Part 5: Christmas Traditions

Read these memories from the beginning.

Christmas 2005 – Our Last Christmas Together

Daniel and his girlfriend came over early – and I don’t mean 5am early either; remember we’re all grown up now, it was more like 9.30am – to open the presents. The photo below was taken not long after we discarded all the ripped wrapping paper – a proud mother with her two handsome sons (it’s a pity I hadn’t already lost my 14kg then, but never mind).

Barry, Karen and Daniel - Xmas 2005

After we had finished with the presents and the photo taking, it was time for Gary, Barry and I to get ready. Barry headed off to his bedroom and pumped up the music, because as all teenagers know it’s quite impossible to get changed in silence. 😀 Anyway, Daniel sneaked up to Barry’s room and caught Barry dancing to the music. Here’s a photo to prove it. It’s one of my favourites. Doesn’t he have a lovely smile?

Barry on Christmas Day 2005

Then we headed off to the restaurant. It still surprises me how many families chose this option, instead of crowding into someone’s place to cause a mess. The restaurant was packed tight. Streamers waved at us in the air-conditioning. Christmas music fought to be heard over the constant chatter and laughter. Plates of food piled high with everything you could possibly imagine could be seen in every direction.

We sat at a long table. It was all-you-can-eat so we didn’t go hungry. My boys may be skinny, but they know how to tuck the food away. This day was no exception. Food, more photos (I would share one, but for privacy reason for the rest of the family, I will refrain), laughter, jokes—we had a brilliant time. Santa even visited our table and gave my young nieces a present each.

Two hours flashed passed in a moment. We all found ourselves rubbing our bellies and complaining that we’d eaten too much. And for some strange reason, we all wanted an afternoon nap. It was time to go home.

In the car, on the way home, Barry asked to be dropped off at his mate’s place (or maybe he wanted to go over his girlfriend’s place, I can’t remember now). Daniel and his girlfriend went home so they could get ready to do the same thing all over again at her mother’s house. And Gary and I came home and crashed…well, we wanted to, but Gary’s children and their families were on their way so we had to “party on” and for “oldies” that’s hard work.

We eventually crawled into bed at close to midnight, exhausted and all partied out. But we were smiling because we had celebrated a special day surrounded by all our family. We had exchanged gifts, laughed, hugged and recorded the day by taking photos. Who could ask for more?

And who would have guessed that this would be our last Christmas together? By some miracle, it was to be the only Christmas that Daniel, Barry and I had spent together since my marriage fell apart…but it was also the last! I still have trouble getting my head around that, but I can say one thing…I’m ever so thankful that I have the memories of that one Christmas Day to cherish and carry me through forever.

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