Well I don’t know about anyone else but I completely loved Christmas this year! We put up our tree at the end of November and decorated the house thoroughly…top to bottom, wall to wall…..inside out!
Ant was really shocked by what we were doing….it was like a ‘mess up the house’ free for all (in his eyes) sticking cards on the walls, hanging lights, it was just like being allowed to graffiti (in fact he did stamp the wall with blue dinosaurs when I wasn’t looking to help with the festivities?!). Last time we were in the UK for Christmas he was only 1 and I don’t think he remembered it at all….
The last two years in S.A. has been lovely but not like the proper, cold, old British Crimbo with its cosy TV ( you can always count on rubbish TV on Xmas Eve and the Wizard of Oz on Xmas Day!!), bird within a bird within a bird lunches, eating till you pop and seeing all the relatives getting tipsy!
Our Christmas started properly on Christmas Eve when Chelsey had come home from London to be with us. Everyone was very over-excited and we were still wrapping presents and getting ready for the big day. Antonis was beside himself with excitement and had left baklava (our Father Christmas is Greek…nothing to do with not having mince pies in the cupboard – of course!) and some sherry for our special guest…… and a carrot for Rudolph by the tree.
Ant was worried that FC wouldn’t be able to get in but I had shown him earlier that we had chimneys on our roof. Thankfully he hadn’t noticed that there aren’t any fireplaces (bricked up years ago before we moved in – so please God make him use the back door!), so he went to sleep very happy and couldn’t wait for the morning!
The next morning was magical! Antonis was up (at 8am – which I thought was very considerate!). When he discovered the huge sack by the back door he literally squealed! Shouting up the stairs all the way ‘Pav an’ Joe….Pav an’ Joe’, all four children (including my little 24 year old girl!) came to our room and sat on the bed to open their sack of goodies (one sack serves all!).
After the sack sorting, we moved onto the tree and breakfast. The present opening went on forever! I have to confide that I did a lot of my Xmas shopping online at Next – a pink blazer for Chelsey, brown quilted jacket for Pav, gilets for Joe and Ant plus some fabulous boots all of them – especially Ant’s – so cute!! I also got a lovely broderie anglais skirt and my husband got some lovely shirts from Father Nextmas…isn’t he clever to know all our sizes!
So during the ten day Xmas fest – my little family and I just battened down the hatches and indulged in being together….we ventured out a little bit when the sun came out once. Ant still doesn’t ‘get’ the weather….after days and days of grey gloom (Ant had a terrible cold….please don’t report me to the R.S.P.C.A.….but I was quite relieved as all he wanted to do was stay warm and play quietly….phew?) we woke up to blue skies and sunshine!
Due to this burst of beautiful weather, Ant wanted to go for our special walk along the old Brooklands racetrack….so he went and put on some shorts (not kidding) and a t-shirt and wanted a picnic! I explained that it wasn’t hot outside – it was sunny but cold. He wasn’t having it so I had to let him out in shorts and a t-shirt….with the first blast of cold air he came rushing back in and ran upstairs to get dressed….I heard him tell Joe that the weather was lying and it wasn’t summer after all(!).
Anyway, armed with a picnic, Ant and I went for a lovely brisk walk….every time I take him down to the track and we walk along the river where it is quiet and peaceful, I become a little more amazed at how beautiful the world can be. Nature is a truly wonderful thing – Ant and I sat down to have our picnic and as the sun started going down behind the trees, and I looked at his beaming face and his little cold, red nose….. I was awestruck at how perfect life can be.