Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Families



How bloody difficult aught it be to have a little meal with a couple of people with whom you share DNA.

Well in days gone it was pretty simple. The matriarch set a date and everyone would comply. I remember Christmas dinner at my Nanna’s place. In the stinking summer heat she would pile the whole family, her three daughters and all their families sometimes more than 20 people into the dining room set up with an adults’ table and a kids’ table. There were fabric table cloths and serviettes, and silly hats and xmas crackers with those tired old jokes that are still around today. The ‘Tree’ was real and had sometime hence lost too many needles to still be at all attractive. It was decorated with homemade decos and tired tinsel which had seen many years’ work. We would have already exchanged gifts – none of this secret santa stuff so that there is only one each, but such a pile that all the wrapping would just never fit in the then silly small bin.

There was noise and movement and more than a little madness. Nanna would bring out all the meats and stuff and food would flow, but only ever as a prelude to the grand finale which was her pudding. Nanna would have hidden some silver sixpences in it and unlike today where everyone would need to be ‘lucky’, only a few of the hoards were rewarded.

It was not fancy or flash but it was wonderful. It might be that I am remembering with rose coloured brain cells, but it all seemed pretty fabulous and simple and festive and jolly. We would sing and jig around and as the day wore on the flash Christmas outfits became crinkled or grubby or removed.

It was quite the event, even just considering the sheer numbers involved.

As an adult my Christmases have been much more sedate, and once divorced even quieter still. I have often celebrated Christmas on the wrong date for more than 2 decades in a bid to be ‘easy to get along with’,  with separated families and blended families and families 1000s of miles apart it is altogether tougher to organise. Children are divided between parents and grandies are tugged at in all directions.

I hate the idea of battling over visits at any time but especially at Christmas. My greatest hope is that both Belly and Zig know how much they are loved and wanted and that my not fighting for them was and is my gift to them.