Celebrations begin the Wednesday before Christmas at The Hope Tap in Reading with Paul for drinks and dinner including Christmas pudding. The following evening I meet Hamish for a proper pub dinner, again including Christmas pudding, followed by a small pub crawl in the country setting of Goring On Thames.
Gifts are exchanged early, due to Bobet's work schedule, as I visit her in London for a couple of days. We sit around her new Christmas poinsettia with my candle holders, whilst we hand each other gifts and take photos.
I take an uneventful drive to Dorset on Christmas Eve to stay with my parents over the coming days. On Christmas morning my parents and I get up and sit around the tree in the living room bay window and hand each other gifts whilst taking photos. At midday dad drives us to Guy & Dawn's, where Guy brings out the Perry before a traditional cooked Christmas lunch of turkey and Rob's home produced lamb, the wine flows and later so too does the Irish cream into the coffee, whilst the gift giving seems a little rushed with the two youngest girls in command. Boxing Day is again spent at Guy & Dawn's with an informal buffet kindly provided.
Bobet has New Year's Eve off, so takes a train to Dorset where I meet her at the station. We again spend the evening at Guy & Dawn's playing a game of frustration, whilst I bring a bottle of Jubilee Cava to see in the New Year.
The following weekend is a more relaxed celebration of Dawn's birthday.
Lee, Debs and family come to Dorset a week later, first stopping at our parents for a small gift exchange, before spending the weekend at Guy & Dawn's where we all meet for our full family festive celebration. We begin by drinking Lee's homemade beer whilst standing in the kitchen chatting before the party is moved to the living room as Guy & Dawn deal with the cooked meal of Beef Wellington - with Guy's home produced Angus beef.