I apologise for being awfully absent from blogging, but I'm sure you've all been busy over the holidays and will forgive my tardiness.
This year's Christmas, like last year's, was very different from all the rest we have had as a family. Last year was the first Christmas without Mum and Aubrey. Mum had recently passed away so her absence was felt constantly, and Aubrey was on a Caribbean cruise with Sara for their honeymoon. We tried to enjoy ourselves, but the stress of preparations along with emotional battles made us exhausted, feeling that we were 'going through the motions'. We did our best.
This year was the first Christmas that Aubrey and his wife Sara celebrated with us, Shanae has also moved home for a bit so once again we had 5 Boyns' round the table for Christmas, it was rather lovely. As Father Christmas has an awfully busy schedule, us 'childer' have had to accept that he no longer visits us, giving younger ones the magical experience we had in our childhood, and so the tradition of opening a sack full of presents in the wee hours of Christmas morning have somewhat changed. The weeks leading up to the big day, I spent sorting boxes all over the house and cleaning, rearranging so we have a bit more order and space. We bought our tree in the traditional Boyns' fashion - promptly on the 23rd December, and spent the next day finishing off decorations, whilst also rearranging the living room furniture on Christmas Eve!
We woke up Christmas Morning, had breakfast - sponsored by Capain' Crunch and Lucky Charms - got ready and went up the village to place a Christmas heart wreath on Mum's grave. We saw a few other people in the yard as well, remembering their loved ones on such a pivotal family holiday. It was nice to spend a few moments remembering how things used to be, and thinking how strange it is to be able to carry on after such a significant part of us is gone.
The rest of the day was spent enjoying cooking Christmas dinner together, watching the Queen's Speech, listening to Dad's speech, and opening gifts from each other in the evening. On Boxing Day we had our first visit from 'extended family' that being Sara's parents and her sister, and we enjoyed a second Christmas Dinner with even more people crammed into our little dining room. Our Christmases always involve scrounging to find spare chairs, hearing bad jokes and having wrapping-paper-ball fights, and I'm jolly glad they do.