I had a relaxed Christmas with my younger son and his family – courtesy of all the hard work my daughter-in-law had put into preparations beforehand. The only thing missing was my older son and his family – but they “face-timed” us on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day at my son’s home starts with the two youngsters opening their stockings seated on their parents’ bed. Then, as people start to emerge downstairs, work in the kitchen begins on the Christmas meal while the more adventurous disappear to the local open-air pool for a swim. The pool is crowded with a non-stop stream of swimmers vying for a shower and space in the changing rooms. Everyone is very jolly.
Seven of us sat down together for Christmas dinner. The table was groaning with turkey, ham, sausages-wrapped-in-bacon, roast potatoes and parsnips, Brussels sprouts, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and gravy. As I surveyed my plateful I recalled the feeling of not knowing where to start that I used to get as a child. We never have room for dessert, so we have mince pies with brandy butter later in the afternoon.
The “Family Party” was held on the Sunday – when everyone else decided to take to the M25 to visit their nearest and dearest. Our guests were very glad to arrive after stop-go conditions on the roads. We ate, drank, played games, chatted, relaxed and washed up – not necessarily in that order. A most enjoyable day. Somehow eleven of us found somewhere to sleep. In the morning we breakfasted on delicious “pulled vegetable bread” freshly baked by our hosts before wending our way back to our homes.