We sat down to Christmas dinner this year with Elma fast asleep in her baby high chair, Kitty wriggling with excitement next to me, and H wielding carving knife and fork. The table was loaded with roast chicken stuffed with Great-Grandma Douglas’ family recipes, pigs in blankets, roasted veg and three Yorkshire puddings so ginormous they required their own plate.
I’ve always loved that moment just before we eat when I can sit down, take a good slug of cava and know that Christmas is really here, and, as the family’s ‘keeper of Christmas’, enjoy a certain satisfaction in having produced a full roast at more or less the same time and more edible than charcoaled, but this year it was a moment that I want to treasure. Somehow, a little family of four seems so much more than just the addition of another tiny person, especially when the tiny person in question pretty much slept throughout the whole of her first Christmas.
Kitty is just entering the age of excitement when Christmas means parties, baking mince pies with Mama, ‘decorating’ the Christmas biscuit tree with Smarties, most of which skipped the stage of being attached to the tree and went straight to a little girl’s tummy, and dressing up as a tiny angel in a ‘so beautiful’ dress (and then crashing asleep and staying that way for the entire of the Christmas Eve crib service, missing her starring role completely). She’s been in a fever pitch of excitement for at least the last week and it is lovely to see, whilst at the same time completely exhausting for her Mama and Daddy. I hope Christmas is always this magical to her.
H and I gave Kitty a play kitchen, and aunties, uncles and Grandpa added play food and a set of saucepans. She was so taken with the saucepans and running around the lounge making ‘so yummy food’ that it was a full ten minutes before she properly noticed the giant pink parcel that had arrived in front of the tree.
Once she realised it was for her, the wrapping paper was off in seconds, and I think it’s been in constant use ever since, although given that I discovered the Toblerone which Father Christmas left in my stocking neatly stored in the back of the play fridge yesterday morning, perhaps not always in the ways I was expecting!
My family spoiled me rotten with a great pile of wonderful books on every lovely subject under the sun from baking to photography and all sorts of crafty things in between, including the book to go with Kirstie’s Vintage Home, the latter coming under a tag that read “PS – As if you needed any guidance”, which I’m going to take as a compliment on my rather colourful and eclectic decorating style, although given that it was a gift from my little sister it’s entirely possible she was just trying to tell me that I’m so old I should remember it all from the first time around!
And as for my sweet husband, well he packed me off to bed just before midnight on Christmas Eve and stayed downstairs to finish the washing up with a rather wakeful Elma for company. I felt incredibly guilty for having left him doing all of the chores when he brought Elma up an hour or so later, and even more ‘bad wife’ when I found he was crashed out asleep on the sofa some while later. Little did I know. His Christmas gift to me was some photo editing software but the computer needed an upgrade to make it work so he’d scuttled through the washing up and tidying and spent that time ‘elving’; putting through all the necessary upgrades and installations, and doing them all over again when they didn’t work the first time. I had no idea until we turned on the computer late on Christmas day and it was all new and shiny. Hopefully I can take the pictures to do it justice.
And now we’re in the middle of that wonderful hibernation between Christmas and the New Year, full of lazy days, visits from family and friends, and some really good food. Kitty, Elma, H and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you the happiest New Year.