It’s true. Santa listened. Or read my Christmas wish list on a recent blog post at least, because under my tree on Christmas Day was a gift with the tag telling me it was from Santa. And when I opened it, inside the box were Markus Lupfer gloves and a hot water bottle cover, just like I asked for! Amazing!
Christmas. It was exhausting. But it was perfect.
I found myself hitting the pillow at 2am on December 24, when my Chocolate Spiced Pudding did not co-operate with my spherical cake mould. This was a disastrous moment indeed! I had been so excited about this spherical purchase, I had even been teased about my said excitement (GJW!), so when it came to crunch time and I removed what I thought was a baked pudding from the clutches of the sphere, everything sunk to an all time low, literally, when it soon became apparent the middle wasn’t baked at all. The only thing left spherical in the kitchen were my eyes as I helplessly watched this disaster unfold. But this was not a time for panic! I just had to think What Would Martha Do? Whipping out a much less complicated rectangular cake tin, my pudding was reshaped, rebaked and ready to roll.
Christmas Eve was a normal working day for me, but thankfully my two friends Barbara and Julio arrived for a Christmas sleepover, and we had breakfast and lunch prepped by the ungodly hour of 1.30am.
My alarm startled me at 9 am. At that moment I truly believed sleeping through Christmas 2012 would have been the right thing to do! Alas I dragged my sorry arse out of bed and was back in the kitchen.
My London family arrived (Aimee, Dale and fairy god daughter Saskia), my fellow kiwi housemates Mike and Sandra appeared in the kitchen and we were officially a breakfast production line. Eggnog lattes: tick! Grilled bacon: tick! Scrambled eggs: tick! Banana & ricotta pancakes with honeycomb butter: Big tick!
Thankfully I don’t own any of those types of friends or family. In fact, I can officially confirm I was a spoilt child on Christmas day. Yaay for me! We sat in the lounge looking very family-like with Saskia celebrating her first Christmas, and Julio’s son/dog Sol getting in on the action too, we could not leave him out, so he was in squeaky toy heaven.Well that was breakfast over. There was no time to let things digest. We had lamb, chicken, roast veg and yorkshire puddings to organise! But finally we got to the part everyone loves, present opening. Well most people love it, unless you have friends and family that are just truly disastrous at gift giving and then I guess you sit there nervously awaiting your turn to unwrap and wonder whether your Big Fake Happy Smile looked even a little bit genuine.
As you already know, Santa, bless his cotton socks, made my Christmas wish come true, Markus Lupfer gloves will be keeping me warm this winter. Leonidas chocolates from Barbara, which might have disappeared within 36 hours, oops! Miss Saskia gave me an amazing bracelet, such taste for a baby, AND she gave me a Hello Kitty Pez, which if you know me in the ‘real world’, you will understand I was VERY excited about! Julio gave me a Nike ID shoe voucher, HELLLOO am I lucky or what!
After all that exhausting present unwrapping, we were ready to eat – we weren’t really, I think we all sat and looked at the food like we were entered into the Christmas equivalent of a pie eating contest. But we are not quitters, oh no! And the food was amazing thanks to Dales chicken and lamb seasoning expertise.
As every sensible person knows, we all have a second stomach for dessert. We were on the homeward straight towards the food finishing line, and so very mechanically we forced spoon to mouth, force feeding ourselves Warm Chocolate Spiced Pudding with Hot Chocolate Sauce and Salted Caramel Popcorn ice-cream.
Food coma’s were threatening to kick in, and so we took a little family night time stroll to visit friends nearby. On return, the sugar had well and truly hit Barbara and I as Gangnam Style was played from my iPhone and re-enacted on a quiet residential street. It now seems fitting that I had said to Barbara a half hour earlier ‘Barbara, sometimes we are too much for some people’.
Christmas was ending. I was knackered. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Some people have only celebrated December 25 with family, but being that all of us are ‘London Orphans’ – myself and Aimee from NZ, Dale from Oz, Barbara from USA and Julio from Panama (oh and Sol from Dubai, yes really!), Christmas Day becomes a celebration of friends, and I have the best kind, so December 25 2012, thank you for letting me share that day with the people I love.