Christmas started with Olympia Horse Show, the best part of the festive season for me. An excuse to watch horses all afternoon, shop for jodhpurs, souvenir rosettes and 'oooooh and aaaaahhh' at the size of the jumps with a friend who gets the addiction. The kids sat transfixed at the Ukrainian Cossacks crazy gymnastic riding, the police horses jumping through fire, a Shetland grand national, the dog agility display and the famous riders show jumping the biggest fences. And then Father Christmas made a brief appearance, it was definitely the real one we all decided, with some snow, a carol and lots of kids on ponies galloping around the arena. It was completely brilliant!
I wrapped the presents in one hit with red wine, he helped enormously. We decided not to faff with appetisers and nibbles and instead opened a packet of cheesy balls which went down a treat. The bread sauce came from a packet, and although it was pretty disgusting we had all the right components of the feast. No off-piste cooking this year, a straight-down-the-line-middle-of-the-road-turkey dinner with the trimmings. Demolished in seconds I'm glad I didn't spend any longer on it than I did.
Instead I had time to watch Peter Pan, drink too much wine, play games, open mountains of gifts with the kids and clear up the inevitable Christmas day puke.
Christmas 2014 ended, and is still ending with the bug. It just wouldn't be the same without it.