We made it through and it is now Boxing Day. We survived not only the Silverwood's Christmas Day with its alternating bursts of bedlam and calm but also the "No Laptops" rule. It was brilliant, so a huge Thank You to the Silverwoods for having us along for the ride. Mum and Dad halped out with bits and peices like present wrapping, cooking and child-wrangling too, so we think we've still a few hours of welcome left before it all wears off and they send us back to the damp and cold of Roscommon.
Format for the day(s) is a big supper on Christmas Eve, which in this case was of a risotto done with the meat from spiced turkey wings from the day before, plus prawns, before the various tired children are read "Night Before Christmas" by Mum and off they go to bed. No problem getting them to bed that night of course. The rules are that they get the stocking in their room to wake up to and must then stay upstairs till all 4 are awake which, naturally does not take long once on is up and about.
By about 06:30 we are all coming downstairs to get coffees and teas organised and for we dogs to get a comfort walk round the block. Mr S then disappears into the front room where the tree stands to turn on the Chistmas lights. In there are the big Santa sacks on various easy chairs - these are the sacks of presents from Santa (or in some cases signed by elves and reindeer) as opposed to the presents from relatives and friends which are under the tree. There are a couple of sooty handprints as evidence of Santa's comings, one on the door, one on the mantle. The kids are allowed in all together for the first bedlam session, the Santa presents.
These are brilliant and received with delight by the children, bikes for M and R, an electric guitar for Em-J and a model dress-making kit for J-M plus reams of other stuff. That done and some time spent playing with those presents, Mr S cooks a proper Irish fried breakfast with black and white puddings, bacon, eggs, beans, sausages etc. Then we all adjourn back in there for the under-tree presents which again are a big success. The rest of the day round till about 6pm when it's time for the turkey meal.
After that it finally does go a bit quieter as the little ones get wrangled off to bed and are asleep in seconds. Today is more of a relaxed affair with all the toys to play with and the catering is mainly about help yourlesf from the fridge mountains of left over turkey, ham, cakes, gingerbread, crisps etc.
Some photos of all this soon. We had another lemonade-into-laptop incident involving small child and we are down one laptop for messing with pictures.