Last weekend, we had the pleasure of entertaining some of our closest friends in the latest instalment of our Christmas Dinner institution.
As part of the evening’s festivities, I had created a game looking back on the previous eight years of celebrations.
Here is the first of my posts reflecting on some “cracking” Christmas memories!
Date: Saturday 6th December 2008
Guest List: RH, MG, JHS, JB, JR, LJ
Venue: Rick and Matt’s
Nickname: The Year It Was So Peasseful
When you return to your university city after a year’s absence, it’s a slightly surreal experience. Most of your uni friends have gone, even those who stayed behind after graduating and finding your social place again can be a tricky experience. For me, moving back to Nottingham was an important rite of passage and I was grateful to be accepted by my old (in every sense of the word) friend Rick and his group of mates who remained.
Hence the beginning of Christmas Dinner. We didn’t know on that cold December Saturday that it would become an institution. For my girlfriend, it was the first time she’d met the likes of Lucy and Matt, who would soon become firm friends. The evening was memorable for a number of reasons. First, Matt’s vice-like grip on the kitchen and his refusal to allow Rick any opportunity to cook anything other than the peas (he will never live that down).
Secondly, the array of cocktails on offer – some amazing skills.
Thirdly, the introduction of Egg Nog as a crucial component of any Christmas meal. Being neither a fan of cream nor egg, I didn’t expect to be a fan….
Finally, the entertainment for the evening featured the late Noughties classic of ImagineIff followed by our own rendition of Agadoo and the Conga. A fine vocal hour indeed!
Date: Monday 30th November 2009
Guest List: RH, MG, JB, JR, LJ, DN, AM, SW, LB, M, IS, MH
Venue: Rick and Matt’s
Nickname: The Year Work Loomed Large
Having been quite small scale for the first year, 2009 saw a huge expansion in the guest list for Christmas Dinner. With that came the extreme challenge of when to have it and the only available date was slightly controversial. A Monday! In November! Having to go to work the following day after a late night did not spoil the celebrations, but it did make the rest of the week quite difficult to navigate.
We were packed in to Rick and Matt’s living room – no doubt surrounded by Royston cricket magazines, borrowed novels (!) and gospels picked up from various events we’d taken the guys too! – and were treated to a terrifically cooked meal. Now, it was in theory hosted by the guys…as it was Lucy had done the majority of cooking. I think Rick may have done the peas? We won’t mention the giblets though shall we not…? It was great to have such a large crowd of people come along and everyone was in top spirits despite it being Monday. We played ImagineIff once again, making lots of new spaces on the board. In order to fill all the spaces we brought in a couple of new characters. “Imagine Iff EH was a pet” was a particular favourite!
After two years of Christmas Dinner, it was firmly entrenched as a key part of our Christmas celebrations. We’d be married by the following Advent – would that make any difference?