We've had a wonderful day celebating with the family. There were 21 of us around the table for a feast of festive food, turkey and pork and all the trimmngs, yum.
An extra special surprise was having Favourite Daughter join us. She returned from Esperance on Friday in order to join us for the big day and Mrs Holt Press was very pleased to see her.
Vicki was in surprisingly good spirits throughout the day which was liberally sprinkled with laughter and stories and fun and games. After lunch we gathered around the Christmas tree for the distribution of presents and it was great fun, giving and receiving and watching the expressions of different people as they opened their gifts. Like many families we now have a secret Santa where each of us draws a name from a hat and gives that one person a gift. I gave Bruce's partner Paula one of my paintings which she seemed to like. I received something very special from Mum, a set of lawn bowls badges that had belonged to my grandfather, her Dad, including his name badge, Alex Burmeister. Mum knows I have become an avid badge collector but I had no idea she possessed such a treasure and that she would give it to me. My elder brother Alan has Pa's signet ring which Nan gave him after Pa died as he is the eldest grandchild. I have always admired it for all that it signified. To now have my own personal heirloom from Pa is very very special. Mum also gave Vicki a china swan that belonged to Nan and sat on their mantelpiece for at least 50 years. It is a precious reminder of Nan and I know Vicki was very glad to receive it.
At the end of the present giving Rex and Vicki gave out a small extra gift to everyone and there was great hilarity as people opened and in most cases read out what they'd been given. Mine was a sign that reads: If it wasn't for the last minute Nothing would get done!
Rex surprised all of us by producing one final present for Mum and accompanying it with a poem/tribute to her as the central character in our lives, it was very moving and beautiful and there were plenty of tears around the room. The moment was abruptly altered when she unwrapped the present to reveal yet another gnome like creature to go in the garden! For those not aware Mum hates garden gnomes!!
Next came the obligatory family photo session with all its different
permutations and shenanigans.
The Heir's four friends from England were with us for the day and fitted in easily and had a lot of fun and received some presents too!
Afterwards I challenged them to a game of Trivial Pursuit, me against all of them! In the end I was competing against 12 opponents, it was close but they wore me down with flukey answers and easy questions at crucial times which is my excuse for why I lost! We had a lot of fun in the process and they know a rematch is coming!
The rest of the evening was spent telling more stories, looking at old and new family photos on Rex's laptop and laughing at all sorts of nonsense.
Round two of the festivities will be in Bridgetown on Christmas day and Boxing Day with most people regathering there and the addition of The Heir who will be home from the harvest for a couple of days.
Sport Boy had a great time and told me tonight that he loves being around all the family when everyone is laughing and having fun together.
We have come over to Favourite Daughter's place to stay for the night.
I have drama rehearsals for Augusta tomorrow while Mrs HP and the kids will do some Christmas shopping then the whole clan will gather again at Hillarys boat harbour to have fish and chips for tea.