Our first married Christmas is a snow-blessed one: crystal white tinged with dawn pinks and afternoon golds that have added their magic to our celebrations.
Last year was our first Christmas in our new home. Then, we had lots of decisions to make; where to site the tree, display the Christmas cards and place the decorations.
This year, by contrast, all those decisions were already made and our home was dressed in its seasonal garb in the twinkling of an eye.
There were other new ‘traditions’ that took their place in our preparations. The choosing of an advent calendar and trips to see Steve’s family in Stoke and old friends at the annual Freelance Festive Feast in Birmingham.
And, of course, there were menus to be planned. Christmas Eve: pan-seared scallops and pasta with Alfredo sauce. Christmas Day: a breakfast of mimosa cocktails with North Staffordshire oatcakes, bacon and cheese. As for Christmas dinner: slow-roasted pork loin with dauphinoise potatoes and Brussel sprouts braised in cider. Steve also made a pork pie and a ham & chicken pie for Boxing Day.
All complemented by the contents of a Fortnum & Mason ‘Epicure’ hamper – our Christmas present to each other.
So how does our first married Christmas compare to our previous two festive seasons together? More settled, certainly. More predictable, in a good way, in some ways. But just as lovely and as loving as ever.