My Dream Family Christmas Eve with Marks & Spencer

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Christmas Eve, it’s by far my favourite day of the year. It somehow feels so much more festive and ‘christmasy’, with everyone wishing each other a ‘Merry Christmas’ and racing around for those last minute essentials. The house is tidy(ish) with the presents wrapped and neatly(ish) tucked under the tree, and the stockings hanging from the fireplace. There’s also so much anticipation and excitement in the air, knowing that Santa is on his way somewhere in the world.

In comparison Christmas day always feels a little flat. The living room is a mess of discarded wrapping paper and half opened toys, and the excitement and anticipation is gone by 10am. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Christmas day and everything it brings but I’m definitely more of a Christmas Eve girl.

So I thought I’d do a little post on my dream family Christmas Eve.

Where shall I start? Okay, lets start with the all important, traditional Christmas Eve hamper – a box of goodies I put together for my girls on Christmas Eve to keep them happy and entertained. It normally includes a festive book, a dvd and lots of tasty treats. This year I’ve come up with this little hamper, which also includes a ‘decorate your own star biscuits’ kit and ‘decorate your own chocolate lollies’ kit, perfect for keeping them busy during the afternoon. These kits are also something we can all do together as a family, although I know Dom (my hubby) will be busy digging into the bags of ‘Merry Percymas’ sweets.

When it comes to Christmas Eve, I want to eat delicious food but also I don’t want much fuss! Lets face it, Christmas day involves lots of cooking so Christmas Eve needs to be easy. And what’s more special (and easy) than ready made ‘party food’? I mean who doesn’t want to eat a selection of mini pies and cheese loaded potato skins?

Ooh also, Christmas Eve just wouldn’t be the same without some home roasted ham. This may take a little longer in the oven but it’s still easy and stress free – you simply pop a lump of ham (with some honey – that’s my preference) in a roasting dish and place it in the oven for the required amount of time. This also means we have left-over ham, to go with the left-over turkey on Boxing day, which is no bad thing.

My family love mince pies and to be honest it just wouldn’t be Christmas without them. These mini ones from M&S are the best, and believe me we’ve tasted a lot over the years! To make them even more special, heat them in the microwave for ten seconds and serve them with whipped cream.

As much as I love mince pies, nothing is going to top this little beauty! I mean ‘Melting Belgian Chocolate & Toffee Sponge Pudding’, seriously, I don’t know where to start. For me this is the pudding of dreams. You can forget christmas pudding this year, it’s all about this melting chocolate dome…

Once the kids are in bed on Christmas Eve, it’ll be time for me to finish my present wrapping. Don’t judge me, there is a reason why it’s left to the last minute. Basically, we always spend Christmas with my mum and dad in Wales, so I get all the presents delivered to their house. This means I don’t have to hide the presents from the kids and we don’t have to transport them to Wales in the car. However, we don’t normally arrive at my parents’ house until a day or so before Christmas Eve, so I don’t have much time to get it all done. It’s always a crazy night of manic wrapping and getting the sacks filled, while munching on yummy crips and drinking some festive fizz. How gorgeous do these sound…?

Having tasted both the crisps and Bucks Fizz (after taking these pictures), I can tell you that they both taste just as good, if not better than they sound. So I’ll definitely be stocking up on both before heading to Wales.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but I specifically picked all the items and I truly love them all. I only feature and recommend products I’m passionate about and believe in.