Merry Christmas!

Last year I wasn’t excited about Christmas at all until the very last moment, and I was starting to worry that I really was growing up and it was losing its magic for me. I was living in halls with no decorations up at all, we didn’t have a flat Christmas meal (unlike this year), and I had a month of biology revision looming over my head!

Fast forward to this year and I’ve been the complete opposite. I started buying presents at the start of November, I’ve walked to university everyday listening to Christmas songs for the past month, and I’ve tried to do every Christmas-related activity possible. It’s the most excited I’ve been in years and I feel like a little kid again!! It definitely comes down to the fact that this year will be the first time in about 7/8 years that I’m spending Christmas Day with all of my Mum’s side of the family. This is a rarity for us as half of us live in Loughborough, half in Essex, and then my Grandparents live in Spain, so getting all ten of us together is always difficult!

Also living in a house at university with four of my best friends has made a huge difference too! We had a tree up in the middle of November (decked out with poundland decorations…we are students after all!), and on the 11th we had an early ‘Christmas Day’ of music, secret Santa and of course Christmas dinner! It got me really excited for the 25th and I started thinking about my favourite things related to the big day.

My Top 5 Food and Drink Related Things about Christmas:

1. Pigs in Blankets – for me Christmas dinner is not complete without these, and whoever created them is my hero. I can’t get enough of them and how tasty they are (and now I’m very excited to be eating lots tomorrow!!). And thinking about it, I really don’t know why I don’t eat these all year round?!

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2. Goose Fat Roasties – and seeing how many you can eat in one sitting (what’s your record??). Without fail we always cook our roast potatoes in goose fat on Christmas Day and they are to die for.

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3. I love that it’s acceptable to eat what you want at any time of the day, and regardless of what you’ve already eaten. For example, you may have just eaten the world’s biggest Christmas dinner but then 10 minutes later go on to eat a 10 chocolates in a row from the Celebrations tin. But it’s okay because it’s Christmas Day and anything goes on Christmas Day.

4. Drinking Winter Pimms all day, but it’s fine because it’s basically just hot apple juice and that’s like one of your five a day. Well actually alcohol in general, and the fact it’s acceptable to drink at anytime in the day no matter how early it is.

5. Leftovers – we always have loads of Turkey leftover and we normally get to have a second Christmas Dinner on Boxing Day, which I love as it means all the above…again! I like using up our leftover turkey in something different each year too (our turkey risotto last year was yummy!). Check out my post Christmas Dinner Leftover Ideas for ideas on what to do with yours this year.

Friend’s and Family’s Favourite Christmas Food and Drinks:

I asked my friends, family and readers what their favourite food or drink related thing is about Christmas too, and from those who replied I got back a very mixed bag of answers! Thank you to everyone who replied, and it was lovely hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions. I loved the sound of Waffles for Christmas Day Breakfast, which completely puts my standard bowl of porridge to shame! I think American Pancakes or a brunch style dish like Eggs Benedict would also be a great way to start the day too. Another Christmas tradition I liked was drinking Bucks Fizz whilst opening presents, which sounds like it makes for an extra special morning.

Coming in 1st place was my number one favourite thing too – Pigs in Blankets. This doesn’t surprise me at all as we all know how yummy they are. Sprouts scored high too, and being a hater of them I can’t believe they actually got any votes! The worse thing is that two of these votes were from two of my favourite people who I am spending Christmas with this year (my Mum and my cousin Callie)…it’s safe to say I shall be steering clear of your Brussell Sprouts tomorrow! However, I do like the idea of serving it with pancetta as suggested by a fellow midlands food blogger. Other favourites were Cheese and Biscuits, Stuffing, Roasted Parsnips and Mince Pies [writing this is making me extremely hungry!].

In terms of drinks, the classic winter beverage Mulled Wine was a firm favourite. Surprisingly, I’m not a fan myself and it’s Winter Pimm’s all the way for me which received one vote itself from the person I share my love of it with…my Mum! Other popular drinks were Egg Nog (I’ve never had it before myself, is it worth trying?), Sherry, Snowballs (which I first heard about from my best friend Hayley over a cocktail containing it’s main ingredient, Advocaat), and a general drink at the pub.

Considering almost every one eats Turkey on Christmas Day and it’s widely associated with this holiday, I was surprised to find that it only received one vote! It suggests more and more people are getting bored of having the same each year and are trying out different roasts as the centrepiece to their Christmas dinner, such as Goose and Duck. And this prompted me to start thinking about why Turkey is actually the traditional choice, when thinking about it most people complain that it is too dry and bland! Is it just a force of habit and not wanting to break tradition that makes us eat it every year on the 25th of December? What are your thoughts on having Turkey at Christmas?

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Merry Christmas to all my readers – eat, drink and laugh lots and enjoy!

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