Christmas in the Caribbean

Christmas in our house really started when the sofa finally arrived! After weeks of waiting it felt like the biggest luxury and finally made the house basically finished!
 Obviously this called for a couple of family portraits, and when you have little boys that means silly faces!

 In Guadeloupe there are so many different things going on around Christmas which resulted in many late, late nights. One night in particular Estelle, Maxime, Ed and I stayed up until about three. I don't know how the boys managed it but Maxime was just chatting away and Ed was giving so many cuddles. It was such a lovely night!

 I'm really quite big on Christmas, and of course Father Christmas traditions. My mum did such a fantastic job when we were younger I had to tell Estelle all about it and we agreed to have a very English Christmas.

Rather than Father Christmas delivering to Estelle's Uncle's annual Christmas Eve party, the boys left out some mince pies, and rum (Camille insisted he would prefer it!). We also made sure the reindeer had some carrots!
 Then with a little bit of help from Estelle and I, Father Christmas visited once the boys had gone to bed (about 2am!!!). He ate nearly all of the mince pies, made himself a Ti-Punch (Guadeloupian drink with sugar cane, lime and rhum) and the reindeer made a huge mess of the carrots!

 We also put our presents under the tree as there was no more danger of Ed opening everything before Christmas.

 In the morning I had a loud knock on my door from two very excited little boys letting me know that Father Christmas had been and he had even left a letter for the boys! In both English and French as he knows how clever they are!

 Ed didn't really get that he actually had to open the presents- he was happy to play with them all wrapped up, so he was quite shocked when Mummy gave a helping hand and he realised there were more exciting things inside!

 Maxime and Camille got a piano keyboard as they are starting to learn to play in the New Year. I think I was a little more excited than them though! I'm going to re-learn as I really wish I'd never given up!!

 I would love to take credit for the presents I gave to the boys, but unfortunately I actually stole them from my Mummy. I couldn't get the things I wanted for the boys sorted and knew just how much they would love the costumes... Thank you so much Mum! You're the best and I love you!
 Something about children's excitement makes Christmas different and for the first time ever I wasn't really fussed about opening anything myself. Never thought that would happen! I was completely spoilt by things Mum had sent over with dad, the diving from Daddy and then by Estelle. I really love this family like we were blood related!

Estelle and I are both a bit... anal... when it comes to the state of the house. We tried to stay relaxed as it was Christmas, but we just couldn't hack it for long and soon all wrapping paper was recycled for next year/thrown away and all toys had new homes with help from the boys.
 Although it didn't take long at all for Spiderman and Batman to make an appearance!

 For some reason I'd insisted on making sure we had a proper English Christmas Dinner on Christmas day, and although I got Dad to bring over some key ingredients, I was clearly the one who was going to have to cook it.

At first I worried what I'd gotten myself into, but I prepared it throughout the week with the boys which meant other than having to figure out what we were going to do without an oven (thank goodness for Estelle's mum having a restaurant!) it was completely stress free on Christmas Day! Even with time to make mince pies and play lots with my mini Super Hero's!
 It even went down pretty well! We had a fair number of English people there with myself, Daddy, Ace and a couple of guys I've met who are from Manchester, over here playing basketball. It was generally agreed it didn't taste too bad- and considering Harold went up for second helpings this is a huge accomplishments! Usually he's pretty wary of any English dishes I cook- and I don't think I'm that bad in the kitchen!

 We had a couple of star guests, making their third appearance of the day, before pudding was served.

A very English Christmas pudding... I was so excited to light it as at home it's usually Nan who gets to set it on fire, but I seemed to just keep putting the match out. Estelle came to the rescue and we had the longest burning Christmas Pudding I've seen! I think it's the Guadeloupian Rhum!

I was really apprehensive about this Christmas. Everything was going to be very different from the last few years, in a different place with different people. I almost feel bad admitting it, but it was actually the best Christmas I have ever had. Of course I missed seeing Mum and her side of the family- but having Christmas with the boys made it all magical and so special, the way Christmas is supposed to be.
Setting the Father Christmas scene and wrapping stockings sneakily so the boys wouldn't see the wrapping paper or the letter and then their faces when they realised he had been, I think, was the best feeling I've ever had.

I'm so in love this Christmas, it's a different kind of love, but I think it's the best kind. I'm in the most incredible place, with a family that aren't biologically mine, but who love me to pieces and who I love an insane amount back! I'm so full with love and happiness this year I think I could burst!

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