Michael and Carole Middleton purchased Bucklebury Manor earlier this year and according to an article from The Daily Express the family will be enjoying their first Christmas there this year. It is a beautiful property, which boasts seven bedrooms and eighteen acres of land, its own tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool and is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty with its own park and views overlooking the beautiful River Pang. No doubt the family will enjoy a long walk with the dogs before Christmas lunch.
The Duke and Duchess and the Middletons will most likely attend the Christmas Day service at their local parish church of St Mary the Virgin. The Palace has requested the media respect the family's privacy so it will be a very different affair to the Sandringham Christmas service where the royals are greeted by a large media presence and locals during their walk to Church.
I received a copy of Pippa's book Celebrate as an early Christmas gift this year and I have to say despite the negative reviews I have really enjoyed reading it. There are endless easy to follow recipes and tips for all occasions with party planning tips to guide one through any event. Pippa has a wonderfully warm and personable writing style. It is a book I will get a huge amount of use from particularly during the festive period. The book also gives one an insight into the Middleton family's Christmas which Pippa describes as 'blissfully calm' (with thanks to the lovely Dash from British Royals).
In 'Celebrate' Pippa's ideal Christmas menu includes starters such as pear, walnut and Roquefort salad. A traditional main course of roast turkey, gravy, bread sauce and cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, honeyed carrots and parsnips and pigs in blankets and stuffing. Dessert is Christmas pudding and brandy butter or Chocolate Yule log.
|Pippa Middleton 'Celebrate'|
From reading 'Celebrate' one gets an insight into how fun Christmas in the Middleton household is. Games are played after dinner including 'The Chocolate-Box Game':
'Find a tall chocolate box (or an empty cereal box) and stand it on a clear area of floor away from any furniture. Players take it in turns to lift the box using just their teeth, with only their feet touching the ground. Once everyone has had a go, tear a few centimetres off the top of the box so that it stands a little lower than before and play another round. The box continues to get smaller and smaller until it is just a flat piece of cardboard and only the most flexible and controlled players are left in the game'.
Pippa Middleton 'Celebrate'
Each year Mike Middleton dresses up on Christmas Day, one year opting to wear an inflatable sumo wrestler costume much to the amusement of his family. I wonder what he'll choose this year? :)
|Sky's Paul Harrison Twitter|
Then of course there's the presents! Last year William reportedly gave Kate a pair of Kiki McDonough 18 ct green amethyst earrings. Kate wore them to the Christmas service and they have become a firm favourite of hers. I wonder if the couple will receive a lot of gifts for the baby this year?
I always enjoy seeing contemporary artist Alison Jackson's take on the Royals. I love the Lupo lookalike :)
You can view many more photos on Alison's website.
The evening time will most likely involve a classic movie such as 'White Christmas' and the Downton Abbey Christmas special (William and Kate are said to be huge fans of the show), mulled wine and a box of chocolates. Reportedly extended members of Mike's family will be spending Christmas in Bucklebury this year. So, it seems Christmas with the Middletons will be very similar to millions of families such as yours and mine. A traditional day to enjoy with family and friends.
|Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2012 ITV|
I know a lot of people were surprised and dismayed at the couple's decision not to spend the day with the royals but if any of us were to put themselves in their shoes, sacrificing a private family Christmas is a big ask. Following Kate's illness, I do think it is a very understandable decision as Sandringham would involve five outfit changes and it is a very formal affair. I hope William, Kate and the Middleton family have a happy and peaceful Christmas!
I'd like to wish all of you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas filled with happiness and lots of laughter. I'm looking forward to spending the next few days enjoying the festivities with my fiancé and my family. Thank you all so much for following the blog this year. I really am blessed to have so many lovely readers who take the time to check in every day and share their thoughts. I appreciate it so much and look forward to 2013 which will no doubt prove just as interesting as this year with the arrival of the Royal baby :)