She always had a real pine tree, that would have only been set up and decorated a few days before. Old fashioned glass baubles and icicles hung between the wide spaced branches, lollies carefully wrapped in crepe paper for enjoying later on, and fine tinsel artfully draped. Underneath would be gifts from my grandmother, aunt and uncle. We loved that we got to start Christmas early!
But presents had to wait. First we would snack on pretzels, peanuts and potato crisps. Fizzy drinks were freely passed around. The dinner was usually cold chicken, ham, salads, and hard boiled eggs. As there were quite a few of us, we usually sat on chairs with our dinner perched on our laps.
Then it was time for our presents. We loved that part. A new toy or some clothing, we would sit about admiring our gifts while the adults chatted.
Dessert was often a pavlova (not very Hungarian!) As young children we were allowed to stay up later than normal (probably 9.30-10) and then we went home to get ready for bed and put our pillowcases out on the end of our beds for Santa to fill. Often we were very excited and took a while to fall asleep!
Since my grandmother passed away a few years ago the Christmas Eve party has faded. The last few years we have headed north to spend Christmas Eve with Rob's parents. Usually a duck ballottine and a bottle of champagne starts our Christmas off together perfectly.
This year we have stayed at home. The girls really need to be getting ready for bed around 7, which makes dinner time a bit tricky! Today we had another slow day. Rob mowed the lawns, I set the table with roses and candles. We opened a bottle of bubbles, and enjoyed a glass while the ham baked in the oven, and we watched the girls try to climb up the book shelves! We ate a simple dinner of glazed ham, steamed pink eye potatoes and sugar snap peas from the garden. The girls were pretty good, sitting in their high chairs, and enjoyed mash potato, peas and a little ham, but were a bit over tired so I am typing this on my phone while I feed them to sleep.
Rob also made a gluten free mince tart with that well matured fruit mince we made last year. I'm hoping to enjoy a slice in bed!
Happy Christmas Eve to you!