I am sitting here in the living room, finally getting round to blogging after the mad dash that was Christmas. There is a large tin of Roses at my feet, calling to me and I regret to say that I have not been immune to its siren song this festive period. The scales scamper away whimpering and hide at my approach. I will have to drag them out, squealing, from under the cupboard to face the music, but that particular battle is for another day.
I finished up at my old job at lunchtime on Christmas Eve and managed to get out of the office without much fuss, which is what I wanted. Husband and I got home, waved my parents off to the Lake District to spend Christmas with my brother, and then after a quick cup of tea, we rolled up our sleeves. I prepared a mountain of veg for Christmas day lunch for 9 people, made the gravy in advance (it is always better on the second day and I had been stockpiling stock - hah! stockpiling! - for this purpose). I also cheated and part-roasted the roast potatoes in advance. We finalised some of the Christmas presents, I finished the wrapping, brought all the gifts down and laid them under the tree. I found myself hoovering at 11.45pm. Madness.
This is the first year that the boys have not bought into the whole Santa thing, so no glass of malt whisky for Santa and carrot for Rudolph. I kind of missed that bit but am quite grateful not to have to do the 3am crawl into the boys' room to fill the stockings. They still had stockings, but they were outside their bedroom and therefore easy to fill for a tired parent.
Christmas day was fun and hectic in equal measures. The boys now get presents which are small and expensive - DVDs, Nintendo DS and Wii games and the like - and these take much less effort to open. No fiddly bits of wire to unwrap to release garish plastic stuff from its packaging and no teeny tiny screwdrivers needed to open battery covers for all the things that wail, flash and generally create battery-operated insanity. Again, easier and more relaxing, but another indication that time is passing, my baby boys are becoming lads.
Lunch went well (I think) although I forgot to take a photo of the Three Bird Roast for you Maribeth. Sorry! It was delicious though, despite being referred to as "the meaty cushion". The rest of the evening was spent lazing around watching TV and eating Christmas pudding. Which is pretty much what we have been doing since.
My nephew and niece came to stay last night which was fun and noisy and exhausting in equal measures. I love it that the four of them get on so well (my nephew's main wish was to see his cousins at Christmas) but oh my word, the volume they can generate! My two are older at nearly 11 and 8. My nephew is 8 and my niece almost 6. They love each other to bits and play remarkably well together. We fed them pizza, played with them (creating improvised remakes of Star Wars and Dr Who with the video camera and then showing them back to hysterical enthusiasm from the children) and put them all to bed in one room at about 8.15. They were still awake and giggling after 10pm, but quietly enough that we left them to it. I think they were asleep by 11.30 but I can't be certain. They were definitely up before us this morning.
And now they have gone home. Husband has had a jam session in the studio with his teenage friend (the son of friends of ours) and I have been to the cinema with our two, mostly to escape the guitar and drum noise! Tomorrow I need to take my already-too-big-to-be-true 10 year old out to buy some new trousers as he insists on growing, despite my protests, and is running short on clothes that fit. I am constantly amazed by the fact that I can how hug him without bending down. And I do. Constantly. And he puts up with it surprisingly well. I am taking all the hugs I can get while they are still voluntarily given. Soon enough I will have to buy them with bribes or threats.
Edinburgh is gearing up for Hogmanay and doubtless the "young folk" will be out partying on the streets tomorrow. I used to do that myself, once upon a time, but now prefer to stay home and watch silly TV with the boys (Husband included). I hope you all had a Christmas as good as mine and that you have a Hogmanay as contented as the one I plan to have!