Malls during the silly season are not my favourite place. Usually we go away as soon as the schools break up and by then I have everything organised and straight from school I either hop onto a plane or get into the car and we’re off. But this year I lulled myself into a sense of false security and imagined I had plenty of time between Struisbaai and Christmas! So I found myself fighting crowds in local malls and those over the mountain to get just the right thing for the right person! And of course there was the last minute rush for a tree, Christmas Crackers – almost all sold out – and of course food. Luckily Earl and Lauren had the latter in hand.
Our precious grandson tucks in with Granny and Grandpa
Yesterday Simon woke us up with a nice early morning cuddle and then Lauren and I were at the shops by 7:15 – lovely and quiet for only half an hour before the crowds woke up to the fact that they could get there early too! Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay opened at 7:00 a.m but we had to wait till 8:30 to get into Clicks so popped in to Wimpy for a coffee. How lovely to see the staff dressed up and making it a fun time for everyone. Shopping done, Lauren and I raced back so that I could get to gym on time and then she and Lisa went to Blue Route to do their last minute gift shopping.
The weather was overcast but still warm with the odd bit of drizzle now and then. We had a pretty chilled day with friends popping in briefly – Gus to bring us fresh lettuce and spinach from his garden and Chantal to bring festive wishes. The kids swam in the pool, went to the park and fooled around the house for most of the day. There was lots of present wrapping and preparations for the following day’s festivities.
For supper, Earl did a yellowtail braai which we all enjoyed then we watched a bit of TV before retiring for an early night.
Christmas Morning – the landline shrills at the extremely rude hour of 6:15. It can only be one person. She has been up for hours and already eaten Christmas lunch – The Darling Aussie Aunt of course. Oh she says, I thought the kids would have had you up by now! Not when half of them are in their teens! And Shan is almost there and showing the same symptoms of needing lots of morning sleep! Simon was of course first up and did his best to rouse his cousins. Two of the daughters are real princesses and can’t be seen without their hair done and make up on so that was another delaying feature – but finally we had the entire family in the lounge after a quick fruit and yogurt pre breakfast snack ready to open presents!
The weather was not what one would expect for an African Christmas. It was raining and when we lamented Jay said, “Think of it as Snow at Christmas!” Actually it was quite pleasant not to have baking heat specially as we were having a hot roast lunch. Earl did Greek lamb with delicious vegetables, Lauren did the glazed gammon which turned out beautifully and she’d never done one from scratch before. She also made a chicken liver pate which we served as a snack with drinks before lunch. I compiled a starter of smoked katonkel – a gift from Gus – and made the salad. The kids all pitched in to help with odd jobs and by the time Great Aunty Carol, Great Uncle Vere and Uncle Greg arrived everything was ready.
Carol’s trifle was as always a great hit. She also brought a delicious carrot cake and some crunchies for the kids.
It was an amazing day and we feel so blessed to have spent it so happily with our precious family.