Sunday, December 27, 2009

The holiday so far...

On Christmas Eve we attended the Midnight Eucharist service at the Cathedral Church of St Andrew in Wells, Somerset, along with 950 other people. It was a beautiful service and the ambience was amazing - despite the low temps both outside and inside the church.

Christmas morning - time for presents! Although we had a £5 upper spend limit, we all enjoyed our presents.

The two elves whose boots you can see on the left hand side of this photo produced an impressive selection of home-made mince pies and truffles.

Christmas lunch about to be served. Christmas crackers were pulled with much gusto - I won both times!

As you can see, we had all the trimmings: roast potatoes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cranberry jelly, crackling and pigs in blankets. We forgot the stuffing balls, so we had them for tea instead.

Christmas pudding and Christmas cake were served for dessert.

When we run out of Christmasy desserts, we made a maple syrup fondue. Fruit pieces and stale bread were perfect for dipping.

Finally, a walk to see the Paul Toole Holiday Light Show - easily the most elaborately decorated Christmas house we've come across this year!


Per Stromsjo said...

Wow, that guy could use an Earth Hour now and then... :)

How very wise to impose a spending limit! I do hope you all complied with this restriction.

Shionge said...

What a lovely celebration and all the pressies and food.....Great :D Wishing I can partake in this ya :D

Wishing you the best of the New Year Tinsie :D

Loops said...

Tinsie - your Christmas looks wonderful. I hope you all had a fantastic time.

See you soon?

Karen said...

Oh my goodness, what a Christmas! I need more details, such as:

How many at the celebration?
Friends or relatives?
What is crackling?
Why on EARTH would you ruin a good meal with Brussels sprouts???
What is different this year--last year you said that you and your hub don't celebrate, decorate or give gifts.

The church is beautiful, I hope you take me there after we share our Indian food lunch. :-)

Karen said...

Also--considering your five-pound limit for next year...will blog about that soon.

Gattina said...

Your little Christmas tree is so cute, I had a little one here in our home too, but my son had a very big one. Apparently you had a very nice Christmas !
The last photo looks very "american". I suppose it was the only house in the area. Besides some lights in the trees in some garden and lights in windows, there is not much outside decoration in Waterloo. The city yes, but not the people.

Marg, the Sal. said...

I lost focus shortly after the mention of home-made mince pies. Yum!

Tinsie said...

@ Per Stromsjo: LOL! He was of course using energy efficient LED lights ;-)

We all complied with the spend restriction, but I suspect a couple of us went over by £1-2.

@ Shionge: Same to you!

@ Loops: I'm back in London, so yeah :-)

Tinsie said...

@ Karen: Here are your details:

Six on Christmas day, seven on Boxing day, all relatives.

Crackling is fried or roasted pork skin (rind). Totally disgusting stuff, I never touch it.

More to the point, why ruin a good meal with turkey, Brussels sprouts or crackling? It's just tradition, I guess.

We didn't decorate this year either, but as we spent Xmas with the English side of the family we did everything else the English way. Last year we were in Greece, so we did the celebrating and gift-swaping on New Year's Eve instead.

The £5 limit worked really well. It sounds too low, but it's amazing what nice things you can find in the shops for less than a tenner. I only went over by £1 on one gift.

I also got talking to a lady in the supermarket queue just before Xmas - she had a big family celebration planned but only the kids were getting gifts and they also had a £5 upper spend limit. I wonder how many people did the same this year (or how many people do it every year).

Tinsie said...

P.S. That church is indeed beautiful. We're definitely visiting when you come over ;-)

Tinsie said...

@ Gattina: It was my MiL's Christmas tree, glad you like it. We didn't have one this year at all, so it was nice to be able to share hers.

Yes, it does look a bit American, doesn't it? Having said this, over here it's not that unusual for homes to be decorated on the outside. Most people only put a wreath on their front door and some lights at the windows, but some households go all out.

@ Marg: Hahaha imagine if you had tasted them! Those mince pies haunt me.

Gena @ thinking aloud said...

Looks like you all had a lot of fun!!! PS> love the image of the church - looks like a place I need to visit to take pics! Gena

Betty C. said...

That Christmas cake is gorgeous! I had a colleague who used to make them from scratch and bring them into work...unfortunately, she retired!

Tinsie said...

@ Gena: It's exactly the kind of church you'd like to take pictures of, it's very photogenic.

@ Betty C: This one was Marks & Spencer's finest, and it was delish!