Thursday, 27 December 2012

The carnage of Christmas

The carnage of  Christmas
26 December 2012

The wrapping has been shredded.  The new toys have been christened.  Computer games have been installed.  Batteries have been inserted.  The fabulous meal has been eaten.  Champagne and grape juice  have been consumed.  Crackers have been cracked.  Gifts have been admired.  Wishes have been shared.  Dishes have been done.  Best cutlery and crockery packed away again.  Rooms littered with new toys and gadgets.  All the candles blown out.

And so another Christmas draws to a close.  And when we all go to bed tonight, everyone will say “This was the best Christmas ever!!!”.  This is my goal every year.  And somehow or other, this very statement is true every single year.  Like a self-proclaiming prophecy that truly comes to pass.

It’s not really about the gifts, though they are the kids’ favourites – predictably.  It’s not really about the meal either – though that is a really good bit too.  And nor is it about the house beautifully decorated – my bestest!.  Or the festive cheer.  Rather, it’s a combination of it all.  Any of these things in isolation, though nice, don’t make up the whole.  The sum being greater than the parts when added up.  Exponential joy if you like.

But now, the very, very best bit has really arrived.  The festivities just keep on going.  We are at Kleinbaai.  My favourite place in the whole wide world.  And in what fine fashion the festivities have continued.  A sit down meal for 26 of our very closest family members.  Gammons, legs of lamb, roast chickens and all of the trimmings.  Ouma Helene’s golden jelly in champagne glasses (it’s her Christmas thing), crackers, nuts and choccies on the tables.  Beautiful Xmas table cloths, mismatched crockery and cutlery because we’re at the holiday house after all and just make do with what we’ve got.  Ouma’s Christmas decorations all set up (I haven’t got my own laptop here, hence I am unable to download lots of pics and post them), and a general air of “Merry Christmas” all around.

Speeches by Oupa Willem.  Toasts to those far away.  If we were all together we’d have been 40 bodies in total.  As is, we didn’t have a big enough table and rather dotted the lounge with little tables everywhere.  I felt a bit like a cruise photographer, going from table to table, saying things like “Right, table three – everyone please smile for a photo”.  Masses of puddings once the main meal was done.

And then just for fun, we all traipsed out to the back garden and took family photos.  Everyone setting up tripods and placing their camera’s randomly to try and take a timed shot of the entire clan.  A big wide angle lens is needed.  And then for some or other reason, we noticed that some of the boys were wearing sleeveless shirts, which spontaneously prompted masses of pics of all of the boys wearing “wife-beater-shirts”.  Being the sport that he is, Oupa Willem gave up on wearing a shirt at all.  And for those “unlucky” few that didn’t have wife-beaters, they resorted to rolling up their sleeves.  Such fun and I’ll be sure to post pics soon.

For now, we’re sitting on the stoep admiring the view.  Lots and lots of going down to the rocks and everyone exploring.  Today the kids went on kayaks and caught little “klipvissies”.  Hunting for octopus, throwing of stones, walks along the water, a fireworks attempt after dark, guitar playing, pitching of tents, swimming for the extremely brave, a midnight walk to the harbour.

I’ve got two nights here with the family and I can hardly wait, yet at the same time, I want to stretch out every minute.  The mood will be jovial.  The kids will go exploring some more.  We’ll vie and make turns for a spot on the hammock with the magnificent view of the sea.  The rocks and sea will never lose its allure and drawing power.  We’ll go for more walks.  Eat way too much.  Relax and lounge.  Indulge in lots of laughing. 

In short we’ll create magic and memories in equal portions.  This is the home of my heart and where a part of my soul lives.  It’s were we strew my dad’s ashes in the sea and I sent him a message of love in a bottle that I tossed out to sea.

 It’s been a part of my life as long  as I can remember.  Bricks, mortar, cement – yet a comforting constant.  Always there.  I love the smells, the sights and the sounds.  But mostly the people who share it with me.  One and all.  Viva Lombards!  Viva!

1 comment:

  1. These Christmases are the best.Absolutely love the get togethers with all the fun and laughter.
    Viva Lombards - Oupa and Ouma did well.