And I say "Officially" being that some other crackpots that aren't Harold Camping predicted the end of the world on 21st December of this year because... Well, because they say so, basically.
However. This is not that post about that subject.
This is the boring "What I Did For Christmas And New Year" post, kinda like what the kids do after summer holidays. To sum up, aside from being manically busy, we had a nice, quiet Christmas AND New Year at home.
The decorations went up the week before Christmas. Firstly, we didn't put them up sooner on account of Jaysen having his birthday on the 11th, and didn't want to smother his birthday with the birthday of some other bloke.
Secondly, there are three VERY good reasons why they didn't go up sooner. One and Two: Gimli & Galadriel. Those little shits of Cattens (They're not Cats yet, but they're not Kittens any more, thus: Cattens) would have devastated the jolly before Crimbo even arrived. The third reason is the chaos. Big tree, dangly sparkly things around the house, things stuck in windows and on doors...
Yes, you may call me a Humbug or a Grinch, but the chaos drives me insane. Blah blah blah, you're not changing my mind. Skipping ahead of the tale of woe, usually, I tear the decorations down on the 27th, but this year, I ALLOWED them to remain till the 2nd January. Mainly because I didn't have the energy to remove them, but I digress.
Christmas, the kids were at Jo's Xmas Eve, and were due back to us around midday Xmas Morning. Dom was at his Dads, which meant it was just us and Mo first thing on the 25th. Santa (FATHER CHRISTMAS! says Kellie) is good to the kids - he leaves a stocking FULL and OVERFLOWING with little gifts at the end of the kids beds for them to open when they get up, and the big pressies, he leaves downstairs. Being that I am a sleepaholic, I was awake when Molly threw herself out of bed and tore through her stocking gifts.
THAT, dear reader, was 4am.
However, rules are rules, and being that I am in fact a complete bastard, we decided Molly could wait till Jaysen & Tam were home before getting her presents.
So, Kellie didn't wake up till a little before 9am, Molly was running around waiting for us "patiently" so we had a shower, and went downstairs, where I showed Molly all her presents. That she wasn't allowed to touch. For four hours.
Dinner, we decided, wasn't going to be turkey. Let's all be honest, it's dull, it's boring, it can be dry, and no one really likes turkey, otherwise, you'd have that sodding great freezer cabinet full of the sodding birds all year around. So, no turkey.
Duck and Lamb, however, are two of our favourites. They are also bones of contention for the 0dd Mother and the 0dd Sister. The first, well, she keeps pet ducks. They "talk" to her, lay her eggs, amuse her - they're part of the family. The thought of EATING duck, however, fills her with revulsion. So, she got photos and running commentary all morning while I prepared it.
The 0dd Sister, well, she used to love lamb. Until the day we sat eating it, and I described the sounds the poor little lamby was making as she cut into it and chewed on it. Whenever we see lambs in a field, I point to the one she's going to eat next, and so on. She too got a few photos and described sound effects.
With meat slowly cooking in the oven, your favourite blogger set to the veg. Spuds, Parsnips, Sprouts, Peas, Sweetcorn, I sorted the lot. And yes, I actually like sprouts. Once THEY were ready to go, I got the stuffings (plural) sorted, and the 50 pigs wrapped in their bacony blankets.
I was cooking on gas, literally and descriptively.
And then, with an hour to spare, Kellie and myself sat and had coffee. Pointing out the presents to Mo every time I thought of it.
When the Boogle and the Peanut were dropped off, they too were shown piles of presents, Mo was fit to burst and so we - no, we didn't sit and do presents, I had to get the meat out the oven and get the stuffing and pigs sorted, checked the meat over, made coffee, had a nibble on some snacky stuff...
OK OK, we let the kids have their presents close to 2pm. Everyone loves a bit of anticipation. Except kids. Kids that can see their presents. Kids that can see their presents AND not touch them.
Forty five minutes. That's how long it took for the kids to decimate their gifts, tear them open, decide which they loved and which were "just clothes" AND clear up the wrapping paper. Not too shabby.
From that point on, the day went perfectly. Dinner finished cooking and got eaten with only minimal leftovers. Christmas films were enjoyed. Kisses and cuddles were given AND received. Toys were played with.
However, the dark side of Christmas was the sheer busyness of it. Being that I was up and about doing stuff almost all day, by evening, I was dead. Properly knackered, could hardly move to stuff more food into my mouth (though that continued through the day and into the night). Painkillers weren't touching it either. Oops.
The rest of the week was a blur of people, visitors, meals, takeaways, buffets, over-eating, drinking and being merry. I'm not what you would consider a properly Christmassy person, but I had a brilliant week with Kellie and the kids. People came to us, we went to peoples. Slowly, the pile of gifts to hand out dwindled, and the pile of things to find new homes for increased.
New Years Eve we decided again to stay at home, the only exception was the 0dd Mother In Law was also present. She Who Irons Pillowcases is her Native American name. Tam was asking constantly "Is it new year yet?!" as we allowed the kids to stay up. Except, she was asking at 2pm onwards.
Once again, I took over the kitchen and laid out a massive buffet of far too much food for seven people. Those on Facebook would have seen the photos of TEN FEET of food spread across the kitchen counters. Oops. That night we DID have lots of leftovers!
Midnight came, champagne was popped, we all went out the front to shout to the neighbours, let off party poppers which decorated Bethys tree perfectly, the kids played with glosticks and made a cacophony of noise, and by 0015 we were back inside, finishing champagne, ushering kids to bed. The 0dd Mother in Law also headed to bed, and Kellie and myself sat watching a DVD for a while before we too headed up.
Two days later, the Christmas decorations were done. Rather, I was done with them. Everywhere I walked, I caught my melonous head on something. The cats were slowly pulling things off the tree. The ceiling decorations were duuuusty. The cards were in the way and I kept knocking them over. Enough was enough.
I am fairly sure when Kellie said "You can take them down if you want" I had already started doing so by the time she finished breathing. She had to pop to the shop and buy a card, and said I could make a start. Dear Reader, I don't "make a start" on anything, especially when it comes to taking down decorations. The kids paper-chains and the pretty ceiling decs were to be saved (allowed to attend next Christmas), and everything on the tree was to be kept too.
Twenty minutes. That's how long it took me to De-Christmas the entire house. In twenty minutes, I tore down the decorations to be discarded, took down AND put away the decorations to be kept, removed every bauble, trinket, thingie and fairy from the tree, remove the beads AND tinsel AND lights from the tree, dismantled AND folded the tree, and then untangle and put away the lights. Time was lost on the lights because somehow, they tangle themselves under the tree over two and a half weeks of sitting on the ground doing nothing, and trying to pick sticky-window-decorations off windows is a pain in the ass.
My reward for getting it virtually ALL done before Kellie got back from buying her card?
"Let's rearrange the living room"
Arse, and indeed, Burgers.
And that was that. Another Christmas, another New Year, been and gone and done with. I'll do a 2011 sum up post in a day or two no doubt, but I ended 2011 and started 2012 in the same way I want all my years to end and begin - with Kellie and the kids all present. Granted, I was also in a shit-ton of pain, but if I have to make a New Years Resolution, it's going to be to kick the shit out of this pain once and for all. Starting with the doctors appointment I have tomorrow.
Happy New Year to all my readers, new and old, boys and girls, locals or foreign-sorts or in fact convicts from down under. Here's to a grand 2012. Live it like it's the last year EVER!