When I was little (okay, when I was younger!), all I wanted on Christmas Day was the promise that I'd be allowed to open a present from Santa at midnight, another as soon as my eyes opened and then one on the hour every hour. Actually, in hindsight, a present on the hour every hour might not be a bad idea! This year, all I wanted was non-stop laughs and a constant stream of food with my family. My crazy four and the two tortoises. And my Santa Hello Kitty plushie.
Christmas Eve for us always consists of the excitement that Dad is off work for two (sometimes three!) consecutive days. In fact, this year he had four because I've been home from Hong Kong!
Often we have a late night hot pot session but this year we picked up my cousins - my auntie and her husband went on holiday for the festive period! - and headed out for dim sum, a nice little yum cha lunch, another of our Christmas traditions. Towers of bamboo steamers and plates of food that is oh so familiar to us were devoured and we swapped stories about all the things that we've been up to now that the two "little's" are at University, I'm on the other side of the world, and Jonny and Ant are finally working. Perfect.
Meet my Daddy! And little Babybutter, who you haven't seen around these parts in quite some time.
Is it just me that tends to spend much of Christmas Eve's evening gazing at the tree in all of its' majestic glory?
We interrupt this moment to share a photo of my beautiful new Casetify phone case! I ordered this on Black Friday but haven't really had a chance to show it off yet. It's the shine-through Magnolia one here and I just adore it!
Our extravagant Christmas breakfast was a huge pancake spread.
This year, Louise and I were in charge of cooking Christmas lunch. It went okay! We usually pick up goose or a three-bird roast because none of us are huge fans of turkey. I made Bramley apple and pork stuffing and it was deelish! So good in fact that I had seconds with a bonus glass of prosecco after watching the Queen's speech... and had to take a petit Christmas Day nap. Am I that old already?
Gift-giving suddenly made us all turn 5 again.
Mama's poinsettia took pride of place. Whilst it is actually real, I'm going to say the glitter was added by fairies...
Prince Eric LOVED his second Christmas. He ate lots of Brussels sprouts' leaves and took a little nap too, before coming out for a walk around the living room, rendering me the resident Mama that had to crawl after him.
In the evening, we headed over to my Granny's house for the obligatory extended family feast. Here we always take a dish each and it becomes a HUGE Chinese food bonanza. I didn't get any photos on my camera so I've slotted in an Instagram of about a sixth of the table ;) Perhaps you'll see it in all its' glory next Christmas! I saw my adorable baby cousin and hung out with my older cousins... and finished the night with a nice cup of tea.
And with that, Christmas Day was over!
On Boxing Day, we woke up to these Pinterest-worthy egg muffin-omelette hybrids that Mama had rustled up! She popped in our vegetable leftovers and they were d e l i c i o u s! Can you believe Mum has never even heard of Pinterest?! I'm going to correct that ASAP.
I spent much of Boxing Day napping and reading my new books that I got for Christmas, and haphazardly trying to set up some other gifts. Don't you adore that yearly routine of playing with every single gift, as soon as you wake up?
Before long though, the skies had darkened for another round of twilight and I realised I hadn't been out for our Boxing Day walk! So out I went with the BFF for the tradition of all traditions and another cosy walk on our favourite route, utterly nerding out and talking about everything and nothing.
Once home and in the warm confines of the family house, it was time to prepare for yet another feast! Meet the annual Boxing Day hot pot. Hot pot (or 打邊爐) is super popular in the winter. It's pretty much centred around a metal pot of simmering stock - we opted for Japanese sukiyaki - with a selection of meats, tofu, seafood, vegetables, noodles (my favourite is Korean glass but we had soba this year), wonton and more, that are thrown in and cooked as you eat. Deelish!
All in all, we had a very foodie Christmas at Chez Chai! I honestly had the best Christmas, although I seem to say that every year. I've never laughed, smiled like a Cheshire cat or chatted away so much in the space of 12 days. What a truly perfect bunch of friends and family I have! Tonight I'll be on my flight back to warmer climes. I'll see you all on the other side with some classic year-end musings. All my love, Mish xx