My Boy, packing up after a two day Christmas stay at ours, suggests that I should keep the racing penguins from yesterday’s crackers until next year. I remind him, gently, that penguins are not just for Christmas.
I have a dear friend and a Darling Daughter who would both wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.
His departure, accompanying the Darling Daughter in Law and
the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys, marks the end of yet another Christmas packed with food, fun and festive cheer. For our departing guests, there is one more stop along the way where all but two of the cousins and their parents will be able to get together
for a Last Farewell to Christmas. Young Sam, Eldest of the Welsh Boys, has drawn all the Tremendous Ten grandchildren (including the two who will be missing from the meet-up because neither he nor I could bear to leave them out - they will, after all, be there
in spirit) on Mr B’s whiteboard, from Youngest to Oldest. Morgan, Youngest of the Welsh Boys, has been depicted in his pikachu onesie which has made his Grandad smile every morning when he has appeared at his side.
It’s sad, indeed, to see them go - so I spend the afternoon thinking about our holiday highlights. Christmas Day was just Mr B and I on our ownsome; I went to church in the morning and then managed
a rather splendid Christmas dinner (though I say so myself as shouldn’t.) Mr B had put in a request for beef rather than turkey but I thought it would be good to add a few of the traditional extras. “I’ll cook all the pigs in blankets, even
though there’s just the two of us,” I said, “We can eat some of them cold this evening...” Not much chance of that - somehow or other we managed to eat the lot with our Christmas dinner. Quite, quite shameful...
On Boxing Day, Team Baldwin arrived for a day of Eating Up The Leftovers (quite delicious - don’t be fooled by the description) and party games, notable for the speed with which
Dunk’em Dave managed to answer all the questions before any of the rest of us had engaged our brains and my theatrical interpretation in charades of Call the Midwife which fortunately was guessed before I had to attempt to act out anything Birth Related.
This was followed by another day to recover / prepare for the next set of visitors before the last two families arrived to help us celebrate. Why have a gathering involving
one family, I always say, when you could involve two? More food, this time brought by the Eldest of the Darling Daughters and including a bomb! Or, more correctly, a bombe. Five of the Tremendous Ten all together, three of them staying over for more fun.
We went to the panto - oh, yes, we did! We had a perfect view of the stage where Dorothy and her friends were off to see the Wizard of Oz, despite sitting right at the very
back of the Regis Centre theatre, and jokes a-plenty. Though I did have to grimace when the Tin Man with no heart told his companions that he was at least qualified to work for the local district council...
Over the course of the festive days I have played the following games: Blockbuster; Linkee; Exploding Kittens; Frustration and Charades, not forgetting the traditional evening round the table playing Nomination Whist with
our son and his wife while sharing a bottle of very best port.
I have sent all four families in turn on their way with my blessing and the customary over-the-top
Waving of Arms. “Would you even be my Nanni” joked Eleanor (Fourth Oldest of the Tremendous Ten) “If you didn’t come out to wave us on our way!?”
Now it is all over till next year but I’ve been consulting the 2020 diary and my loving family has ensured that there is already plenty to look forward to as far as visits and trips out are concerned.
Love - like penguins, don’t you know? - is definitely Not Just For Christmas.