Home Uncategorized Cracking the formula for a family Christmas

Cracking the formula for a family Christmas

by Clare Mansell
Cracking the formula for a family Christmas

I hope you aren’t fed up with posts about Christmas yet. Mine is a little later than planned as I’ve been fiddling about with the video I shot, but I decided I’d better share the photos before the moment has completely passed.

Our Christmas morning started at home opening stocking presents. I’d set up my camera on the coffee table the night before ready to shoot in interval mode to get some photos of all of us during the unwrapping. The shots were far from perfect, the light was poor, so the images are grainy and the shutter speed was too slow, but we got a couple of photos of the three of us which we otherwise wouldn’t have.


Unbeknown to me Jim had planted three parcels under the tree the night before which were mysteriously labelled (by his work colleague) as “From Father Christmas” He was so convincing in his promise that he knew nothing about them, that I actually phoned my rather baffled parents at 8am and accused them of planting them in our house! The camera caught the moment when he brought them out from under the tree and did a very convincing impression of someone who had never seen them before.


After breakfast we headed up to my sister’s, who like many with extended families, was hosting her second family meal in 48 hours… and still smiling! By this stage Jim was clearly feeling rather pleased that his little prank had worked so successfully.

get me away from the in-laws

Theo was more excited about having his teenage cousins to play with than any of the presents that were waiting under the tree. We all enjoyed a long lunch, personalised crackers (I must do a post on that next year) and a drawn out session of present unwrapping.


On New Year’s Eve it was our turn to host and to test the capacity of our new home, with four staying overnight for the first time. Jim cooked a great beef stew and we introduced the kids to the thrills of playing cards for pennies. At midnight we drew back the curtains and watched fireworks exploding over Portsmouth.

The following morning we headed to West Wittering which is the best place to start any new year, being blown about by the winter gales, whilst the dogs ran around in the dunes. Theo insisted on wishing Happy New Year to everyone we met!

East Head on New Year's Dayeastheadnyd315981768737_ff9032e5da_k

And then it was back to my parents for another family meal…


and some Daddy/Theo time…


All in all I think we did pretty well on cracking the formula for a happy family Christmas this year with a bit of magic, not too many gifts and some family friendly entertainment to while away the hours on New Years Eve. What about you?

PS – I’ve recently done an interview with Zurleys about home decor, pop over and have a look.

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Jenny January 8, 2015 - 12:07 pm

I think I overdid it on the presents this year but aside from that there was a lovely mix of family, food and long walks in the fresh air. Great pics!

Em @ snowingindoors January 8, 2015 - 12:10 pm

Wish I’d thought of getting pictures of the 4 of us on Christmas morning, next year for sure!
Looks like you had an awesome Christmas and I love how ‘Daddy and child’ time looks the same in your house as it does in ours 😉

lisa prince January 8, 2015 - 1:27 pm

wow what a fantastic day , looks like you had a lovely time , haha cheeky husband and bet the walk was refreshing


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