I am well and truly glad it's all over which has me wondering, at what point do people get all excited about Christmas again?
Is it when the turkey and ham has run out (I have about 4 kilos of each left), or when the mess is cleared up, or when the books are read, the toys are assembled/broken or the playstation gamesdvds/cds scratched? Or perhaps it's when your birthday is over and there are no new presents on the immediate horizon? I was born on the 24th June, so dates between birthday and xmas stand fairly evenly apart, a situation I didn't appreciate until this year.
Here's my list of naughty and nice things about christmas.
The mess. Oh my god the mess! I chose to go down the paper and plastic route this year, with a ban on anything that required me to wash after the big day. Yet, the house still looks like a bomb site. Hopefully all it will take is a couple of large bin bags to see it fixed. And maybe the igniting of a hobo bin or two. Somehow I doubt it.
The music. It was a constant fight between Casi and Lee as to what was going to play on the computer. Hip hop/r&b clashed mightily with some Doo Dah Bonzer band over the right to pollute our ears.
The mayhem. 7 lollie-fuelled kids running through the house and backyard, carrying water pistols, skate boards and hairbrushes. 1 loud, brash lollie-fuelled step-father alternately giving chase and being chased.
The food. Didn't enjoy the turkey much at all, although the macadamia and cranberry seasoning was nice. The vegetables were undercooked and nobody could work out why I'd made roast veges anyway.
The presents. I received the Little Britain dvd, and a canvas, brushes and paints from the kids. It's been years since I painted and Lee and the chilluns decided it was time I got back to it. With recurring head aches, sore throats and lower rib pains, it's obvious I need to find some stress relief and this is just the thing. I'm also thinking about taking up belly dancing, but that's for another blog. My beloved also bought me a toe ring and a beautiful black dress. I'm looking for an excuse to wear it. It's quite gaelic in it's design, yet totally not. I love it. And I got a Nightmare Before Christmas bag which I've put my art supplies in. (I'm a bag lady. I admit it. Carrie Bradshaw has her shoes. Lyn Battersby has her bags) And. And. And. I got a book of pictures by Frida Kahlo, my favourite painter in the world. It also features works by Diego Rivera. That and the dress are my two favourite presents. I can't split between them.
The traditions. Each year the Triffbatts make something to put on the Christmas tree. Last year it was paper baubles which we decorated. This year we made bonbons and decorated those. For Connor, we took a printed off a photo of him at his first birthday, framed it with his accomplishments, wrapped it around half a toilet roll, made it look like a bonbon and tied it to the tree.
I love this tradition. It's like a diary of our family.
Lee and I have started our own tradition this year. We give each other a second hand book and inscribe a message in it. Lee bought me I, Claudius and I bought him Great Tales of Fantasy and Science Fiction featuring JG Ballard, Lucius Shepard, Robert Bloch, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison and Larry Niven, to name just a few.
The faces. I love the joy that appears when people receive the perfect gift. That priceless moment when they realise what it is they hold in their hands. Casi glowed when we gave her a Playboy Lava Lamp and Lee's face lit up when I gave him a record player for his computer. The boys loved their skateboards. Aiden was excited by his Antquarium. Erin was overjoyed with everything we gave her and Connor just adored the paper it all came in. And I can well imagine what I looked like when presented with Frida Kahlo.
I'm in it for the faces. And the prezzies.
Some of the food.
My ham, which I glazed and baked all on my own, was to die for. I loved it. Funnily enough, Casi loved the turkey and didn't think much of the ham.
Amanda's alcoholic ice-cream cake was delicious. She left a big wodge of it here, which is going to make dieting that little bit more difficult.
Lynn (Sharon's mum) brought a delicious apricot chicken and fried rice that disappeared in no time. Next time I do Christmas, I'm going skipping the 'traditional' meats and going with more casserole-type stuff.
The atmosphere. None of my family was here. They all had stuff to do with their own families and each other. But Lee's family came as did Sharon's. It was a happy day. Connor's feet barely touched the ground as he was constantly held by both nannas. It would have been nice to have my brother or my 'dad' or my mum take an interest, but one thing I've realised this year is, family is Lee and the kids. As long as I have them, I'm okay.
When it's all said and done, I did enjoy it. Lee's family are lovely, the food and drink were plentiful and we all gave thoughtful and loving presents.
Yeah, I can't wait for next year.