Just another day Christmas Day isn’t it? Well it is and it isn’t.
After all that’s happened this year, there was no better reminder that family is pretty much all that matters.
Thankfully, unlike so many others, we were able to spend it with ours. How strange it is we need food, drink and presents to oil the wheels.
Cooking a Christmas dinner for six – the first time we’ve done it for years – felt like such a big undertaking when really it’s just a glorified Sunday dinner.
The addition of those little extras – pigs in blankets and just a few more vegetables – coupled with the longer cooking time of the turkey – seems to complicate the process exponentially.
An hour behind schedule – not that it mattered at all – it was finally time to serve up the dozen or so elements of the meal, gather every one to the table, find space for the serving dishes while keeping it all hot and vaguely presentable. We just about managed it and still found time to squeeze in the obligatory marital bicker.
The meal was beautiful and well received by all, apart from the grumpy teenager – another important part of all family Christmases.
Washed down with champagne and strong red wine it wasn’t long before it was time for those desserts that only come out this time of year including yule log and trifle. Super rich, chocolatey, creamy food just after you’ve eaten your biggest meal.
Then as you slowly digest all you’ve eaten an afternoon of more present opening, conversation and drinking awaits before, guess what, more food! Pork pie, cheese and biscuits, dips, more turkey, ham, profiteroles – just what my stomach was crying out for.
Despite the protests of my gut, all felt perfect and it was. Then, out of the blue, a message from my sister saying that my Dad had a funny turn over his Christmas dinner.
Thankfully after being checked out by a medic he was given the all-clear and seemed fine when I spoke to him later. Maybe a bit too much drink, getting over-tired who knows, but I do worry with him in his mid-eighties.
Earlier I’d rang to wish him Happy Christmas and got distracted during the call not really paying attention to what he was saying. How I would have regretted that if something worse had happened.
Later that evening we all sat and watched, the new Disney film Soul. Before I fell asleep – another inevitable Christmas Day event – I got the gist that the film was about being positive and making the most of life.
After this year, this day and the news about my Dad, it’s a message I need to carry into the rest of my life, whatever happens.