In my family we have a rather unusual approach to present buying. We each email round a list of exactly what we would like to open (my requests this year were a YSL glossy stain, brown leather gloves, Bobbi brown lipstick in Roseberry, Clarins shower gel, bath oil or bubbles, sparkly stud earrings) and then everyone replies all saying what they are going to get you. It is not really the spirit of Christmas, but we all agree there is nothing worse than the Christmas I received 11 sponge bags.
I've now bought everyone a present, apart from Mum who seems to be reluctant to make a specific request which suggests she is expecting emeralds. Sigh.
Things I am REALLY looking forward to:
Well strictly speaking this has already happened, but Mr Rose and I like to do Hanukkah because he is sort of not very but kind of Jewish. As neither of us really know what Hanukkah is about we decided when we first met years and years ago to give each other a little present every day worth no more than £2.50. Believe me – that is no mean feat since Woolworths has closed! But it is great fun opening a random gift every day for 8 days. Last night he got a new washing line chord and looked really bemused by this, poor chap. But I pointed out he'd had some Fortnum and Mason chamomile tea the night before, so at Hanukkah you win some, you lose some.
The Circle of Trust Christmas Dinner which takes place TONIGHT at a very glamorous location. Since Natalie has been on Maternity Leave, the 4 of us haven't had a really good chin wag for a while – so we've so much to get through tonight that an agenda has been created.
We also have a Not Very Secret Santa to get through. It will be a marvellous evening.
In a week or so Cousin LL and Baby Heinz are coming to stay. I've only spent 1 weekend with him since he was born in Germany, so am aiming to get as many cuddles as possible in for their visit. I've taken a day off and am looking forward to the day immensely as I get to be a pretend North London Yummy Mummy but Cousin LL gets the 4am feeds! It isn't for 10 days or so, but I already have it intricately planned:
8.00am – Mr Rose says "Darling, you asked me to wake you up when I leave so this is your wake up call. I've made you a delicious and nutritious Breakfast Smoothie so up you get!".
8.07am – Mr Rose leaves to run the country and Rose falls back to sleep.
09.30am – Rose wakes and races around the house with hoover to prepare for The Offsted Inspector – Cousin LL. No time for actual dusting, so the trick of using Pledge as room spray will do the trick.
10.10am – weak with exhaustion, Rose watches as little bit of Jeremy Kyle with a nice cup of tea.
10.40am – Rose remembers she was supposed to ice the Christmas cake – puts Mariah Carey Christmas Album on full blast, dicks around with marzipan, plastic reindeer and icing.
10.55am – pleased with the look of her cake, Rose instagrams the shit out of it, sends pic to Mum and Auntie Mame, tweets it and adds to Facebook.
11.01am – Rose frantically checks social media to see how many 'likes' the cake has got.
11.05am – Rose races around turning all of the Christmas lights on, lights scented candles, puts extra layer of lipstick on.
11.16am – Rose boils kettle, gets out most Christmassy mugs, Fortnum and Mason Christmas Tea, puts milk in milk jug, arranges cake stand with Christmas Cake
11.26am – Rose sits with nose pressed to window awaiting the arrival of Master Heinz and his mama, Cousin LL, who will arrive right on schedule at 11.30am. We will squeal so loudly on being reunited that the neighbours will look out the window to see what is occurring.
The afternoon involves trying out the best buggy hotspots that Muswell Hill's café culture have to offer, a nice walk in the fresh air, little mooch around the shops.
Once the Little Prince has been put to bed and Mr Rose has returned from work, we will have civilised kitchen sups featuring champagne with hibiscus flowers in for a lovely festive touch, and a giant chicken pie.
Fast forward a few more days and we have Christmas Eve which Mr Rose and I are spending together, at home, having what we call Our Christmas Dinner – all of our favourite foods accompanied by some extremely good wine we have been saving. Mr Rose is the chef extraordinaire and has been plotting the menu for weeks. We do it every year and it is a lovely, romantic pause in what can be a really busy time.
Then of course we have the Big Day!
There will be only 7 of us for Christmas Day at Auntie Mame's and Uncle R's house. Which, for us, is a really small, select gathering. Mame casually suggested that we have Beef Wellington on Christmas Day with the full on Roast Turkey on Boxing Day when a few more of us will be there.
The decision was put to full public vote. We believe in democracy in this family. No fixed voting, or dictators rigging the vote here – no siree. This is not Zimbabwe or the Eurovision Song Contest!
When the votes came in it was a clear win for Beef Wellington – 4 votes v. 3 for Turkey. So I'm very much looking forward to my Democratic Beef Wellington, with side orders of Liberty, Equality and Fairness.
I hope you are all enjoying the most wonderful time of the year!