Monday, 7 January 2013

Twas indeed a traditional merry Christmas

And in the end it most certainly lived up to all the hype. What a happy Christmas it was for the four of us. Highlights included...

The Christmas Panto (and Esme's role play thereafter)...
Snow White and the seven dwarfs was a great hit. Esme loved being involved and enjoyed the interaction very much (oh yes she did). Afterwards, we went to my mum and dad's. Mum did us a lovely meal, crackers; the works. It just so happened that Esme had a compact mirror in her cracker. No great surprise then when I found her the next day gazing at herself, chanting, 'Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?' The mirror's dark response replied, (Esme threw her voice), "You are the fairest of them all Esme - and so much more than Sofia."
And so it begins.

Christmas Eve crib service
Esme and I went along to this with no idea of what to expect. Being four, and as she was christened this year in the local church, I felt it necessary to try and give her some experience of the Christian value behind all the festivities. I'm so pleased we went. I feel a new tradition within our family has been born. And I have to say, it was brilliant. First of all, you have never seen so many families. Pushchairs parked the entire length of the aisle. Toddlers allowed to wander. The vicar didn't stop smiling (even when singing), clearly delighted with the chaos created by so many in his house. Babes screamed and tired parents looked flustered, but piece by piece, ornament by ornament, the nativity scene came together, as the meaning of CRIB service dawned on me. Esme took pride in being asked to place a shepherd upon the stage. For half an hour we sang our hearts out and then, the fattest Christmas tree I've ever seen was lit up in the corner to great gasps of awe. Only one thing ruined it for me... I heard some chap behind say very loudly, "Look darling, that tree is nearly as big as ours." What a dick.

Christmas morning (1)
Sleeping in past seven on the day was lovely. I so realise that this is possibly the last time ever while we have small children at home?! Sleeping in was quickly followed by the most magical of all phrases one can ever hear: "He's been." God I've always loved Christmas, but it's all so much better when you have little ones to share it with.

Christmas morning (2)
Junior Choice, Radio 2's brilliant programme from 9-11am with Stupot ('ello darlin'), and all the favourite songs of my childhood. Love it. Apron goes on. Turkey gets stuffed. Mummy starts dancing. Captain Beaky, A mouse lives in a windmill, Puff the magic dragon, Sparky's magic piano, the works. LOVE IT.

Christmas lunch
A definite highlight, not much to say on this matter, but God, it was good. All four of us cleared our plates and bowls.

The Queens speech
Usually by the time this rolls round, I'm usually rolling around. As my dear OH refills my glass (again) in readiness to toast dear Queenie, I become even more patriotic than normal. I'm very proud to be British and very proud of our royal family. But by 3pm on Christmas day I am quite simply in love with the Queen. As I sit to salute her, my patriotism (and often alcohol consumption) totally kicks in and usually fuels silent tears of admiration. 

Present time
You see it all comes down to tradition. And it is only ever after the Queens speech that we (my brother and sister and I) were finally allowed to have the gifts sat winking at us all under the tree. One by one they would be handed out and enjoyed, time was taken to wait and see what each of us received. I suppose that sounds almost Dickensian to today's standards, but it always taught me to be incredibly aware of how lucky we were to have all these lovely new shiny toys. So yes, the four of us hung back til after the Queen's message. Like I say, it all comes down to tradition. And the day lasts even longer! A real highlight was watching Esme and Sofia enjoy handing out the presents.

Fat bellies and lots of TV
Isn't that how it always ends?

Boxing day family fun
More fat bellies and more TV. My rude OH sits taking photos of his mother-in-law's drool as she drops off on the sofa. Her cracker party hat will be in situ for a good few hours yet even if it does presently slide down her nose in tribute to her dear dad.

Highlights also included visits from great pals, walks in the woods and winning at Cluedo.
Perhaps the only thing that was missing this particular crimbo for me, were roaring log fires, toasted marshmallows, hot choccie, and of course the white fluffy stuff. Far too mild for any of that. However, that aside, it was as close to perfection as can be. Like I said in the previous post, there's truly a lot to be thankful for.

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