I suppose it's probably time I got this Christmas post done and dusted, 2 weeks into the new year...! I mean, the easter chocolate has started to come out in supermarkets already.
Christmases won't ever have the same magic as they did when I was young, but as an adult, there is a different appreciation and enjoyment that grows on you. And when you spend it with young children who are so excited and their parents work so hard to make it special for them, you see the magic from the other side. That's what this year's Christmas was for me.
My family always did the big dinner and festive celebration on Christmas Eve, and funnily enough this is also the French tradition. Presents are even opened that night!
E (who I feel like was cooking non-stop during the holiday season!) was in charge of the dinner, while his sister made dessert and we helped here and there. We had langoustine, lobster and salmon ravioli to start, duck confit with gratin dauphinois and roasted carrots for main, and cremet d'angou for dessert (it's like the fluffy white part of a cheesecake topped with custard...unfortunately it was quite late by then and the dish isn't particularly photogenic, but trust me it was delicious). Talk about one seriously filling meal... all accompanied by plenty of champagne and wine, of course. And let's not forget the post-dinner salted caramel macarons made by E.
There was a lovely moment after the main course when the kids (our niece and nephew) wanted to sing a Christmas carol and for all of us to sing one, so we had their adorable rendition of Away in a Manger (which happens to be my all time favourite carol) in their cute Australian accents, a few French ones from E's dad and aunt, an English one from us, and another of E's sisters sang a song in Japanese, which was amazing!
Speaking of nationalities, the little nephew (child of my sister-in-law who is French and her husband who is Australian, hence why they live in Australia) has apparently been telling people that he is part French, part Australian and part Japanese, because he has a Japanese aunt (me). Kids' logic is the best.
The actual Christmas day was spent relaxing, nibbling on bread and cheese, playing Telestrations, and my favourite part - baking cookies with the the little ones! They were so excited and I took some delightful photos of them that I love. After telling them little tips about the cookies (don't over-stir, don't put them too flat etc.), the boy looks at me and says, "Wow, you know everything about cookies. How do you know absolutely everything?" If only he knew how clueless about life I really am...
We really had a wonderful time and created some very special memories, which is what Christmas is all about - I'm extremely fortunate and thankful.