I’m hanging on in there until Twelfth Night, but basically that’s it… it’s all over… The Festive Season has wound down for another year.
|US being blurry on New Year's Eve|
We’ve celebrated my birthday, Christmas and New Year’s, and we’re marching onward into 2016… Well, I say marching, but it’s more like bustling about between bouts of meandering.
We try to clear the decks in the week before Christmas. We try very hard. This year we both had a massive workload, and I was recovering from pneumonia, so December was tough. My birthday, which falls on Christmas Eve, was very quiet. We ate a vast breakfast, I opened my gifts and we chilled. I always watch ‘Singing in the Rain’ on my birthday, and the husband and I did just that. It was a matinée, in front of a roaring fire, with a blanket over our knees. We snacked, and I drank wine. The dort and her boyff arrived around 7-30, and we did more of nothing. There may have been big sandwiches and another movie, or it might just have been bad tv… I don't remember, except that it was easy and very relaxed. Christmas Day was much the same. We opened presents, we ate a big, late breakfast and we played a game. We were all in the kitchen, cooking together, and lunch didn’t happen until after dark, but it was very good! I never got out of my pyjamas, but nobody seemed to care.
Christmas is a very big deal, but it is so often fraught with duty and obligation, and it is so often spoilt with dashing about from one place to another to fulfil those duties and obligations. Too often, we spend time with people we don’t like very much doing things we don't particularly want to do, locked together, trapped by blood and history, by tradition and habit. Sometimes, of course, we can't be with the people we long to be with, and perhaps that’s the saddest thing of all.
We had a lovely Christmas Day and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. And we had a wonderful family day during Christmas week with one of my favourite traditions, borrowed from the husband’s grandfather.
Gift-giving is lovely. I enjoy it immensely. We love to give, and we do big birthdays and big Christmases, but we keep it close to home. We long ago gave up gift-giving outside of our own immediate family. I’ve got an abundance of brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces, and they all have partners; I’ve even got great-nephews and -nieces. It’s too much and totally redundant to buy gifts for so many people, and it’s far too expensive for the younger members of the family to be expected to do it, so we simply don't.
Chez-Abnett, we do, however, give Table Presents, and it’s a tradition that I particularly enjoy. On Christmas Day, and any time we have guests for a Christmas meal during Christmas week, we have Table Presents, which is to say that there is a gift at the table for every diner. These tend to be small and personal, and generally not terribly expensive. The husband will often buy me a small bottle of my favourite perfume, books are always good, the boyff got a video game the husband had worked on, but it could be anything. I got a lovely notebook at the table this year with a particularly apposite quote on the cover: A simple, perfect thing.
The husband and I are not big New Year’s Eve people. When the dorts were kids, we always had an open house family party to see-in the New Year, but the numbers dwindled as the kids grew up, and eventually they stopped entirely. The dort has hosted a couple of New Years parties Chez-Abnett, but it’s been more than fifteen years since we’ve attended anyone else's party. It’s an odd time of year, and it tends to make me reflective.
|The dort and her boyff getting their groove on|
New Year's Eve
This year, we were invited to a house party, so we decided to go. We’re glad we did. There were charades and dancing, and a wonderful buffet, accompanied by vast quantities of good Prosecco. The company was positively sparkling, and we had a cheerful and celebratory time. I even got up and jigged about a bit, despite breaking a toe over Christmas.
It’s all over now, but I shall remember the holiday season for 2015 very fondly. We had a lovely time. The dort and her boyff left yesterday after spending a lot of time with us over the past couple of weeks. We loved having them here, and had a lot of fun talking, playing games, and building all those Lego projects we found in our stockings.
They’re off to spend some well-deserved time together, decorating the boyff’s flat and having some fun before he goes back to work and she goes back to university. We’re tidying up, taking stock and getting back to work. We’re making some plans of our own, too.
It’s been lovely and we look forward to spending more time like it, but I wonder why we don’t do this more often. There’s no reason why we have to wait for next Christmas to eat a meal together, play a game or have a party. Life’s too short not to spend time with the people who matter and enjoy the good things in life, the simple pleasures.
We shall miss the dort and her boyff. The house feels rather empty without them, today.