We didn't really do anything to actually celebrate Yule this year. We have the past couple of years, but this year it seems to have all sort of rolled in to one holiday celebration, with Mam and I singing along to Christmas music, wrapping Christmas presents, etc, then it suddenly being Christmas eve. So, I'll start from Christmas eve.
Mam and Carl dropped Nan off in town, then came to get me to take me up town. We went to do some last minute food shopping, which mostly involved getting the drinks for over Christmas and getting more nibbles for the planned buffets happening over the weekend. Then we took Mam and Carl's food shopping back to the house, and went back in to town. We did consider taking mine back too, but since there wasn't much and it was freezing cold out, we figured it would be fine in the car while we were up town (which it was).
I recently managed to seporate the image of the animal from the food I'm eating, so have been able to eat most meats for a couple of weeks now, which is good, because if I hadn't then the smell of the hotdogs cooking at the van in town would have probably changed my eating habbits back anyway. We smelled them as soon as we started up town, and Carl brought one each for himself, Mam and I. Then we met up with Nan again, and Mam gave her the car keys so she could go sit in the car since she was done, but busses are unreliable on Christmas eve (well, actually, they aren't great all year here) and besides, it was icy. So we didn't want her making her own way home.
Carl wanted to grab a little something more for Nan for Christmas, which is why we didn't just take her with us. So, anyway, once Nan went off to sit in the car we went and had a look for a couple of last minute Christmas pressies. We didn't get many, but we got a few little bits. Actually, I only got one thing... An extra little something for Kero... Nothing much, just a ttub of dog treats that cost me something like 75p ($1.50). Actually, they cost me 65p ($1.30) because I only had that much in loose change, so Mam paid the last little bit for me so I wouldn't have to use a £5 note(which would be like breaking a $10 bill for the $1.50) .
As we were heading back to the car, I decided to grab a burger from the van for Kelly, since he loves the burgers that van does, and it's usually only there on market day (Fridays) and even then not always. And, since we were in the queue anyway, I got myself another hotdog, and got Carl a ham roll. He had wanted a turkey and stuffing one, but they ran out of turkey just before we got back there, so they offered him the last of the cooked ham, and he decided that would be nice. He seemed to enjoy it anyway. Mam didn't want anything else, so I gave her the money that would have gone on something for her to use to put a bit of petrol in the car. It was only a couple of quid, but every little helps, right? Especially with fuel prices these days!
After that we came back to my place. Well, Carl and I did. Mam and Nan went off after dropping us and my shopping off. We had planned to go for a nice walk with Kero, but it was so icy that we didn't think it advisable. So, instead, we got right down to baking.
We had planned to make a few different things, but since the buffet arrangements had changed - and we were longer than planned up town - we ended up just making chocolate chip cookies, which we cut in to bell and tree shapes with cookie cutters. We did try some of the other shapes (I think the others were a star, a snowman, and an angel) but we did a test tray of the little bells and trees, and another of the other things - which were bigger - and decided that we prefered the bells and trees. For one thing, they were easier to get off the tray in one piece. For another thing... We got more cookies that way, and more cookies is always good... LOL! ;)
I'm not sure if you can see the shapes - we haven't mastered the art of getting cookies to keep their shapes yet - buut here's one batch of the bell and tree shaped cookies.
Once the baking was done, Carl had to leave, so I bathed Kero, washed out the bath, had a bubble bath, then settled down with some of the mince pies my Nan had made the day before and sent down for me, a mug of cocoa, and a DVD of one of my favourite Christmas movies... Santa Claus - The Movie. Which I'm sure I've mentioned on here before, so I wont bother reviewing.
Here's a photo of the mince pies:
The mince pies with squirty cream on them... Mmm!
I ended up falling asleep half way through the movie, which I was kinda disappointed about since I enjoy the movie, but it was a nice way to fall asleep on Christmas eve... House smelling of cookies, belly full of mince pies and cocoa, and a Christmas movie... Certainly sounds like a nice end to Christmas eve to me! So, I didn't mind really.
I first woke up around 1:30 am (as Kelly was going to bed) and took the oppertunity to make sure our stockings were filled. Kelly heard me, but I insisted I wasn't doing anything, "just grabbing a cookie," and put the stockings under the tree with the presents instead of on the sofa where they usually go. He came to investigate, and sure enough, all I was doing was sitting on the sofa eating a cookie, with not a stocking in sight. So, he went off to bed. It was only when he got up at about 5:45 am to "see if it was time for presents yet," that he noticed where the stockings were and realised what had happened. LOL!
I had managed to get more sleep while he was sleeping, I think I slept solidly from about 2:30 am to about 4:00 am, then I dozed on and off until just before he got up. That was pretty good since I'd originally fallen asleep at 9:00 pm though. And once Kelly was up there was no going back to bed. Honestly, he's like a kid at Christmas! LOL! Mind you, I'm not much calmer, and probably wouldn't have gotten back to sleep after that anyway. So, we got up and started on the presents we had down here.
Most of what was down here was Kero's stuff, but I'll get to that in his post (which I've decided will be done tomorrow). Other than that it was our stockings and the presents to each other (although, there was one present for me from Kelly up with my parents).
Anyway, in my stocking was a stack of sweets (diet? what diet?) I also had a couple of metal brain teaser type puzzle things, a mini paddle ball, a spinning top, some jax (what? you have to have toys in the stocking), a whistle (there has to be something noisy in the stockings), some darning needles and needle threaders, a spare stylus and notepad for one of my braille writing frames, a little teddy, an audio version of the book "Heidi" and some fluffy socks that are pink and white striped (apparently). And the one thing I actually asked my Mam for (other than a certain teddy that will be mentioned further down)... A harmonica. What? I wanted one! No, I don't know why. I just did! You never know, I may even manage to learn to play it. ;)
As for actual presents: I had the DVD of the new Harry Potter movie from Kero. Clever dog, isn't he? And some braille books from Kelly ("Grim's Fairy Tales" and "The Just So Stories").
After presents, I had a cup of tea in the Santa mug I had for Christmas last year. It's only a little mug, and it got sat on so how it isn't leaking through the small cracks in it I have no idea, but it was Christmasy, so I wanted to use it. Here it is:
I don't normally have breakfast on Christmas morning, but the last couple of mince pies were calling my name. So I ate them! Well, that's what they were for! Besides, they wanted me to! Yep, that's my story, and yep, I am sticking to it! ;)
Dad came to get us a little before 9:00 am to take us up to have presents and Christmas dinner with them. There ended up being 8 humans and 2 dogs, with Elizabeth and Adrian stopping by for a bit to exchange presents. The 2 dogs were, of course, Kero and Willow. As for the people... There was me, Kelly, Mam, Dad, Nan, Wayne, Carl and Rachel. For those who don't know, Wayne and Carl are my brothers, Rachel is Carl's wife, Elizabeth is an honorary sister, and Adrian is Elizabeth's fiance. Grandad was meant to come for Christmas too, but he couldn't make it.
Mam took this photo of me and Kero part way through the present exchanging.
I took some photos while presents were being given out, but most didn't come out, and those that did aren't too great. This was at least partly due to the poor lighting in the room... I keep forgetting to turn the flash on. The thing is, when you have no light perception, lighting isn't really foremost in your mind. Anyway, these are the best of the photos I took, which Iggy kindly did what he could with for me.
Mam and Wayne near the Christmas tree.
Dad usually gives out presents, but Mam did it at first this year to give him a break. He took over about half way through though, because people have to write small on the labels to fit names in, and reading them was a bit of a strain on Mam's eyes.
Anyway... Here's Wayne and Dad.
And here's Nan (Dad's Mother).
The photos I tried to take of Carl, Rachel and Kelly were deleted by Mam before they even got to Iggy, because I didn't do a good job of them, so I'm afraid there aren't photos of them. And the rest of the ones involving Kero will be posted tomorrow.
Anyway, as for the rest of what I had for Christmas... I had: Some clay, a make your own wind chimes kit, more choccies and some biscuits (shortbread... My favourites), some socks with Westies on them, some zebra socks, a pair of slippers that are purple with dogs on them, a teddy of Simba from "The Lion King" (I knew about him... I picked him out myself Christmas eve), a Ronan Keating DVD, Ronan Keating's "Winter Songs" CD, an audiobook, an insense burner type thing that is safer to use (good idea Carl and Rachel, lol), some of my favourite perfume (Charlie), some money, a little bottle of "champaigne" bubble bath, and I think that's it. Yeah, I know, I'm spoiled! LOL!
After presents it was time for dinner. It's always turkey on Christmas day with us. With all the trimmings, of course! Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots, and sprouts. Mmm... It was good! There was also glasses of wine for those who drink, and a non-alcaholic grape drink that's considered non-alcaholic wine, but is basically fizzy grape juice for those who don't drink (or, in Mam's case, couldn't drink at dinner due to needing to drive us home).
And, of course, Christmas crackers! Got to have them! It's not Christmas without silly paper hats, lame cracker jokes, and people trying to get to their cracker presents before the dogs get them! LOL! My cracker present was a plastic puzzle cube on a keyring... Very cool, or, I think so... And that's what matters! :)
There was almost leftovers, but Dad, Carl, Wayne and I ate most of them, and the bit that was left wasn't worth keeping, so it got added to the dogs' Christmas dinners. Yep, they had turkey dinners too! Well, we couldn't leave the dogs out, could we?
Kelly, Kero and I went home soon after dinner, because most people were in need of naps now that the excitement was over and our bellies were full. And after nap time the rest of Christmas was spent as it has been for as long as I can remember... Investigating Christmas presents, seeing how things work, etc, etc.
Originally I was doing a buffet for everyone, but with everything that's been going on it was decided that it would be done at Mam's place. Kelly and I didn't feel up to going though, so we decided to spend the day just the two of us, and had our own little buffet table here:
We had sausage rolls, mini pizzas, and these potato wedges:
We also had crisps (potato chips), cookies (the ones made by Carl and I Christmas eve), a chocolate log cake, and a Christmas cake (the kind that's basically fruit cake with icing and marzipan on top... Not with the brandy in). And, of course, Cola and Dandelion & Burdock to drink. :)
We ended up spending the afternoon watching the Harry Potter movie while curled up on the sofa.
And that was basically Christmas at our house. Well, houses, technically.
Hope you enjoyed your holiday celebrations!
P.S. Thanks again Iggy for sorting the photos for me! You're a real star, and I really appreciate it! :)