Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

And so…

…that was Christmas. And this year, it was good. I chose to be calm and relaxed, roll with the punches and just enjoy. As one of my sisters-in-law said, “Ah, you’re all grown up!” It was wonderful, noisy, messy, crazy and just so special.

Christmas Eve was a busy day. I worked hard at finishing things – wrapping gifts (note to self, wrap as you buy next year!), decorating tables, finishing off food preparation, I even got a run in with TAFKAD. My brother was due to arrive on Christmas Eve, but only getting out of work at 15h00 does not make for a safe journey, so he slept over on the way arriving on Christmas morning, so I got my nieces for another special evening. I loved having them staying with me! And then, after all that wrapping, after putting out a mince pie for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, making sure Thandi was fast asleep; we played Santa, leaving her sack of gifts at the bedside; and then we collapsed in heaps!058  065

Christmas day began at 05h00! With Thandi realising that Father Christmas had been. She found a Santa sleigh bell, and used that to wake her special cousins up, saying that they must wake up! Father Christmas had come, they had to come and see! 067We opened some of her gifts, and then after tea and mince pies, we headed off to do one of the local park runs, only to discover that I had got the time wrong, because they ran earlier than normal. Anyway, we headed back home, got dressed and ready for our special family time. I had, I think, about 20 guests! My family, my aunt and cousin, Charlie’s mom, uncle, sister and nephew and my special German friends. What fun! I allowed everyone to help with food. T made a gorgeous gazpacho, my sister-in-law presented a lovely antipasti platter. Mains was also a coloration – I did a brined turkey (yum!) and roast potatoes, my mom did a gammon, and then everyone chipped in with salads. The meal was delicious! I think everyone ate well! Pudding followed with a trifle, a fruity pavlova and a strawberry dream. After a pause to breathe, I set up a cheese board that everyone could help themselves to, and a cake table – traditional Christmas cake, a stolen, mince pies, a gingerbread star tree, fudge, Christmas pudding truffles and M contributed nusseken. I then even let everyone help clean up! (seriously, that is unheard of in my home!) Everyone rolled home well after 6pm, and we collapsed into companionable quiet digestion! 106 114098

My girl was so spoilt, but she really had the best day, between the coolest gifts, all her cousins and her friend Charlotte spending the day with us… she loved it! And best of all, she had a relaxed happy mom! 119

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