Christmas morning and the Middle of the Darling Daughters arrives at my bedside with a mug of coffee and three Rampaging Rascals, each holding aloft a felt stocking bulging with gifts courtesy of Father Christmas. How
she has managed to hold them off till the almost respectable time of 6.30 a.m. I really don’t know.
Last night at 11.30 p.m. Faris easily beat the previous
record of 1.30 a.m. (set by his mother and her siblings many years ago) for Early Rising on Christmas Morning. We were still downstairs, chortling over The Vicar Of Dibley eating endless Christmas dinners because she couldn’t say no to kind invitations,
when The Rascal arrived downstairs, bearing his stocking as evidence that the Big Man in the Red Suit and Whiskers had “been”. Fortunately he (as in Faris the Rascal, not Santa, you understand) was persuaded back to bed, being only half-awake.
Some of you, I expect, might have been worrying on my behalf that persuading all three Rampaging Rascals to have a sleepover on such an exciting occasion as Christmas Eve
might have been a trifle foolhardy. Two of the three settled beautifully but the third (Lilia who believes she is a Princess and so royally entitled) rampaged around perfectly happily upstairs until around 10.30 p.m. As is the way with Rampaging Rascals, she
was still up with the proverbial lark the next morning.
There are few things quite so special as watching tiny ones open the presents in their Christmas stockings:
“What can it be?” wondered Tala, aloud, as each gift-wrapped parcel emerged from her stocking. Father Christmas had excelled himself by ensuring that each child’s presents were wrapped in a different wrapping paper. This is what is called
going Above and Beyond, in my opinion and proves that my children, on becoming parents themselves, have learnt from their mother’s Gift Wrap Related shortcomings.
Our Christmas Dinner will be earlier than some, given the Trio’s needs for timely meals, so we enjoy a light breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toasted bagels. How posh is that? The twins demonstrate their sophisticated tastes by
wolfing it all down: “More fish? More fish?” they keep asking, like a couple of Oliver Twists in a somewhat up-market workhouse. Young Faris contents himself with the toasted bagels, having a healthy respect for anything out of the ordinary.
Upstairs there is a notice on my bedroom door which reads “Room of Many Secrets.” The aim of this is to stop the Rascals discovering everyone else’s presents
as well as their own and tearing them open. Mr B says this is a waste of time as neither of the Twinkles can read yet and Faris is still at elementary stage which doesn’t extend to deciphering cryptic messages written on bedroom doors. For good measure,
I tell the Trio the story about the Christmas when, as a small girl, I ignored my parents’ admonitions not to enter a certain bedroom and discovered a brand new bicycle hidden within. I would have given anything not to have spoilt the surprise for myself.
I am not sure if The Rampaging Rascals have been listening…
The roast beef dinner is delicious (though I say so myself as shouldn’t) and there’s
plenty left for the Middle of the Darling Daughters to take home to her fella, who, as a London cabbie, has been working all hours over the holiday. I find out later that it was much appreciated. Our presents go down well, especially Faris’s construction
kit - over the course of the afternoon he builds first a truck, then a robot. It is possible he may have changed his ambition from becoming a lifeguard on Littlehampton Beach (it’s the beach patrol buggy that’s the main attraction) to forging a
future career as an engineer. And, as I understand it, robots are the “in” thing. Though possibly not the kind that can be fashioned out of the kit from the Early Learning Centre.
After everyone has departed, I come over “proper poorly”. The paramedic comes and looks me over before diagnosing that my plummeting blood pressure is probably down to exhaustion caused by full-time caring. This opinion
may be partly based on the evidence of rampaging activity all around the house which I was leaving until the morning to tackle. As you do, when you aren’t expecting visitors from the Medical Profession.
Fortunately he pronounces my heart to be tickety-boo. I could have told him that myself. Christmas Day may have ended somewhat, shall we say, unexpectedly - but nevertheless my heart is full of happy memories of the day.
As my Tala would say: “What can it be?”
Answer: “Pure Magic!”