BUT ONCE A YEAR

Well that’s it! Christmas is over for another year. It was a pleasant enough day. The children woke early and I found all four of them under the eldest’s duvet eating chocolate coins and giggling. Presents carefully chosen were, in the main, well received. The was slight disappointment from the younger two that gifts mentioned in a letter sent to Santa just before bedtime on Christmas Eve had not materialised but they were pretty stoical about it. For the first time, there was an open acknowledgement by the elder two that it was all a huge conspiracy by the adults. There was a fair bit of nodding and winking and bigging up of Santa’s role. Daughter number two asked whether I still had the carrier that her Jack Wills top came in and I got heartfelt thanks from them for all the carefully chosen gifts, which was a first.

Then there was a fair bit of hanging about until the main event. A bit of St Trinian’s and Bing Crosby as I pottered about the kitchen. We were 11 for dinner which is just about the capacity of our table. We lost our dining room a few years ago in favour of a much more practical, larger kitchen but this means that I have to be careful to ensure mess is kept to a minimum. Who wants to eat their dinner amongst a tower of dirty pans? Despite this, we seem to have lost two of the silver plated knives. They’ll turn up eventually somewhere out of the ordinary.

After dinner there was some playing with new gifts before tiredness engulfed the little ones and all guests took that as their queue to leave. There was the clearing up, ably and willingly done by my husband. And finally Coronation Street on Sky+ and that was Christmas Day.

I often wonder how it compares to other people’s. We eat late in the day so there seems to be no need for turkey sandwiches and Christmas cake although both were available. There is no gluttony (if you exclude chocolate coin consumption). Everyone saves themselves for dinner and then has plenty of time for digestion. And we don’t drink much either. I’m not a big drinker, neither are my relations and my in laws are Methodists. Eldest daughter had a few experimental sips of her uncle’s wine, a taste of things to come no doubt, but I don’t think anyone qualified as tipsy let alone drunk.

Christmas Day in other houses always sounds much more raucous or is that just soap operas inaccurately reflecting life? Who knows? My Christmas Day reflects my life. Ordered, in control, well delivered and with the children firmly at its centre. Just the way I like it.

It takes at least four days for the house to get back to some kind of normality but that’s Ok. The run up takes far longer. I only got one book this year (which was unusual) and so I shall take myself off to as quiet a corner as I can find, treat myself with a Bailey’s coffee and, wearing my new lounging pyjamas, will enjoy an hour or two of self indulgence before life takes over again. Merry Christmas everyone.

What do you think? I'd love to know...