OK, in just over a month it's Christmas Day. How did this happen? It seems like only yesterday I was pulling pine needles out of my carpet from last year's Christmas Tree and here I am ready to do it all again!
This year we are going to have a full-on family affair with the whole family descending upon us for some festive fun. My parents are spending Christmas with us for the first time ever and I'm so excited! They usually do Christmas Day on their own and then spend a 'second Christmas Day' with us a few days before or after the big day, but this year I managed to twist their arms and get them to come to us on the 25th. It's also our turn to have Jade and Joe for Christmas, which means I'm getting to spend the day with my gorgeous grandson who will have just turned a year old. Megan is home for the whole week and Ian's sister is also on the guest list. This means there will be twelve of us for Christmas Dinner, a mixture of carnivores, vegetarians, vegans and fussy eaters!
Needless to say, Christmas Dinner is going to be a challenge. Joe keeps trying to convince me to cook a three bird roast, but unfortunately I draw the line on cooking meat and so Quorn will be the closest thing to meat on my festive menu. With Megan being a vegan, I'm working on plans for a luxurious, indulgent meal that suits her needs and which pleases the veggies and meat eaters too. I've been online and found some vegan festive roasts which might just make my life easier on Christmas Day if I decide not to cook from scratch. Decisions, decisions! I'm also wondering how on earth I'll be able to cook everything using my single oven and just four gas rings. (How I wish I had a big country kitchen and a range oven!)
But perhaps more of a challenge for Christmas day is our seating arrangements. Our living room and dining room are completely separate rooms, neither one big enough for seating 12. (How I miss my old house's layout with both rooms knocked through with an archway between them, allowing us to spread between both rooms but still be together!) So we need to get a new extendable table to use alongside our small fold down dining room table so everyone can sit down together for dinner. It will be a good investment though, allowing us to use this as our main table and using the fold down one for the kitchen. Our family is only ever going to get bigger as more grandchildren and future in-laws become integrated into the fold. So this Christmas has become an opportunity for us to have a bit of a furniture rethink!
With a big family I wouldn't be without a big sofa. We have an old, tired leather corner sofa, which has done us great service for over a decade, but it is definitely coming to the end of its natural life. It has suffered years of abuse and has doubled up as a climbing frame, trampoline and even an impromptu bed for unexpected sleepovers. I'm sure it will do us proud on Christmas Day if we all snuggle up really tightly to watch some festive TV, but 2014 will be the year to get a brand new corner sofa - hopefully in the sales!
We've already bought four extra dining chairs that we stash away in the garage for when we have extra guests, so with those and a few scatter cushions thrown on the floor, we should just about cover the seating. Now I just need to work out where I can put the Christmas tree!!?
Maybe I should ask Santa really nicely if I could win the Euromillions and then I could buy a massive, fully furnished mansion? Problem solved!