The big day has come and gone. Torn gift wrap overflows from the garbage; recycling does not accept gift wrap; clothes have been tried on and put away. So much preparation and it is over in a few hours.
Fourteen people sat around our table which was laden with a variety of food from the traditional turkey, stuffing and gravy to Moroccan carrots, cauliflower pie, sour dough biscuits and kale salad. There was no excuse for anyone leaving hungry.
After indulging we adjourned to the family room to check out the gifts under the tree. A surprise gift exchange yielded an amazing array of treats from hot chocolate, gourmet popcorn, date night movie CD’s, gift cards for movies, coffee and lottery. This chocolate lover scored a box of chocolate treats. I believe that the chocolate gods steered that box to me.
Later the little ones sat in a circle with a large ball of plastic wrap in the centre. Treats could be seen in the wrap. Taking turns each child would wear a Santa hat and a pair of oven mitts while the person to their left rolled dice. The object was to open the ball of plastic wrap before the next person rolled doubles. This is not an easy feat wearing oven mitts. Once doubles rolled the hat and mitts were passed to the left. As the plastic unrolled any treats that fell out were the property of the person holding the ball. Candy, gum, socks and hair scrunches were among the prizes. A few tears and lots of laughs accompanied this game while the adults looked on.
Not to be left out there was an adult version of this game. A square, gold foil wrapped box was placed in front on a player and they too had to wear the Santa hat and oven mitts. Lots of tape held the wrap in place and once the box was opened another box was found inside wrapped and taped. The game continued around the table with lots of laughter and some colourful language as the adults struggled to open the never-ending smaller boxes until Tim cards popped out in front of one lucky player.
The youngsters drifted away to other rooms engrossed with lap tops, phones and new toys. One over-tired five-year old found a bed to curl up on for a little rest. The adults were now mellow and sat around exchanging stories and sampling the dessert and cheese trays that magically appeared on the dining room table.
Many hands made clean up and restoring the house to order easy and another Christmas day has been put to bed. I believe that everyone agrees that the best part of the day was the camaraderie, love, laughter and time together with friends and family.