Started far too early; not with an overexcited child but with a humidifier running out of water. Do they make 1.2 litre bottles? So, 5.39, and a somewhat panicked Little Fish was decanted from her bed to mine where she snuggled up behind me, twisting my hair through her fingers and sighing contentedly. It was almost cute enough not to be annoying.
Christmas Day proper started around 6.30, when Mog woke up in fits of laughter. And so the day began; feeds and meds and breakfast and pretty dresses, cardigans located in a box of nappies and hairbands abandoned in favour of tinsel.
Supplies assembled ready to be taken to the grandparents. And, two hours after waking up properly, Little Fish looked thoughtfully at the assorted piles. "Mumma, I can open one present now?"
And so she did. And it turned out to be a bright pink plastic ironing board with iron and little cardboard boxes pretending to contain washing powder and spray starch. The feminist in me abhorred the cliché, whilst the more practical part of me watched her ironing her doll's ruffled dresses and wondered how soon I could train her up to wield the real thing.
Meanwhile Mog was kicking mightily, and adamant that she too should open something. She fell asleep during the opening but opened her eyes to approve the glow-in-the-dark stickers for her bedroom.
And then it was time for church, and we wound our way once again through a crowded congregation to another set of seats near the front. And we started singing, and Mog woke up. Really woke up, woke up more awake than she's been for months. And she started singing. And shouting, and singing, and kicking the person in front of us, and shouting ever louder until I finally had to remove her from the church. Which, in a family service full of children who have been feasting on chocolate since four o'clock in the morning, takes some volume!
Mog fizzed for the rest of the day. She fizzed and giggled as we walked home, and kicked her boots off happily. She rested as we skyped my brother in Tazania, and then she fizzed as we ate our goose, not wanting to taste any but howling with laughter whenever forks hit plates or glasses hit the table. Leaning into her face and whispering "presents" had her helpless with deep full-body chuckles. I've not seen her this happy and alert for the last 18 months; my grandmother has never met this Mog. Just beautiful.
And then we had coffee, and Little Fish had a pile of presents larger than herself, and Mog fizzed and bubbled and giggled and kicked and yet managed to keep her gifts safely on her lap incase they fell to the floor where her sister might appropriate them. For Mog, it was the year of the sock. Brown socks, blue socks, stripey socks, sparkly socks; so many different fluffy socks to cover her neck collar. And stacks of hair clips and bands and slides to coordinate. CDs and DVDs, enough to keep her singing for weeks. Thank you all. And for Little Fish it was the year of Charlie and Lola. Charlie and Lola apron, Charlie and Lola books, sticker books, extremely busy and special activity packs, completely amazing collage paper. Two very happy little girls.
Two little girls even happier when new visitors arrived and immediately got down to the important business of sharing Mog's giggles and helping Little Fish with her playdough. Coffee, then tea, then more coffee for the grown ups before wrapping up well and staggering home again.
Now Mog is tucked up in bed in new pyjamas, not quite asleep but heaving happy sighs as she watches her lights kaleidoscope their way across her ceiling. And Little Fish is also in bed; late to bed after an early start, and asleep before I had shut the door after a whispered "thank you, God for all my opening presents".
Time for me to relax perhaps? Well no, not quite; opening the front door to let Goway in, Grolly took the opportunity to run out. Normally the kittens race out of the door, hit the frozen ramp, gasp in shock, do a 180 degree turn midair and hare back into the house again. Not this time. She headed out and under a neighbour's car before finding her way into the only garden nearby with 8 foot high hedge around it. And then sat the other side of the hedge, crying. Gotcha stood in the doorway calling for her, Goway raced up and down the ramp, through the hedge to rub her nose and then back into the house, over and over, until I was convinced she had been caught in some kind of a trap and was immobile. About to knock on the neighbour's door, I turned and saw her stalk up the ramp, tail held high. She reached the top, was about to enter the house but suddenly flipped out and raced off to the side instead. Meanwhile Gotcha decided outside was fun, and started dancing with Goway on the drive. He's a big hefty beast and can't run as fast as Grolly; I caught him and heaved him back into the kitchen. Where he scratched at the door and cried until Grolly finally relented and decided to return to him. I'm thinking it could be time to sort out the catflap again. Meanwhile, standing outside in the cold and the ice must burn some of the Christmas calories mustn't it? Even if I wasn't running around after them but just standing there whispering rude things at the furry fluffer?
Anyway, two cats are back inside and Goway knows where he lives; if he's choosing to stay out that's his problem. Two girls are tucked up in bed, and I have finished off the last of the chestnut fool. I realise this probably negates any potential benefit from standing outside in the freezing cold, but I'm sure it's vaguely medicinal. And to gain the full effects I should probably be horizontal, so I'm off to bed.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!