Life Lately || A Festive Recap

After my break from blogging over the festive period, I thought I’d check in with a recap of all the exciting things that happened. 

After a visit to the local fish n’ chips shop for lunch on Christmas Eve, we put on our glad rags and went to the 9 Carols service at York Minster. We knew it would be busy so we aimed to get there almost 45 minutes early. That wasn’t early enough! All the seats in the main section of the Minster were already full, so we sat in the choir section, which was beautiful and acoustically fine, though it made it difficult to see who was speaking. A bonus to sitting there though was that Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, walked through our section which was pretty special. 

Christmas Day was just perfect. Even though it was just the two of us, the house was still ringing with happiness. We got up and opened gifts with coffees before moving on to mimosas. We spent the early morning in the kitchen cooking together whilst eating baked ricotta then spoke to all our families. After an insanely delicious lunch, we went out for a Christmas stroll around York (lots of other people had the same idea!) before settling back in the house for an evening of picking at leftovers, more cheese, quiz questions and charades. We also had a mini dance party to our wedding playlist, which was the cherry on the cake. 

Post Christmas was for chilling out, doing some work, but mostly destressing – or that was the plan until I got cold number 1 million of the year. But we did squeeze in one activity. A while ago I had booked us tickets to “The Great Gastby” at the Theatre Royal in York, so on the 28th we had to don our best cobbled-together 1920s outfits and brave the freezing weather to get to the theatre. The show was an interactive, promenade piece and it was a hugely enjoyable night out. The actor playing Nick Caraway was particular good. (The show is on for a few more days, so if you’re in the area, I recommend it.) 

The Gatsby crowd during a party scene – actors and guests intermingling. 

Sam’s family came to stay with us for NYE, and we spent the evening eating delicious homemade Indian food, playing games with the kids and drinking fizz. Then Sam and I headed out to the Minster to join the crowds in Central York right before midnight to hear the bells toll. 

It’s been a fabulous holiday season and I’m sad that it’s over! But luckily, with our honeymoon two weeks away, I have something quite immediate to look forward to. 

What was the highlight of your holidays? 

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  • Happy New Year! It sounds like you had a wonderful festive season — and a honeymoon coming up is wonderful!

  • Ellie

    That sounds like a lovely christmas break! The dancing to the wedding playlist sounds so fun too and looks like you fit in lots of lovely festive york traditions too! πŸ™‚ Happy new year!!

  • Ahhhhh Amanda it sounds like you had a perfect Christmas break! I felt all warm and fuzzy reading this πŸ™‚ x

  • Ahhh that sounds like the MOST lovely Christmas!! πŸ˜€ ditto Sophie: it so warm and fuzzy!!! xx

    Little Miss Katy | Lifestyle, Food + Travel

  • i love doing Christmas alone with just Mark, a stack of old movies and a few bottles of Prosecco. We even tried to do church on Christmas Eve, but it all fell apart. Let it be known we tried, though!

    • Alone Christmas takes off all the pressures that family can cause. I think everyone needs one every now and again! x

  • Your Christmas sounds divine. It sounds awful but I’d love to have a Xmas just the two of us (husband & I) without having to go do the visiting rounds. I bet York was so lovely too.
    Bee |

    • I totally recommend that everyone gets at least one Christmas without family commitments in your life. It really puts the season into perspective and you just feel overwhelmed with love for everyone without the typical Boxing Day falling outs πŸ˜‰ x

  • Oooh, hear the bells toll at midnight sounds so magical!
    I think your Christmas foods look incredibly delicious! And how sweet that you ended the evening with some dancing πŸ™‚

  • Oh what a life, better then not having a life or being dead

  • Oh this sounds like such a lovely Christmas break! Isn’t it great to spend so much time with your loved ones and I’m incredibly jealous you got to enjoy York at its prettiest time of year.

  • V jealous of the Gatsby show! Your Christmas dinner looked really amazing too.

    • I mentioned to another commenter that Gatsby is doing so well up North that they are remounting it in London later this Spring. It’s always nice to know that a young and underfunded theatre company is doing such awesome work! x

  • Aw your Christmas sounds like it was lovely – and the dinner looks A-MAZING. Fish’n’chips and carols sound like an amazing Christmas Eve combo too, I didn’t really hear many carol singers this year which I wish I’d made more effort to do (it gets me in such a festive mood!)

    • I’m not really religious but there’s something about carols that just makes me go “now it’s Christmas. I hope you had an amazing break, Milly! Happy New Year! xx

  • Sounds like you had a great time off, despite the cold! I’m very intrigued by The interactive Great Gatsby experience!

    Hope you have a fantastic honeymoon! xx

    • Thanks so much Lynsey! The Gatsby was really neat. And it’s gotten really good reviews so it’s actually being remounted in London in the Spring – I’m super happy for the theatre company! x

      • Thats great news! I’ll keep an eye out, I love the theatre and wish I got to go a lot more! xx

  • Happy New Year! It looks like you guys had a wonderful time. Enjoy your honeymoon. πŸ™‚

  • Haha, well it’s easy for us to reminisce about our wedding music because so the evening we self-DJed. For the ceremony, we had a super talented musician friends play music live and then for the rest of the day we had concocted elaborate playlists (on a speaker system, etc) Our dance party playlist for the nighttime is a personal favourite of mine πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Happy New Year, Amanda! Your Christmas lunch looks aMAZing. Absolutely brilliant. Glad you had a fun festive season! I too was sick with a cold the week after Christmas, but at least an excuse to catch up on TV/reading/all things lazy.

    • I had a cold before Christmas so I totally feel you’re feeling better now! Did you watch or read anything particularly good? x

      • Yes – the new episodes of Vikings were excellent πŸ™‚ I started The Crown but I’m not really one for watching loads of different shows so trying to decide if I will continue… did you watch them all?

        • I watched all of the Crown and enjoyed it (after getting passed the first episode which I thought was really boring.) The only bits I’ve seen of the Vikings are when one of my friends as on it (she was a slave girl who got sacrificed a few seasons ago πŸ˜‰ ) xx

  • What a special Christmas for you both to have on your own – first as husband and wife and the first in your new city too! So glad it was really special! πŸ™‚ Alice xx

    • It was totally special! We’ll always have the most amazing memories of this Christmas. Hope 2017 is off to a great start for you! xx

  • The Gatsby play sounds like so much fun!!! Happy New Year!

  • Oh that all sounds so nice and festive! I spent it eating too much with my family and it was nice, it’s the first time in 3-4 years I’ve spent it here so at least there was that nice warm feeling of home πŸ™‚

    • That sounds lovely! I just realised this Christmas that it’s been 7 years since I’ve spent a Christmas with my side of the family. I really need to remedy that. I know my mom is antsy for me to be home. It’s just that the airlines always hike the prices up to ridiculous amounts around the holidays! x

  • Ala

    That sounds like a perfect Christmas! In all honesty, I am so looking forward to us having our own Christmas like that, although I do love racing around seeing all the family! It really looks like you’re settling in so well in York and making the most of it! x

    • I’m loving it! Long time York residents make fun of the area we live in calling it “The Stoke Newington of York” but that’s probably one of the reasons why I love it so much πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Miu

    The highlight of my holidays was the time spent with my family and friends – and ignoring the studying I (maybe) should have started πŸ˜‰

    • Oh goodness, I don’t think I ever actually did studying over any of my holidays when I was a student either. I think it’s fairly normal! πŸ˜‰ I’m glad that you got to spend so much time with your family! x

  • What lovely holiday plans! I might see if I can convince Dan to celebrate Christmas just the two of us next year. The only Christmas we had to ourselves was back in 2013, before we were married. And that was in my crappy apartment eating frozen pizza and sparkling wine because I didn’t realize how early everything closed on Christmas Eve! We bought all the good stuff we could find at CVS. πŸ˜‰

    • Sam and I had a Christmas to ourselves in 2012 (all various family parties we would have spent it at were abroad – Sam’s sister in law is Canadian so they go to Canada a lot.) We’ve loved being with family both before and since then, but always think on that Christmas so nicely so it was wonderful to get to revisit that experience again! x

  • Christmas at York Minster! How amazing! Even if you weren’t able to see very well!