Snow at Longwood

Our third Christmas stateside

Snow at Longwood

Perfect snow at Longwood

We had a wonderful, traditional Christmas. Christmas Eve evening was just lovely. We took the excited boys to the glorious light show at Longwood Gardens. The whole experience became ten times more exciting and perfect with the fall of the first sticking snow of the season. There was definitely enough to scrape snowballs together and scrunch satisfyingly through the snow.

The day itself started with the excitement of finding out that Santa had not only filled the stockings and left no room for any other gift under the tree, but had eaten the mince-pie, drunk the brandy and fed the reindeer with satsumas and carrots.

The morning was mainly spent in a frenzy of gift giving and unwrapping. Once the boys worked out that they were unable to open more presents, they got down to the serious business of playing with their brand new acquisitions, leaving the adults to open and enjoy theirs in a much more leisurely fashion.

Even though we had been preparing for most of Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve Eve, there was still alot to prepare for the feast. A traditional British Christmas meal – turkey with all the trimmings, including chipolatas made by Garnet’s fair hand. The swearing over splitting sausage skins and the rediscovery of the sausage making capability of our magi-mix has become part of our traditional build up to Christmas in the USA. We were not disappointed this Christmas Eve.The skins split magnificently, gushing their bursting entrails over the work surface, as in the famous Scottish ode, heralded by copious swearing worthy of Gordon Ramsey from Garnet himself. Happily the preparations were helped by continually topped glasses of bubbly stuff.

We had a combination of expat friends and family for Christmas, which meant we were quite happy to sit around in silly hats, telling even sillier cracker jokes without having to explain why. The wine, bubbly and food flowed magnificently until we were all stuffed. I am also still stunned by the success of our Christmas pud – the first one I have ever made. It was a proper meal topper, lit like a dream and was wonderfully evocative of many previous happy Christmas’.

The day was topped off traditionally too, sitting round in a turkey haze watching the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special.

Pretty good for our third Christmas here I reckon… It could only have been made better by being around more of our family and friends. To you all at home, we miss you all terribly still.

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