Christmas Day at the Rickelton’s

‘One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly’ – Andy Rooney

Merry Christmas everyone! As part of my 12 Day of Christmas series, Samantha from North East Family Fun has opened up her doors and invited you to take a seat at the Rickelton family dinner table….

Christmas day begins at around 7:30am these days (it used to be a lot earlier than that when the kids were younger) and one of the most magical parts for the day for me is lying in bed listening to the kids empty the contents of their stockings onto the boys’ bedroom floor and chatting excitedly. They then dive on our bed and show us their stocking fillers. Father Christmas seems to like to fill their stockings with whoopee cushions, magic tricks and lots of sweets. After around 15 minutes we’ll head downstairs and check to see if Father Christmas has paid us a visit and eaten the mince pie we’ve left out and if Rudolph has taken a bite from the carrot we’ve left. So far so good!

Then absolute carnage ensues – the kids open all of their presents together and are generally super excited. I normally buy Christmas Pudding themed bin liners and place all the wrapping paper in there but we still end up with boxes and wrapping paper all over the floor. When the kids are done, they’ll feast on chocolate as Steve and I open our gifts (which takes around 1/100th of the time).

Christmas breakfast for us is ALWAYS extra special bacon sandwiches and bucks fizz. Eaten in our PJs in the middle of all the chaos and usually with Christmas tunes playing in the background. The kids play with their new toys (aka make even more mess) and I head upstairs to get ready for the day. We are the sort of family who get dressed up for Christmas day and we all usually have a new outfit to wear. This year I have bought Heidi and I matching Christmas dresses. Exciting!

Steve will then take the kids upstairs to get dressed and I will attempt to sort our living room out so you can at least walk from one side to the other. Ha!

We spend alternative Christmases with my side of the family or Steve’s side of the family (and Boxing Day is vice versa). Whoever we spend it with, there’s always 12-15 of us together. If we are heading to Steve’s parents house we all contribute a bit towards dinner. I’ll often make a Christmas Pudding and Steve made Goose one year. If we are heading to my mam’s house we will normally dine out. My mam is a bit of a control freak in the kitchen so won’t let anyone help and as I only see her every other Christmas I don’t want her to spend hours in the kitchen! This year we are heading to our local Greek restaurant for lunch (they are serving traditional Christmas lunch though). We can all walk there from our houses which means we can all have a drink! Yeah! It has to be Champagne for me.

I am a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas Day lunch and like Turkey with all the trimmings followed by Christmas Pudding and Brandy Sauce. LUSH! Everyone has to share the joke in their cracker and wear their Christmas hat or there’ll be trouble! I’m not one to force the kids to eat all of their lunch either – I like Christmas to be chilled. If they don’t want to eat their spouts I’m not going to battle with them (unlike every other day of the year).

After lunch we’ll head to my mam ’s house for coffee/wine/sherry/beer and the kids will open more presents. My three are very lucky and are spoilt by both grandparents over Christmas so it feels like they have three Christmases. In the afternoon my grandad will probably fall asleep in the corner and we’ll play a family board game/set up the kids’ new toys. We’re not really ones for watching the Queen as there’s always far too much noise. I like the craziness though and can’t ever imagine Christmas any other way.

At around 6pm we’ll walk home from my mums full to the brim and probably a bit tipsy. Steve and the kids will watch Doctor Who and I’ll try and sort the kids’ presents into some sort of pile. The kids will then head off to bed (in their new Christmas PJs) and then Steve and I will crack open the Amaretto and put together an epic cheese board for supper. We usually buy cheeses from the various Christmas markets we visit throughout December and I buy my Christmas Chutneys from local farm shops. It’s a bit of a tradition for us to watch a new stand up comedy DVD on Christmas Day night. Steve and I will head to bed at around midnight and look forward to a bit of a lie in on Boxing Day Morning – the kids normally get up early and head downstairs to play with their new toys but they are old enough to do this without supervision now. Yeah! Then we are all set for Christmas Day no2 at Grannies house.

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