Thursday, December 25, 2008


Christmas Day, a day I find really hard, despite Alice's presence, I find it difficult to face memories of Mum and Nick and Christmases from the past. Usually I can remember them with a smile, it's more difficult on days like today where there are such specific memories linked to a day. I look at the Christmas tree and remember how Nick would turn the lights on as soon as he got downstairs in the morning, even before putting the kettle on. Every part of Christmas Day holds memories of Mum - probably as so much of it is based around cooking, even I remind myself of her sometimes, especially when I'm cooking her recipes.

However today had many, many happy times too. It's been the best Christmas without Mum that I've had. It's the 6th without Mum and the 5th that I've 'done' the Turkey and all the trimmings. Not only was it the best Christmas for a good while but it was also the best meal - not actually any better than previous years but less stressful to produce, probably because I'm more practiced at producing a roast and this year I used an electric steamer to do 3 of the veg (harder to overcook them and more space on the cooker). This year there was a rhythm to the day. Last year Alice vomited after I'd fed her lunch, this year she ate with us and though she's not completely well (chest infection with antibiotics) she definitely enjoyed the day and understood what was going on.

I woke just after 7am, within 15 minutes I was aware that Alice was stirring. We went downstairs soon after and Alice discovered her sack of pressies. She was very calm and I wasn't sure she understood until she was very quick to answer 'Nes, meese!' when I asked her if she wanted to open a present. She was very good - she ripped each present open, tidied the wrapping into a black bag before having a quick play with the contents and then moving onto the next present (sometimes with a bit of prompting from me!)

We had fruit and freshly baked bread for breakfast at around 9am and then got dressed. C arrived shortly after 10am (after I'd panicked about par-boiling the potatoes in time to put them onto roast!) T and her boys arrived a bit later and helped Alice to open presents from them - T's boys and Alice adore each other and their enjoyment of one another is plain to see.

Alice went to bed after lunch, it was lovely to share our Christmas meal with her this year, but she didn't sleep! (I think that her days of daytime naps are rapidly disappearing, ugh!) After 'nap' time we opened presents - Alice had mostly lost interest by then so there's still quite a pile under the tree for her. C left as it was growing dark and we made our way to our neighbours for a sit down and chat while the children and teenagers played and wound each other up. Alice had her first experience of a N*inetendo W*ii and loved it! She was ready to come home when I asked - not surprising after all she's done today and without a nap.

What I hadn't really anticipated was how much I'd miss Daisy today. Maybe my feelings were magnified by Pudding's imminent arrival, I'm not sure. Daisy adored Christmas - the tree, the turkey and most of all the presents! It was very strange to open presents without a Labrador's nose being stuck to the other side of the wrapping. Also hard to know that just a few miles away is a puppy who'll be home soon, who could already be home - I know I've made the fairest decision not to have her here for the chaos of Christmas but patience is hard!

Overall the best Christmas in years, Alice definitely enjoyed it too and that's the most important thing for me and our best present will be home within a week - now's the time to buy shares in kitchen roll and dog food manufacturers! Happy Christmas.


Cristina said...

Glad you had a lovely day Kate - can't wait to see some pics of Pudding in your home!
Cristina xx

Janet said...

Hi Kate,
Glad to hear what a lovely day you had :-)
Big hugs for you too, Christmas must be hard when you are missing people you love ((((((((((((())))))))))))))
Lots of love

3cmum said...

Hi Kate
Have been offline but just wanted to wish you a belated merry XMAS. Love the sack and know what you mean about XMAS without family..I feel the same way about missing my dad each XMAS more and more.
Lots of hugs to you both!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kate
I just logged on to see how you and Alice enjoyed Christmas.
I know what you mean about missing someone and all the traditions. I so much miss my beloved Nan Annie-everything is that less bit shiny without her. On Boxing Day my Uncle died suddenly and yet a friend is having a new baby.
We are indeed 'in the midst of death though we be in life'.
It's such a cliche but making the most of every moment is all that's really available to us- good times, bad times- they all pass.
Happy New Year dear Kate and Alice- and Pudding!