Well, that was a busy few days, and it was even busier for TW. We had our annual Christmas Eve drinks, an open house where friends and family were invited to relax and start the festive celebrations, and we also had family staying over and more family visiting on Christmas Day. We went for a walk along the seafront on Boxing Day, yesterday, as a family group (13 of us) and then we had the parents back to ours for the afternoon and a cold supper of leftovers, before collapsing into bed at ten last night.
TW had it all planned; she had been feeling a little anxious about the whole thing. It’s not straightforward to have an open house for about a hundred guests on the Saturday afternoon and then cook Christmas dinner for 14 on the Sunday. So she took the opportunity while she was babysitting the Friday before Christmas week to write a whole load of lists – what shopping needed to be bought, when the meat needed to be collected, what needed to be done around the house, and once she had those she felt much better. Unfortunately I had a cold so I wasn’t much help in the couple of days before Christmas, but she got there, and it was very much all TW’s doing. The open house went without a hitch and we headed off to Christingle, where I tickled TE during the hymns until she complained to TW that I was drunk and they swapped places.
I do love the Christingle service, and the energy involved. This year they tried to make sense of the story and relate it to the real world, so for instance they said that Mary at nine months pregnant wouldn’t have ridden on a donkey but she may have been in a cart pulled by a donkey. They pulled away at the elements of the Nativity like peeling an onion, and they finished with the assertion that, however it happened, the one essential part of the story is that a child was born to a virgin. I turned to TW when I heard that, and pointed out that is the one part of the story which is scientifically disprovable. Then we sang some more hymns and came home for Christmas Eve.
We had TW’s sister and family to stay for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so TW had spent most of the previous week blitzing the house into a new level of cleanliness. It certainly worked, it was lovely. M&P and the MiL stayed with us for dinner on Christmas Eve, and they went at about 9pm I think (…?). My cold was just easing off and the prosecco I had been drinking all day was drying it out as well. We headed to bed and looked forward to Christmas Day.
The childers woke us up at just after 05:30, and so we told them to go back to sleep. I didn’t sleep, and so when they stirred again at 06:00, we let them get up. It was about 07:00 when they started opening their stockings because we had to wait for the cousins and S & A. TW was happy with her haul, and the girls were happy with their stuff. The cousins liked their presents, and then we had the first tidy-up of the day, getting rid of all the paper etc.
Breakfast consisted of bagels with salmon and cream cheese, followed by croissants with butter and apricot jam, and fresh orange juice and coffee. Then M&P arrived, while the MiL had set off to collect the GiL, who was also spending the day. It was a standard Christmas day, there was lots of presents opened and wine drunk, and laughter had. It was very enjoyable and very tiring. Unfortunately I didn’t get to Skype with my sister, it would have been nice for the children to have wished each other a Merry Christmas but they’ll catch up soon, I am sure.
The GiL went back to hers at about 18:00 I think, she did say that she wanted to stay but since we had all beds occupied, that would have been impractical, and she would have found it difficult to get up the stairs to the toilet unaided I think, so the choice was taken to ferry her home.
I was happy with my presents; I got a new hoodie, which I had seen online and liked the look of, and it didn’t disappoint in real life. I also got Mainlander by Will Smith, Head Carrier by Pixies, and the obligatory pants and socks. TW and her sister did most of the prep in the kitchen and enjoyed a few Aperol spritzes, and all in all it was a very enjoyable day.

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