And there's a degree of that, but this year was maybe a little simpler overall, and a little bit atypical.
I didn't bother adjusting my alarm clock last night, so I woke up at the usual weekday time, lay in bed for a while goofing around on my phone until I finally got up and went out for my morning walk.
It always feels vaguely post-apocalyptic going out around dawn on Christmas morning... and this year more than most. I didn't actually cross paths with anybody for the whole walk, which I think is essentially a record. I did see people at a distance, but right up until I was nearly home I didn't pass anyone. And there were very few cars out when I first went out... so, yeah, it was a little like the beginning of 28 Days Later.
When I got home I had a shower and got dressed in my new Gilles Bone Malefico's tee-shirt and the Almost Naked Dare jockstrap from Andrew Christian (which, even with it's extra straps and things is the most comfortable jock I've worn in a long while)... and jeans obviously. I was going to wear the plaid shorts I bought a while back, but since it was only forecast to be 22°C they didn't seem like a particularly good idea.
Then I packed up the car (and only needed to do two trips up and down the stairs, which was good) and was on the road by about twenty past seven.
The drive up to Ma's was fairly quiet... but as I said to her last week one of the issues with driving to her place first thing in the morning is the almost epilepsy inducing flashing of the early morning sun between the trees.
One of the things that was different this year is that we weren't heading out to La Cousina's place first thing in the morning, so once I got to Ma's place we had the entire day to ourselves.
We did a few bits and pieces, just general prep stuff and then put the croissants in the oven and had some breakfast.
Then after some clean-up... and possibly lighting the barbecue, I honestly don't remember when that happened... it was presents time!
I was right about Ma's reaction to the Joshua Smith artwork... I left it right until the end of the presents (actually I nearly forgot it entirely, because it wasn't with everything else) and when I got it out of the bag it was in and turned around, she was flabbergasted. I always enjoy being able to do that at least once with presents.
Not that there's anything wrong with that... it was just amusing. That is if you don't count the calendars.
But once I was done, my collection of things looked like this...
- Warwick Rowers 2015 Calendar
- The Art of Alfredo Roagui 2015 Calendar and art print
- American Crew Daily Essentials pack
- The Lego Movie Benny retractable pen
- Disney Infinity 2.0 Tinkerbell figure
- Bulbasaur plushie
- Assassin's Creed: Black Flag PS3 game
- Assassin's Creed The Collection novels
- As You Wish book by Cary Elwes
- Gold Lego minifigure keyring
- Lego Chima Legend Beast Lion
- Lego minifigure small storage head
- Glass ampersand
- Mini shears
- The Legend of Korra - Book One: Air and Book Two: Spirits
- The Newsroom Season Two
- Cars 2
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
- The Croods
- How to Train Your Dragon 2
- Monsters University
- Wreck-It Ralph
But after we'd left the coals to heat up we discovered that they just hadn't... so we ended up cooking everything in the oven instead.
It did mean that everything wasn't quite as browned as we may have liked, particularly the roast potatoes, but it also meant that the meat was all nice and tender and juicy.
While everything was cooking we did yet another round of clearing up, I did my usual present photos and then set the table up.
Then we had a well deserved sit down for a while.
Along with the roast potatoes and the turkey and sausage meat there was basil leaves in place of salad greens, a gourmet tub of tomatoes in all manner of sizes and colours, green beans (because they're my favourite) and prosciutto and halloumi all fried up and crispy.
I tossed it all with a little white balsamic vinegar and we were good to go.
This is definitely a Christmas tradition I'm happy to hang on to, because it's damn yummy.
And of course, because I have no ability to make the appropriate amount of salad for the number of people actually intending to eat it (I always make more than I need), there was enough left over for Ma and I to split and have for dinner later in the week.
We were also both pretty full, so we decided to wait a while on dessert and instead sat down to watch Brave (which Ma bought for herself for Christmas)... or rather watch and listen to the audio commentary.
Of course, as usually happens after Christmas lunch, mostly because Ma goes to the midnight church service with her bestie every year and only gets home around 2am, she was a bit of a sleepy bunny and kept dozing off every now and again. But what else is after lunch for at Christmas.
At some point we'd digested dinner enough to make room for dessert, so we made up the same thing as last year...fruit mince ice cream (which was much richer than last year's attempt but just as delicious), crumbled up meringue, raspberries, blueberries and some chocolate shards I made last Sunday with leftover chocolate. So damn good.
Then once we'd finished Brave, we went with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2... and I think both of us were a little dozy during that one.
And once that was done we pretty much called it a day. We packed up my presents and some of the food stuff I was bringing home with me (I need to clean out my fridge before I can fit all the good stuff in, so Ma's bringing it down on Saturday) and I filled up the car, kissed Ma goodbye and headed home.
The drive back was mostly uneventful, except for when I got to the last stretch of Main North Road and the traffic had all completely crawled to stop. And it took forever (I don't know how long exactly, but it felt like about ten minutes) before I even got close enough to discover there had been a three car smash and two of the lanes were closed off. Whoops.
Hopefully no matter what kind of Christmas you had, it was better than the Christmas those three people had.
So that's it... Christmas is over for another year... roll on 2015!