10 December 2013
On Christmas morning, Kath and Fred woke at their usual time and were very excited when I told them it was Christmas Day.
After breakfast, we sat together in the lounge, listening to Christmas Carols.
We had all been invited for lunch at Kath and Fred’s daughter’s house (just across the road.) There were many people going – so many, that everyone had cooking to do. My job? The roast parsnips!
A few weeks earlier, when all this was being arranged and I had been told what I was cooking. My response, much to everyone’s amusement was, ‘Good!….What is a parsnip?’ As you can see, I learn about English traditions all the time!
So… the time had come and we took cards and chocolates across the road for the family. Fred was in his wheelchair, well wrapped up against the cold air. Kath carried the cards. A seasonal Christmas wreath decorated the door, which opened wide, allowing an avalanche of joyful shouts, and smells of Christmas food to reach us. Once Fred and Kath were settled inside, I popped back to collect the roast parsnips (which, I’m pleased to say, turned out well.)
Kath and Fred were initially a little overwhelmed by so many relatives and I was pleasantly surprised by the sincere attention and smiles.
We sat around a table loaded with food. Rowland (son-in-law) had roasted the turkey, Grandson Joe arrived with roast garlic potatoes, other members of the family placed more and more delicious food in the center of a table decorated with green foliage and candles.
Before eating, each person opened the gift that was placed before them. The whole room was filled with joy and I think I would not have been surprised if Father Christmas’ deer had landed in the garden. I saw the happy faces of Fred and Kath and I understood how important their family is to them. I felt the same, too, as a family member, and I can confidently say that this was my best Christmas ever.