hour of my life I will never get back. It’s truly giving me the shits. Not to mention making my neck itch.
9. Yesterday I thought I was getting sick – the sweating, the apathy, the malaise. Sooz pointed out to me it sounded like the malaise of life – having too much to do and not enough fun. So tonight I took the two bigger boys to see Avatar in 3D. ZOMG SO FRICKIN’ GOOD. So good. Awesome. Grand. Breathtaking. Go see it. You must. There’s so much in it, not just the special effects. It has a message but without all that Hollywood pap.
10. Oh, I almost forgot. Yesterday as I was cleaning up our dumping zone office desk area I discovered the beads for making necklaces and the like that I’d bought years ago for some birthday party or Christmas party gathering that involved hordes of children and for which I set up different stations around the backyard with different activities for the kids. (I KNOW. GOD, remember when I cared all those years ago.) So the boys were out on the back verandah happily making necklaces from a range of pink shiny beads (SHUT UP) when Jasper came racing in all red-faced and hot and panicky. Yep. The kid had gone and stuck some beads in his ears. So I rang our GP who said sure, come on in and I was all yay let’s not spend hours at casualty. As it was we waited at the GPs for about an hour, during which Jasper was so goddamn animated I was quite sure he’d made it all up. But no, once the nurse saw us and confirmed there was indeed at least one bead in each ear it was time to call in the big guns (the Head GP as it were) who used this syringe type contraption attacked to a tube in a jug of water (oh it’s all highly sophisticated here in the Antipodes) to shoot water into his ear and dislodge the beads. It worked (thank GOD because if it hadn’t it was the dreaded trip to casualty) and the comforting tinkle of a bright shiny pink bead landing in the metal dish could be heard by all. Jasper was the model patient – no flinching, no tears, just a quiet curiosity about the whole caper. He got a jelly bean which both the GP and I questioned the merit in giving (here sonny, stick something in your ears and get a lolly!) but by that stage we all just wanted to go home.
As you were.