Christmas Shennanigans


Traditionally, christmas always begins for me with the annual family party where there is always far too much food , drink and dancing to songs you would usually run a mile from, in any direction.

Now, planning a party is never easy, planning a christmas party is so much harder due to all the festive expectations and then planning a christmas party for all the family adds that little bit of extra pressure. Especially when the family is a rather massive clan and not just a couple of aunt or uncles or grannies. No, this party was for my dad’s side of the family of which he is one of seven and they have other halves, numerous kids and now even grandchildren. Therefore, we have developed a routine that is carried out with a unique, and somewhat haphazard, military  precision. This worked particularly well as the shopping was done in record time the day before.

On D-Day all hands were on deck moving sofas, before deciding it was better in its original place so moving it back; hoovering

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; making a playlist to suit everyone’s tastes including some Somerset classics (who knew there were such a thing!? they included lots of ooo ahh oo ahh’s and combine harvesters..); finding emergency chairs from anywhere possible

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and yes this did include bringing in the garden chairs ; creating space for enough people and animals. At least it wasn’t as tricky as the previous year where we had to find room for all the guests, a new puppy, two gerbils and the perfectly timed trip from the Gas Man as there appeared to be a gas leak on the very day we were holding a party. The Gas Man looked very bemused as he entered the mayhem and skillfully navigated, it was rather impressive really, his way around the various pets and people to locate the gas meter hidden by a group of aunts and uncles; finding enough plates

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, of which there is never enough;

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cooking enough to feed everyone; designating a room for beer, presents and coats and ensuring everyone sticks to it so there is no mad panic when someone cannot find their coats or, and this is potentially worse, the extra supplies of beer ; finally, ensuring there is enough time for the party organisers to have a drink and a relax before the guests arrive

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which, in my family, could be at any time.

Once the revellers arrived the next staged of the operation began with serving dinner, drinks and cakes whilst trying to talk to everyone and keep a track on where everyone’s coats and presents went. It was then time for a celebratory drink once the last guest had managed to negotiate the small lake that had developed in the road although there were a few cheers as various aunts and uncles did not heed our warnings and almost disappeared , in the style of the Vicar of Dibley,in the puddle in their effort to find various methods of transport.

Another christmas event was a trip to Hogwarts.

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It was amazing, the set was fantastic and we even got to fly the blue flying ‘Muggle‘ car. There was then days filled with walks, baking and food. The walks were very muddy, I almost got lost in one particularly deep hole of mud! There was also the chace to walk to the local village, which involved getting lost and aimlessly wandering around a golf course  and ensuring we didn’t get hit by any flying balls at one point. However, it was worth is as we grabbed a bite of local produce from the BBQ outside the Prestbury Farm Shop. Yes a BBQ, in winter, I think they are even nicer at winter! It certainly warmed us up, or it might have been the mug of mulled wine we were persuaded to buy…

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There was far too much of the latter as Luke and I almost set a personal best with having four christmas dinners. Well, it is christmas.

Now we have to prepare for New Year and we have started by a very muddy bike ride

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followed by making a gingerbread house.

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Now it is time to go off for drinks. Happy New Year!

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