Christmas celebrations in town and the country

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Christmas is one of my absolutely favourite times of year. Here in New Zealand, Christmas also means the start of summer, so the sun is out, the days are long, and the celebrations happen all month long…culminating in Christmas Day itself! The next day, Boxing Day, everyone clears out of town on their summer holidays and nothing gets done for at least the next two weeks. It is bliss.

We have a few Christmas traditions that we do every year. Early in December, we visit Smith and Caughey’s to see the Christmas windows and visit Santa, before popping round the corner to Depot for lunch or dinner. Sometime around the middle of December, we hold the annual Judd Christmas soirée at our apartment. Every year post-Amelie it has got a little less soir and quite a bit more après-midi, to be honest, but this party has a name and we can’t change it now!

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We decorate the tree, of course, and put up our stockings. The tree goes up wherever we’re having Christmas – this year, that meant the country. While we decorate, we listen to Christmas music, drink Champagne, and eat Christmas cookies. It’s always a lot of fun, but this year was just next level with Amelie’s total excitement about hanging the stockings and decorating the tree (and un-decorating the tree by putting the baubles in her stocking…she was quite taken with them!)

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This year, we had my family and Hayden’s parents around to the country house for Christmas Day itself. It was a really lovely day! We started off with bacon, egg and tomato croissants and Champagne, then did the first round of presents, before starting on Christmas lunch preparation. My family arrived around 12:30 and we did round two of presents, then served lunch around 2:30. Lunch was simple – ham, lamb, new potatoes, panzanella and a peach, rocket, feta and pomegranate salad – exactly what you want on a sunny day! We had cheesecake, Eton mess and chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert, and in between all of this activity and eating (all of the eating!) we played outside. The paddling pool was set up, as was Amelie’s new easel, so she and her little cousin had a lot of fun going back and forth between the two, scooting around on her scooter, and trying to join in with the adults playing cornhole and giant Jenga.

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It was such a special time! I’m feeling very grateful for the fun family times and the good weather. How was your Christmas?

 

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