Christmas Eve & Christmas Day in Photos

Monday, 28 December 2015

Apologies for the late post, but it's a busy time of year!  Our holidays are always a little bit jam-packed with travelling and seeing all kinds of different people.  My family is from Norwich, my other half's family is from Nottingham but with relatives spread out in a couple of other cities, and we live down in Surrey - you can imagine how much money we have to spend on petrol to get around and visit everyone!  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent with the other half's parents and sister though, and I thought I'd share some of the photos I took while we were there.

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year to practice indoor photography and that is 99.99% because I love all of the pretty lights and shiny objects.  This year I got back to playing around with manual mode (I got pretty good with it a couple of years ago but since then I've been extremely lazy and can't be bothered to use it) and taking photos of the ornaments in Chris's parents' tree.

They have so many different colours and textures in the tree and the whole hours is just decorated beautifully for the holidays!  Apparently it used to be even more festive when my other half and his sister were younger.  There are lots of fairy lights, lots of little decorations, and his mum even has little Christmas clothes for the demon birds in their dining room and the naughtily posed lady statue in their kitchen.

Much the same as most of the UK, it wasn't particularly Christmassy weather.  I can't believe that Christmas has been and gone and it's been hovering around 15°C the entire time!  Even so, it did manage to spit out a little bit of hail (much to our surprise) on Christmas Eve.  The weather tried... talk about an almost Christmas miracle.

As with most other households on Christmas, the main event is always food, food, food.  I was lucky enough to spend my first vegan Christmas with wonderful people who did everything they could to accommodate me - Chris's mum basically did a vegan alternative of everything for me from mince pies to potato salad, and she set aside bits and pieces of other items for me before she added cheese or meat etc. to them.  I was worried about having to slot myself in and eat what I could over the holidays, but I had no shortage of food and I feel so grateful that they went to all that trouble.

Christmas Eve food was a lovely chestnut and lentil soup (with a vegan cream swirl for me), followed by various bits and nibbles.  The others had cheeses, pork pies etc. and I had breads, salads, falafel, a butternut squash salad and more.  I also brought my own invention for Christmas - a cranberry and apple crumble pie!  I'll probably post a recipe of it at some point, but I was amazed by how well it turned out and how it basically tasted exactly like Christmas in pie form.  It went down a treat and I'm now very glad I made too much and have an extra pie ferreted away in our freezer at home.

Christmas Eve was nice and laidback, although we all agreed that we maybe would've benefited from going for a walk or out to the pub in the evening.  Spending many, many hours in the same warm room with a full belly and lots of booze doesn't do a whole lot for your energy.

The next morning was spent opening stocking presents, enjoying a nice breakfast (mine was figs, berries, vegan yoghurt and warm bread) and then opening more presents.  I spent last Christmas with my other half's family too, and it's so much more relaxed and enjoyable than the Christmasses I'm used to.  Usually my mum and I only get a couple of hours alone at home before we have to get ready and get shipped off to my aunt's house, so it felt amazing to just be able to go at my own pace, wear pjs and leggings for the whole day and just be laid back in a cosy, familiar home.

OH's sister prepared a wonderful table of candles and lights and some festive woodland leaves and nuts that photographed amazingly well - it was a nightmare trying to pick my favourites of the table.

We had a starter before we had the main event; everyone else had salmon and prawns and a little salad and rye bread, and I had my own spiced avocado on rye.  I caved in to temptation and had a slice of smoked salmon; seafood is my weakness and much as others often feel guilty about trying the odd non-vegan or non-vegetarian thing every now and again, the world isn't going to end if I taste something that everyone else has already paid for and started eating anyway.  And honestly, I'm really glad I did try it because although smoked salmon used to be one of my favourite foods, I didn't like it as much as I used to.  It was nice, but wasn't nearly as good as I remembered it, and now I can go about my vegan life without coveting seafood and wondering what I'm missing out on.  I enjoyed my avocado way more!

Christmas dinner was a whole host of vegan treats!  I had brussel sprouts with chestnuts, the usual veggies, a red cabbage slaw, vegan stuffing, roasted parsnips and potatoes, vegan sausages and the main event of a mushroom, chestnut and white truffle oil wellington.  If I hadn't been so full, I would've kept shovelling down that wellington because wow, it was amazing!  I've never really been a Christmas dinner person - I could never be bothered with turkey and the dinners always made me feel ill anyway - but if this is what I can expect from now on, I'm converted.  And as much as I ate and as full as I was, at least I can take comfort in knowing that most of what I ate was way healthier than what most people eat for the holidays.

The rest of Christmas was spent with drinks and more snacks and lots of games and amusement.  On Boxing Day we drove off to visit Chris's nanny and go for a meal with her and the rest of his family, and then from there we went to our second Christmas with my mum.  It's hard to believe that it's all over now, but I think it's been one of my favourite Christmasses to date and I don't feel like I missed out at all by being vegan.  Plus, I got a pretty amazing haul of gifts from everyone that I might share in a few days time - we'll see anyway, I'm not much of a haul blogger just because I worry that it's going to come across as bragging...

I hope you enjoyed the photos and that you had a wonderful holiday!


  1. Lovely photos; sounds like you had a great time! Would love to see your gifts - I think it's great seeing what other people got as it often introduces new products to me and gives me gift ideas for the future. :) xxx - natural beauty, affordable fashion, everyday life

    1. Thank you! That's how I feel about gift hauls too, I just worry about how it's coming across when I do it, especially as my mum always goes way overboard on the presents for Christmas :S

  2. Hey, your photos are really good! What type of camera do you use? It's great that your boyfriend's family were so accommodating. Love your blog by the way! :)
    Not Normally Like This

    1. Thank you, glad you like the blog! I use a Canon 1100D and these were taken with the EF 50mm f/1.4 lens. :)


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