The last couple of weeks have been lovely, and despite the snow and ice, thankfully all grandparents managed to visit and share presents and Christmas cheer. My mum got more than she bargained for, and arrived at our house on 14th December for her birthday, got well and truly snowed in, and couldn't leave til the 28th when the snow thawed.
The much anticipated Christmas Day came and went in a flash. I absolutely love Christmas day; spending a day at home, with just the four of us. The morning was spent discovering bulging stockings and empty sherry glasses by the fire and then opening them up in our bed together - Tom and I sat back with a cup of tea and watched Betty completely overcome with excitement, and true to form gravitated towards Duckie's stocking first (his orange bath salts were the hit of the day), and Dolly matter-of-factly pulling different items from her stocking, sometimes sighing, and often only half unwrapping them before getting bored and then trying to steal the duck's bath salts, just to wind Betty up. After a delicious breakfast, we then opened presents from under the tree. Dolly sniffed out some cheese from under the tree and I caught her hiding in another room, her little fingers desperately trying to unwrap it, meanwhile Betty was effortlessly carrying out a challenge set by Tom of bouncing on her new space hopper for a full hour. We spent the rest of the day eating amazing food, playing with new toys, totally relaxing, and revelling in all the excitement, and carrying out our special little rituals and traditions with our children in our home - it is indeed my favourite day of the year.
I also love the week following Christmas, where visitors come, and the celebrations continue. Sadly a lot of our visitors were put off this year due to the bad weather. My dad was one that made it through. He came laden with beautiful presents, and lots of his own homemade produce, including Victoria plum jam and sausage rolls, and copious amounts of chocolate.
After staying up til 2am with him, chatting and putting the world to rights, and then the girls waking him up early the next morning with their large Christmas cymbals and trumpets, we went for a bracing walk in dense fog down to the ice-ridden river. It was pretty spectacular. We then had a lovely lunch at the local farm shop, with Dolly donning a black eye (after falling on to the prong of a wooden boat) and slippers (we forgot to put her shoes on), and then sadly my dad went on his way. Not before Betty and I went to the cafe loo and Betty exclaimed very loudly: 'MUMMY!!! YOU ARE WEARING ENORMOUS PANTS! - THEY ARE HUGE!' And you know what four year olds are like, they don't tend to let things go in a hurry.
Last night, I sat down on the sofa in an exhausted heap, with a glass of wine and a pizza, and watched my new yoga dvd (to see what I am up against), given to me by a well-meaning family member, who I think may also have caught sight of my huge pants.
And now we prepare for our New Year's Eve celebrations. Our pig-rearing friends are bringing their own ham for us to feast on, other friends are joining us with cheeses and puddings, and hopefully, with the kids fast asleep in bed, we can ring in 2011 with gusto.
Happy New Year!