I can't believe how quickly Christmas has come around this year!

I blame it on my having been abroad for the most part of this year. Living in Milan was so exciting and the entire experience just flew by. Then coming back to uni has been so hectic and full of fun-filled chaos that the last thirteen weeks has shot by seemingly within days!

In short, it's been a pretty good year and to top it all off, today has been a pretty good Christmas.

We usually start the day by jumping on our parents' bed and opening our stockings but the bastards had already got up by the time my sister and I emerged from our rooms this morning, bleary-eyed and furry-mouthed.

My stockings have definitely become more refined over the years - we use the exact same stockings that we've always had and they're always absolutely crammed full but now we seem to get fewer, more useful things instead of tonnes of little toys and silly bits to play with and nibble on. It's great for the tidiness of my room but I do miss being a kid sometimes!

This year I took part in Dawn's Christmas Ornament Swaparoo (click here to go to her blog or here for a gorgeously Christmassy post).

My partner was Rhianne from the amazing (and aptly named) photography blog For The Easily Distracted.

She sent me two gorgeous Christmas baubles, one of which she made herself! Some people are so incredibly talented!

They both went perfectly on our family Christmas tree which was decked out in all its red, gold and green glory.

My first Christmas present aside, it was time for breakfast.

I'd bought some chocolates from the chocolate cafe in Canterbury; florentines, pistacchio truffles, white chocolate and orange goodies, sundried tomatoes and parmesan chocolates....

...the latter of which I evidently started the day with.

It was fairly strange to say the least (and didn't quite match up to our usual traditional breakfast of crepes smothered in chocolate) but definitely worth giving a go!

Now that we're a bit older, we don't scramble all over the present pile at the first opportunity and try to get them to last all day (although our self-control certainly doesn't last, especially when it comes to eating!)

As such, we decided to jump in the car and take little Bertie for a walk. Have you ever seen such droopy eyes on a cocker spaniel? He may as well be a bassett hound!

Mum stayed at home to get the dinner on as the poor thing stubbed her toe to the point of no return last night and is currently unable to put shoes on.

The rest of us went for a little wander around the sleepy town of Sandwich.

Sandwich is such a gorgeous place. My oldest friend lives here and so the entire town is full of childhood memories for me.

On Christmas Eve we go to one of the churches for carols and christingles. It's a tradition that we never fail to carry out every single year.

And it's seriously good for a spot of dream house shopping too!

Afterwards, we popped home again where Mum had cracked the prosecco out and made the usual smoked salmon nibbles (smoked salmon wrapped around smoked salmon pate - usually quite messily too!)

We've done Christmas in exactly the same way for years and I can't think of having it any differently.

By now it was midday and definitely time to start opening presents.

I was absolutely over the moon to discover some of these bad boys under the tree. I've been obsessed with them for a little while but last time I treated myself to a box, I dragged them out for so long that they went stale :(

I definitely won't make that mistake this time...

Mum and Dad reverted to childlike excitement (that's pretty much the most excited my Dad will ever look).

The dog on the other hand proceeded to get in the middle of things and try and rip everything up!

Including our food!

It's Bertie's first Christmas (he's seven months old!) I wish I could say he's been good but he's spent the day running around like a mad thing, draping himself across our presents (particularly white clothing) and chewing everything. We distracted him with a Christmas pudding shaped chew for a while but he soon got back to his antics!

And then it was time for Christmas dinner...

I'm very ashamed to say that unlike many of my friends, I didn't take charge of Christmas dinner!

But only because my parents really do make the best Christmas dinner ever!

As a veggie, I have Linda McCartney sausages instead of turkey and then a plate absolutely loaded with veg; potatoes, sprouts, broccoli, carrot and parsnip mash, red cabbage and cauliflower cheese all with lashings of red wine gravy.

Dad, who has no manners at all, got stuck in before everyone else had even sat down!

But dinner was soon underway!

It's a fairly quiet affair in our house with just the four of us so we always have Christmas parties with our extended family soon after Christmas. It's great, we end up having three celebrations in total!

As the day wore on, the festivities got the better of some.

Bertie had to succumb to his new role of wrapping paper clothes horse.

And I had my first and only photo of the day to show off my lovely new jumpsuit which I have actually been wearing all day (although now I'm chilling in my pyjamas - I'm not a glamorous person at heart).

It was a lovely day and it's still going! We're snuggled up on the sofa watching television and eating chocolate right now.

How has your Christmas day been?