Monday, 28 December 2009
Christmas at Home
As I had already predicted, it has not been the easiest of Christmasses. I have been bogged down with assignments, carrying the stress of them with me at all times. There has also been some sort of gloomy relief hanging over my family, as it has been a difficult year for everyone, where at times the idea of celebrating Christmas didn't seem likely. But we are here, celebrating, eating, laughing together. As wonderful as that is (and none of us wanted anything more come Christmas Day), it left some unnerving sense of general uncertainty, for everyone. Who knows what 2010 will bring? Probably best not to know.
Anyway, on to more positive, festive thoughts!
We had some real cause for celebration, and celebrate we did!
My Auntie iced us a gorgeous Christmas cake...
On Christmas Eve I created Monique, the festively fabulous snow lady. She has lost some weight since this photo was taken, and is now looking quite sunken. The joy of being so fabulous is shortlived, when you are under so much pressure.
In the evening we visited some family friends for the annual Christmas shindig. This involves a lot of laughing, singing, eating, and mostly drinking, to secure a nasty headache for Christmas morning.
Then, Christmas Day came, awoken, of course, with a banging head. The odd thing about Christmas at home these days is that my parents get up first! They are not woken up at some nasty time with us jumping on the bed. In fact, I had to wake my grumpy brother up at 9:30 - probably a record! We had a tasty breakfast of berries, yoghurt and homemade bread, and then hit the presents. I am spoiled every single year, no matter how much I try to convince my parents that I am too old for so many things! However, the nature of my gifts has become rather grown up:
Thermal vest and long johns for chilly adventuring
A block of knives
A hand blender
A book on how to knit
Yoghurt coated gooseberries
2 BAGS of chocolate pennies (Father Christmas brings us some every year, but I've never had 2 bags before!)
Later on, my auntie and uncle and cousins came over for dinner. I think I was eating for 6 hours solidly. We discussed drugs and feminism and illness and health, my hate of Jeremy Clarkson, atheism, and alsorts of relevant festive issues.
Later, we delved in to the Christmas Cheese Box; a box of wierd and wonderful cheeses ordered for us by my Canadian auntie every year. Teamed with oatcakes, honey and port, it is one of my favourite parts of the season! Naturally, the night's sleep to follow is always interesting.
On Boxing Day we go for an annual family adventure. This is ALWAYS an ordeal; known to leave us hanging from cliffs by our finger nails, climbing up waterfalls, you name it. Action Dad knows no limits! This year my brother chose the route; something flat to match my Mum's hip troubles. It would have been an easy 12 mile jaunt, no real hills, decent paths, nice scenery.
We were trudging through knee-deep snow, unable to see 3 metres ahead of us, for 12 miles. This causes some aches the following day, I can assure you. It was cold. I was soaking wet and starving. Marmalade sandwiches helped, but it was too cold to stop and eat. Arguments, tears, numb toes - all part of the fun!
Anyway, one of the main reasons that we do these things: the comfort to follow. French cinnamon hot chocolate, broccoli soup, jacket potatoes and a film by the fire; we forgot the trials behind us and squished up in comfort.
As far as Christmases go, it certainly wasn't a bad one!