Every year we buy a fresh tree and decorate it together. This year was slightly different, we started early as I scheduled my supperclub for the end of November. We had to buy the Christmas tree in November and then decorate it, so at least we were all ready for Christmas. In the Philippines Malls, Buildings and Streets are decorated as early as September; as soon as the months ends in ‘ber’ that it, Christmas decorations and songs are up! I love that about Philippines. You actually feel Christmas is here and not a quick buck and then gone, it’s New Year now.
I feel that there’s a huge rush into Christmas in the UK. My girls break up from school the Friday before Christmas week, we rush to do some last-minute shopping over the weekend, this year I even sent Christmas cards (I normally don’t) and I couldn’t get my groceries delivered on the day I wanted so that was last minute too! Basically, not a very good start but come to think of it, this happens every year and maybe in a different sequence but the stress is real. I know some people start preparing for Christmas way earlier than us, I really wish I could do this, maybe this year I need to be more organised – I have months to plan it now! Haha!
I requested for my parents and in laws to not come over this Christmas (yikes!). Thankfully they were good sports about it. I felt very run down and needed some downtime entertaining people. Haha! It was a very long 2018 for us, it was like a roller coaster ride, my eldest Miss B was in her last year of primary school, she was working very hard to prepare for her SATs and I was making sure she was on top of things. You never realize the pressure you’re in as a parent when it comes to your children’s education. You don’t want them to be behind in school but you don’t want them to be stressed either and we all know finding the balance is the most difficult thing for everyone. Running a business and looking after a young family can be very full on, so I thought it’s best we will keep Christmas to ourselves this year.
My family loves to eat! So when planning what we will cook it was easier to break them into two days of feast. Christmas eve ‘Noche Buena’ we decided to have a Filipino Menu and for Christmas Day we would have an English Menu. We had Lumpia (spring rolls), Pancit (noodles), Filipino Spaghetti (which is sweeter and has Frankfurter Hot Dogs!), Tortang Talong (charred aubergine omelette), Bistek (Filipino beef steak), Jasmine Rice and Steamed Broccoli. Mr W was teaching the girls how to roll the lumpia, he told them the story when he was young and his mum always asked him to help with rolling the lumpia so he is passing that responsibility to the girls which I think is adorable. It was a very humble and delicious meal. We paired it with some red wine (insert name here). For dessert we had Leche flan (milk flan). We had our first bite in our onesies, watched movies on TV while waiting to attend midnight mass. Our local church is close by so that’s convenient, our parish priest father Christopher is lovely and every year our church has a choir singing half an hour before the mass and they sound so angelic. Of course, we were all falling asleep while the choir sang! Haha! Luckily the way the mass works, we had to stand up, sit down, stand up, kneel, stand up, sit down, so we couldn’t fall asleep! However the girls caught a little ZZZ time while kneeling, which was fine, bless them! After the mass we greeted father Christopher Merry Christmas and hurried home for more food! My youngest Miss E still believes in Santa (if you’re Miss E DON’T read after this), so before she went to bed, we plated Santa’s mince pie and a couple of carrots for the reindeer. After the girls went to bed Mr W and I orchestrated Santa’s visit and bit into the pie and carrots. Mr W wrote a letter to Miss E thanking her for the snacks and left a present under the tree. We don’t know how long she will believe in Santa but we are happy to play along. Hopefully she doesn’t read this (oops!)
In the morning the girls rushed down the stairs to open their presents and see what Santa got them. I made fresh Pandesal for our breakfast, it’s our tradition to have toast, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and some bubbly…yep! You read that right, some prosecco with our breakfast on Christmas day is something that my step dad passed on to us and we finally opened the Fortnum & Mason prosecco bottle given to me from a stranger I helped when his car was broken into and was robbed for his laptop. Breakfast out of the way we opened all of our presents (fab!). After clearing all the wrapping paper, again we sat in front of the telly and watched more movies in our onesies while Mr W and I drank more prosecco it was a bliss. As you can see there is a pattern emerging! This year Mr W and the girls bought us all onesies (Panda, Sheep, Deer and Monkey!) to wear during the whole Christmas period so we could eat and relax in comfort.
After a couple of movies, we started preparing our dinner and everyone was doing their bit even Scholesy was helping clear the floor (eating what we dropped). This time we were having some goose fat roast potatoes & carrots, with an amazing ham with pineapple & honey glaze, steamed brussels sprouts, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. We paired it again with red wine. It was a really good dinner, we thoroughly enjoyed it and we finished it off with Christmas cake and homemade trifle. Mr W heated some brandy, poured it to the Christmas cake and set it on fire. Wow! The blue flames were so beautiful. After dinner, we cleared the table and loaded the dishwasher. Time for hubby and I to relax, so we sent kids to bed and we continued to watch movies still in our onesies with a massive cheese board! So full already we carried on eating and drinking anyway..haha!
All in all we had a great Christmas and everyone was happy. What more can you ask for?