What a great time it was.
Christmas is a busy time...
I always tend to stress. Well at least a little. Depends on whom you ask really.
But I guess as the hostess, you always worry there isn't going to be enough of everything. So I tend to go shopping several times during the lead up to Christmas.
Oh, I think I need more ...ummm:
- christmas cake
- christmas pudding
- brandy sauce
- maybe I should get another packet of baubles for the tree?
- another set of lights for the family room?
Well now it's over and I have packets of this that and the other thing left over.
The upside is, that because everyone contributed to the main meal, anything that was 'left over' was sent home with them, including drinks, nibbles etc. So my fridge is not filled to overflowing which is good.
The packaged bikkies, nibbles, chocolates and drinks etc will come in handy for New Year celebrations.
All our girls plus any relevant hubbies and children and those yet to be born gathered at our home at about 5ish, laden with goodies - food, drinks and presents. Also the lovely Nath, Sarah and Jack are with us tonight. So good they could come...they are a lovely little family...
Everyone was in good spirits and soon they settled into setting out the various dishes. The 'boys' sat around the table shelling prawns, the 'girls' in the kitchen plating up their food.
Tonia had kindly worked out the menu and designated each dish to someone to prepare.
We decided to put both lounge suites in the lounge, and spread white cloths over the coffee tables.
Candles in true Holmes/Dijk tradition were lit and the Christmas tree shone with its clear bright lights. The tree looked quite beautiful with this year's colours of red and gold and gifts piled high under and around it. The children were wide eyed and wanted their gifts sooner rather than later.
They had to wait, because after the delicious finger foods we all piled into cars and drove off to church for the Christmas eve service at 7pm. Tonia was in the choir, Ross had to be there because he is on staff, so it was lovely to all go and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, as well as letting our meal settle, before coming back for dessert and presents!
By the time we got back we were ready for coffee, dessert, Christmas cake, cool drinks and PRESENTS. Santa (Ross) was already wearing his Santa hat ready for the job ahead. He had some keen little helpers, with Jesse, Shontelle and Jack helping him give the presents out.
We were all pretty chuffed with our gifts. Craig especially LOVED his new 'you beaut' mixer/beater machine for his kitchen. He was not parting with it and kept it on his lap for quite some time.
After munchies and drinks we had our 'secret' santa time. If you liked someone elses gift better you could swap. Most of us were happy with what we picked.
What a lovely night. Char and Dan and kids headed back to the coast as they had their family Christmas gift giving and church the next morning.
Anita and Craig headed off, as well as Sarah, Nath and Jack and Steph and Jason. All getting together with the the in-laws on Christmas Day. Ross, Ton and I tidied up the kitchen and the masses of gift wrap.
What a great night.
Ross cooked us bacon and eggs, tea and toast.
Then it was time to put the furniture back in the right places, vacuum the floors, straighten out decorations and get ready for morning coffee with my sisters Mieke and Tineke who were coming at 11am. They didn't arrive and just as I was getting concerned about their safety they turned up just before midday. They'd been to visit Tineke's son Peter and it took longer than anticipated.
We settled down to coffee, cake and nibbles and had a lovely time chatting away...so nice to have Mieke home from Holland.
Always a special time.
Then preparation for lunch began: ham, chicken, roast vegies and plum pud with brandy sauce.
Just ready to tuck in and Steph and Jason were at the door.
"Ok, I think there's just enough for you too".
Sitting down to eat, the bell ran again and there were our friends Dott and Keith laden with gifts, drinks, pudding.
They'd had lunch already so they joined us at the table and shared dessert with us.
Lots of talking, laughter and getting to know one another.
Later in the afternoon I decided there was quite a nice breeze outside and we could turn the aircon off and enjoy the outdoors. More cuppas, cake, talking, laughing out on thepatio, which I'd decorated with fairy lights, a huge silver star and baubles hanging from the beams.
Again the bell sounded and my sister Lenie and hubby Henk arrived. They'd shared lunch with some friends.
It was fun because as more people came there was great interaction between new friends...
It was just a really good day of fun and friendship.
At about 7.30 we spread the table again with ham on the bone, chicken, potato salad, green leafy salad, some nice breads, gherkins etc etc...and anyone who wanted to eat did; filling their plates and then sitting back out on the patio in the balmy evening.
We talked till late into the evening...some drifted off early into the night and others lingered on.
Suddenly I felt very weary as I loaded yet another lot of dishes into my trusty dishwasher! Must have been the third that day!
Tonia slept over again and Boxing day was a lazy day of naps, reading a good book, pottering about tidying up and reminiscing about the past few days.
I was just so pleased everything went so well.
Thinking how blessed we are to have such wonderful, caring and loving daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.
All are well provided for; all are healthy and all love God.
What more can we want?
Thanks girls for all your help and care.
Dad and I are so thankful for you all