I sit here now on the afternoon of the 27th waiting for our New Year guests to arrive and reflecting on another Christmas just passed. It has been a happy time for us here at Coombe Mill and the children are still buzzing.
Christmas Eve, while the children played full of anticipation for the big day ahead, I was busy preparing for our annual open house party that evening. We are not a very religious family but I do like to support the Christmas Christingle service and 4.30 was my deadline to have the house and cooking ready to take everyone to Church. The children have grown up with this lovely service which is aimed at them and meets their expectations every time. Afterwards, mulled wine, mince pies, Father Christmas and presents outside church are a perfect combination and we always encourage our holiday makers to join us too.
The village activities finish by 6.30 and we then take over with our open house party for our family, friends and guests. This year we took advantage of the new BBQ hut in the garden to make a Santa’s grotto for farmer Nick and the hub for the cooking. In the house we had the drinks, the cold food accompaniments and puddings and everyone had a wonderful time milling between venues while the children raced round the house and in and out of our indoor play area together in an excited huddle, I’m sure forgetting to eat judging by mine when everyone had left!
When I grew up, Christmas day followed a strict regime, however now Nick and I like to keep the day flexible and go with the flow a little more. Stockings from Father Christmas are governed by waking times which stretches later each year. In this case 8.30 am, don’t worry if you still have youngsters, I promise 8.30 starts will happen to you too one day! It was a frenzy of presents and paper as they all dived in.
Feeding the animals is our only fixed agenda, which we always move from 9.00 am to 10.00 am on Christmas Day, to allow the deer time to return from a busy night helping Father Christmas and parents time to clear the debris from morning presents! A fun chance for all the families staying at Coombe Mill to get together and an hour in the fresh air for all.
Brunch for us was smoked salmon and scrambled egg, a little bit of a Christmas tradition and most welcome after an hour on the farm! We then interspersed presents with cooking playing, till Christmas dinner around 5.00 pm with all the trimmings. A final present opening was saved until everyone had helped clear up including bedrooms. I’ve never seen them work so fast and will remember this tip for a tidy house to finish on Christmas day next year!
Boxing day was a chilled out time off work day for us all and another lovely party at a friend’s house for their Birthday in the evening with all the children too; so chilled in fact I don’t have a photo to show, except for the Birthday cake I made!
Behind the scenes?
For us there is always a drama at Christmas. Last year was the worst when we nearly lost Guy and Jed as they crashed and wrote off their brand new quad bike within 20 minutes of having it, half the children didn’t even manage to have a turn! It was February before it was back with us on the farm with many safety features installed! The year before we had -10 degree temperatures to contend with, a very sick farmer Nick and Farmer Fi (aka me), struggling to do the animals feed run and break the ice for the animals on their water troughs. This year it was the floods. Thank goodness the schools broke up late giving us maximum time to try and sort things but with a building project being flooded out and the farm a soup of mud we were all hands on deck at every waking hour to keep Coombe Mill open and presentable over the festive season. Thankfully I think we just about managed it with our guests and children seeing mainly the fun side of the water problems!
How was your Christmas? If you have blogged your Christmas adventures, please do join in the blog hop adding your Christmas fun on the link below.
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“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.