We are having a lovely, relaxing Christmas break. On Christmas Eve we went round to the grandmothers’ house for the traditional tea time gathering. The kids do like traditions and the girls have developed one of their own – the devising of a treasure hunt for the boys. Presents were exchanged and good food eaten and then all five grandchildren walked back across town together. P and L watched the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special in their beds – with one of us on each bed with them. L was very attracted to the Crooked House ghost story trailers but I watched them and advised him to steer clear – a bit too terrifying, I think.
Christmas Day started at the agreed, and civilised, hour of 8am. The kids came and opened their pillowcases on our bed. Then we got up and did the presents under the tree. We were all pleased with our presents - so thanks are due to all. We tend to do a few medium/large presents for the kids, rather than any one huge thing – and that worked particularly well this year. P looks gorgeous in the purple Boden jacket she had been wanting for a while and L’s collector’s edition Mohawk has not left his side. After a late morning gathering at the house of one set of cousins (two mins from us) we had a quiet day at home with just the four of us. I think it must rank as about the calmest and most enjoyably relaxing family Christmas day we’ve ever had. P was pleased to get Sims 2 (at last – she has been wanting it for a while but we never had a good enough computer until this year) and L was very happy with the leather notebook with clasp that we found from an online shop. D was settled on the sofa with the Guardian Araucaria Christmas Prize Crossword. We also watched several episodes of Outnumbered series one (one of L’s gifts from my mum) and Beautiful People (one of P’s gifts from us) and feasted well. We made a puff pastry leek parcel and mountains of roast spuds, carrots, parsnips, peas and sprouts. Then we had meringues with strawberries and cream, which P loves. I made a trifle for tea time. We ate it while watching Doctor Who. The addition of Dervla Kirwan was a welcome one for me.
Today we had my dad and his wife over for lunch and the afternoon. This was also lovely but made rather tricky by the lack of crockery and cutlery in the house! I also cooked lasagne in a new, and enormous, tin. This took far more sauce than I had expected and longer to cook. But it was quite nice when it was done. The kids got more presents – all lovely and exciting. Cousins S and D popped in with both their parents and we drank tea and ate sweets – before a lively game of cheat. Cousin B was not around as he is a football fan and had gone to the match with his dad. When my dad and his wife had gone, the kids started making riotous movies with cousin S’s Flip Camera – her present from her parents. Then it was back to quiet pursuits for the evening.
Tomorrow, we have D’s parents, sister, her partner and their kids arriving for a few days. They will be staying at a holiday house quite nearby, which should work well – we hope!
It has been a wonderful few days and I feel so very lucky. I hope everyone reading is having a good time – wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
P making Sims
Mohawk supervises the writing of spells
The beautiful book gets beautiful writing
Lost to the world in the depths of the crossword. I'm not much help, except for the occasional book title or song lyric!