...a cosy Christmas Eve last night with the family, as always, at my parents'.
And as always, we had spuds salad (two kinds, one with mayonnaise and one without) and sausages. I have probably mentioned this before, but there is no spuds salad like the one my dad makes!
Mum made baked apples for dessert. This is a traditional winter dessert in Germany. The core is taken out and the apples are then stuffed with a mixture of raisins, almonds and/or nuts, as well as some sugar (I think) and, if desired, some brandy or other alcoholic drink. If anyone is interested, I can of course ask my mum for her recipe. The apples were from the garden, and my mum brought the pan to the table with sparklers on top, which made for a very pretty effect à la "Captain's Dinner" :-)
The (real) candles on the (artificial) tree were lit after that, and we exchanged our gifts.
Every year, I wonder at the amount of parcels piling up under the tree, with there being seven adults each giving each other (normally) just ONE present. Well, I should not be surprised - simple maths show that 7 x 6 (because nobody brings a parcel for themselves, obviously) makes 42, and if you consider that sometimes there is more than one parcel from one to the other, we easily get to somewhere around 50!
This year, I had some things I'd already known about, because I had either said I needed it (such as the pretty Cath Kidston toiletries bag, a gift from my sister, and the cushions for my kitchen chairs, from my parents) or because I had chosen it for myself (such as the fluffy red zip-up and the dress I am going to wear on New Year's Eve). Most of the other presents I received are useful and much appreciated, such as the wild rose shower gel (I like the scent, and it is going to be used up and not stand around for ever) and the assortment of kitchen ingredients (a jar each of pesto, a bruschetta spread and aioli).
When I unwrapped the presents from England this morning, at first I thought "oh no! nobody has sent me any chocolate this year...", but then I opened the handbag (not really my style) from my mother-in-law and found inside a box of Cadbury's Roses, a Terry's Orange and a box of Maltesers (all very much my style!).
A gift I can not wait to make use of are the two vouchers for the nearby beauty-and-wellness "temple"! I love going there for a massage or a pedicure or some other treatment, but I never buy any of their treatments for myself. They will definitely have a phone call from me next week!