Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Posted by Oli on Thursday 25th December, 2008

Christmas morning starts early-ish (although later than anyone with small children, I’ll wager) at around 8.30 when I wake to see K staring at me eagerly waiting for me to wake up to start our day. K is somewhat like a small child at Christmas, being very excitable and extremely cute.

We lay in bed and open our “stockings” and the first signs that I’m spending my first Christmas away from my family creep in – our family use hanging stockings (or football socks at a push) whereas K’s family use small bags to fit the stocking presents in, meaning you can fit bigger and – frankly – cooler presents in. No more packs of pencils, chocolate coins and a satsuma (although I did miss the fruit), in come books, DVDs and other enjoyables. But it’s still a bit odd.

We get up and head downstairs, greeting K’s Ma and Pa with the usual Merry Christmases and such before settling into a gorgeous cooked breakfast with the customary bucks fizz. I usually skip the booze, but this morning I join in and it’s not as horrible as I remember it.

The rest of the morning is spent helping sort out the necessary bits and pieces – clearing and laying the table, wrapping the family-custom table presents for everyone and sorting out the last-minute bits and pieces for cooking.

Mid-morning I get a call from Mum and Dad, who are in Ipswich with my Godfather, just before I’m about to phone them. They’ve just heard from
my bro and are happy that he’s managed to make it to a phone (or at least to dig out the Sat phone). He’s had a pretty rubbish Christmas Eve, but is looking forward to the carefully saved Pot Noodles for Christmas dinner.

At the end of the morning, Bro 2.2 arrives with family in two, one of whom is suffering from a heavy cold, which means I’m forced to keep an unfestive distance. We crack our first round of presents with them (another difference from my gang, who would have torn into them all by now) and appreciation is shared all round.

They head off after a while so they can get their eldest onto his Moto-cross bike which Father Christmas (and the Birthday Fairy) brought him before dark.

We continue chilling/working on the room/table while Mama D cooks up a storm in the kitchen. Mid-afternoon Bro 2.1 arrives with family in tow and we sit down to a cracking Christmas feast.

Post-dinner we all repair to the lounge to tear into our gifts and celebrate in style. The kids, by this point, are starting to feel their 5am wake-up and getting sleepy, but they behave impeccably, if somewhat quieter than usual.

Once they’ve all gone and we’ve cleared the detritus, we settle in front of the telly to veg out and try not to fall asleep before a sensible time in the evening. We watch the new Wallace and Gromit and the Xmas Strictly then end up sitting through most of a random out-takes program before finally dragging ourselves up to our Christmas bed around 10.30pm.

It’s always weird seeing what other families do at Christmas and today was a little on the odd side, but at the same time it was lovely to do things a little differently for a change.


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