When we got home, Dave and I went to a Steve and Sarah's house for drinks and snacks. We had a lovely relaxing evening, chatting and listening to music.
On Christmas Day, we opened our presents from each other. It was a novelty not having to rush to get ready and go out straight afterwards. Dinner was cooked for just 3 of us. We opened the bottle of Chapel Down wine that we had been saving for a special occasion as it was quite expensive. It was rough! Think we'll stick to the cheaper stuff in future. After dinner, we got out the Ker Plunk game. It's a bit of a tradition at Christmas to play games. Another tradition is for Dave to fall asleep after dinner. Dan joined him, until it was time to get ready to go and find his mates.
Kat joined us with her fella and we opened more presents. We had prawn cocktails and cold meats and pickles. It was soon time for the Dr Who Christmas Special. Then Blokus was played. The kids went round to see Brian and Rachel. I had to give in and go to bed early as I wasn't feeling well.
We were shown through to the dining room. As I knew the portions are never huge here, I opted for all three courses. Being in the Accounts department, the owner of the purse strings, we went for the best option which was £25 each for the three. All were very good, served with silver service. Most people I know would have probably gone home hungry but this was plenty enough for me. I didn't feel so full that I couldn't move afterwards which is usual when eating out. After dinner, we went back to the fireside in a lounge and had another drink. An enjoyable evening was had by all.
At Bybrook Barn, Robbie and I didn't go into the Grotto. We had a wander over the bridge to the look at the frozen, snowy lake. Once the happy Eden and co had come out of the Grotto, we walked up to the top of the gardens where she got to have a go on the tea cup ride. The whole place seemed empty. We hardly saw another person that wasn't staff. Dave and I watched while Brian and Rachel took the kids on the train ride.
Then we went inside to look at the lovely Christmas displays. They always do a good display there of fairy stories, etc. We thought that we would stop in the restaurant before going back home. I suggested that we went to the American diner outside. It was great. I had cheesy chips and they were smothered in cheese. Very yum. Must go back again some time.
To save money, we decided to have our group Christmas party at our house. We arranged for everyone to bring along something different. There was far too much food in the end. Best to have too much than not enough. I prepared a quiz of 4 rounds. Round 1 was “Acronyms”, round 2 was “Mr and Mrs” with questions like “Just the one Mrs ….., from “On the Up”, round 3 was Disney film and round 4 was Random questions taken from the 90's quiz book. It made a change for Dave and Jose not to win!!
We had our usual secret Santa pressie swap. The budget for this year being £5. Some people did really well including me with a towel cake with scented candles and foam bath.
We were chatting with Brian and Rachel about taking Eden to see Santa and we've decided to walk to Bybrook Barn tomorrow. It will be much easier than trying to get to Maidstone.
There was pass the parcel game with chocolate bars or tubes of sweets in the layers. I think everyone got at least one. Afterwards, Matt disappeared and Santa appeared with a present for everyone. There was lots of food and drink and a very good time was had by all.
On the way home we stopped off at the White Horse in Newenden. They had a lovely fire going and we sat as close as we could. Sort of in the chimney. It was very relaxing looking into the flames.
Dave had been asked to be Santa for the Autistic Society's children's Christmas party. We went down with Jose and hid Dave in the toilet. I joined in Maria and Enrique as they watched the puppet show. Enrique thought it a bit strange that I was there but not too worried about it. After the show, most of the children went downstairs as it was food time. Enrique decided that he wanted his face painted first. Scary Enrique Monster appeared. The person doing the make up was brilliant with all the kids.
We managed to persuade Scary Enrique Monster to join the rest of the children downstairs. Santa was smuggled out of the toilet. Any children that saw him appear, we had to tell them that he had to come up the plumbing as there were no chimneys. All of the children were extremely well behaved and waited their turn to get their present from Santa. One young lad, dressed in combats, was particularly keen. He sat up the front near to Santa to wait his turn. Later he was most impressed when he caught sight of Dave's combat trousers under the Santa suit. Dave had to tell him that it is extremely cold at the North Pole and he needs to wear trousers under the suit. Dave also strung them some story about living next door to drunken polar bears, or something like that!
We went back to Jose and Maria's for tea and we watched Eclipse film. As we were already in Folkestone, we went to visit Kat. I had been promised a cuddle with the piggles too.