On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a brilliant guest post from Alice who blogs over at http://mylifemysonmyway.blogspot.com/
A Very Merry Bonkers Christmas To You!
What do you get when you put 7 siblings with partners and children in a house over Christmas?
A Very Merry Bonkers Christmas!
In our family, Christmas used to be a time where we all came together, ate, sung and played stupid games.
Sounds normal right?
Our family is far from normal; in fact we are positively bonkers... but as Alice in Wonderland’s daddy say’s ‘All the best people are’
Annnd there are thousands of us! **Slight exaggeration**
My mum is the eldest of 9 babies... sadly her twin died at birth and my aunt who moved to Canada died when I was very young, so only 7 of the siblings are here on earth.
This is the current number of people in my mum’s side of the family:
Mummy Dearest: 1 (ex) husband, 3 children (inc me!), 1 son in law (Hoff), 2 grandchildren (Kyd & Rocky)
Uncle 1: 1 wife, 2 children
Uncle 2: 1 (ex) wife, 3 children, 1 daughter in law, 3 grandchildren
Sister 1: 1 husband, 2 children
Sister 2 (deceased): 1 husband, 2 children, 1 son in law, 3 grandchildren (in Canada)
Twin 1: 1 (ex) husband, 1 partner, 4 children (inc step child), 1 son in law.
Twin 2: 1 (ex) husband, 2 children, 1 French daughter in law.
Sister 3: 1 husband, 2 children (inc step child), 1 son in law.
TOTAL: Too Many!! (60)
So it was grandchild & in law free back then but this is still, a lot of people!
You see at Christmas we all liked to get together at someone’s house in Reading, usually the sibling with the biggest house at the time (usually Twin 1 or Twin 2). The Canadians obviously couldn’t make it but we always made the 246.3 mile journey on the train from Filey, N Yorkshire to Reading, Berkshire in the cold, wet, winter month of December. My mum would always have a stupid amount of baggage and it was always overly stressful but the excitement of Christmas was always in the air! I now understand why she had so many bags.... she was helping Santa deliver our presents! (Makes so much more sense now)
When we got there we were all squeezed into Twin 1’s house and we basically had a week long sleep over. It was so much fun until we started getting too big to all fit in. I miss those times, so uncomplicated and mad (for us).
We had specific traditions, such as, putting our stocking (which were in fact pillow cases) by the fire place.
Watching ET, Home Alone and most importantly The Muppets Christmas Carol & Santa Claus the Movie!
We had to ‘Hibernate’ upstairs until Twin 1 had tidied, cleaned and prepped for the big day... we later found out it was just a way to keep us out of the way in general!... cheeky!...
We went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve as we got a bit older and loved seeing the drunks walking the streets and singing carols... later we became the drunks walking the streets singing the carols...
We weren’t allowed to open any of our ‘people’ presents until AFTER dinner when everybody was there. We were however allowed to open our Santa presents at whatever time we woke up.... this started at 5am when we were tiny.... and when we got older it got later and later, 6am to 7am to 8am to 9am and so on, much to our parent’s delight.
When it came to Christmas dinner it was like The Mad Hatters Tea Party, constant movement, noise and a little spillage of gravy, beer, wine and coke thrown in. The Cat, who didn’t even live there, would be in the kitchen eating the leftover turkey and at least 1 uncle would be asleep on the sofa before the Queen’s speech.
This one year, before my Nan passed away and there were fewer children, I remember that Uncle 2 fell asleep on the sofa and my Nan told my sister to put bubbles on his nose to wake him up.... It did not go down well! There was shouting, tears and tantrums.... and that was just from the adults! It was all a bit bonkers and all I remember was that we couldn’t hear the TV properly! Lol.
It was never a dull moment at the D family Christmas. Smiles, bad singing, doors slamming, boys and girls farting and blaming each other, arguments, Presents getting mixed up and confused and there were tears of joy and rage, as one cousin got what the other wanted and more....
But if you asked each of us now, we’d never have changed it for the world! We all miss it....
I don’t think the adults do though, so much work involved and what’s the betting they’d make us kids, now adults, cook the dinner....
And what’s the betting we’d end up with a Chinese Take Away if we did?!
If I could go back, scoop it all up to rein act it now.... I would keep all the bonkers right in there because that’s what makes our family, our family. If only we could get everybody in one place at the same time with The Muppets on in the background and everybody singing ‘There goes Mr Humbug, there goes Mr Grim’... not that I know all the words or anything?! **dips head**
Never going to happen, we are all so busy doing other stuff and living in other places, such a shame.
I’ve kept the traditions alive with my kids though, minus the excess of people, and no matter where we are based for Christmas we still try and do what we did back then, stockings by the fire, no presents until after dinner and watching the old movies that have become classics on the sofa together. I hope my kids and their grandchildren follow in our footsteps too, it is, after all, what makes Christmas, Christmas.
I hope we aren’t on our own with our bonkersness, I hope you all have similar stories to tell. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to laugh at the stories we tell them about when we grew up but at the moment I just get looked at like I’m mad.... Which I am.... but is there any wonder why?
Have A Very Merry Bonkers Christmas One and All