And so that was Christmas…

Me giving out Christmas presentsAnd what have we done…?

Well, it’s been a bit of marathon event, this year: it started with my sister and her husband on Christmas Eve, continued with my Mum on Christmas night, and my Grandma on Boxing Night, before winding down with Kevin’s family today. We’ve still got my mum’s sister to go, on Saturday, but we get a couple of days grace before that, and frankly, we need the rest.

For all that, it’s been very nice; where Christmas has been of extended duration, it has compensated with gentleness of pace.

This is the first Christmas where Daisy has had the faintest idea what was going on, and she is now exceptionally good at unwrapping things, and at going “*gasp* Wow!”, regardless of the contents. Top presents on the day we’re the little kitchen affair, and the farm, but the staggered nature of the occasion meant that every day brought a new set of Top Presents.

Last night, we took a print out of the Jump Family Tree, and a folder full of supporting documents for the perusal of anyone who was interested. As I think I’ve mentioned before, the annual Christmas Party is generally the only time of the year that the bulk of the family comes together. I am most unlikely to see Phil and Jan, Tim and Sheila, Will and Judith, Dave, Aunty Beryl or Aunty Elsie again before next Boxing Day, but there is a sense of belonging that pulls us all back together, for one party a year, at least. Anyway, we spent an excessive amount of time researching the family, in the first half of the year, and there doesn’t seem to be much point in doing that, if we don’t then share the information with the other people to whom it’s relevant.

I think most people had a bit of a look, in greater or less depth.

We decided to dispense with the giving of presents to all except the children, and instead had a whip-round for charity. We raised ?265 (Is that a lot? Were people buying incredibly cheap presents for all these years?) and decided to spend it on a bore hole in Bangladesh, and some carpentry training, which I think made everyone feel more warm and glowy than another box of Adidas deodorant could ever have done.

Today we did some fairly basic shopping, followed by Christmas Dinner with Kevin’s family, in Caroline’s new kitchen, which is starting to show some of the promise that their house has always had, underneath layers of dust, grime, nasty wallpaper, dodgy wiring, dodgy plumbing, leaking roofs, etc, etc. It’s taken them the better part of three years to get it to this point, but today, for the first time I moved from believing that it was going to be fantastic one day, to actually seeing how it could be.

Daisy, her cousin Niamh, and her Nanna, all got thoroughly over-excited, and eventually I went and hid upstairs with Caroline rather than deal with them, which did much for my peace of mind. If it was going to end in tears anyway, there wasn’t much point in my torturing myself waiting for it to happen…

Daisy has had two late nights in a row, the first excessively late, so we’re hoping for a lie in tomorrow, and maybe an early night, too. In any case, we’ve got no plans – I think a lazy day will do us all good.

PS This post knocks Kevin right off the front page of the blog – he just doesn’t seem to have anything to say at the moment. Do you remember when this was his blog, and I just chipped in from time to time? I’m not sure I like it. I’m starting to feel responsible. Say something, Kevin, please…