As I munch on the last mince pie from the box I find myself looking back over the past week to reflect on Christmas 2013 in the geek household. And a very pleasant one it’s been too. For me, the essence of Christmas is home and family, pure and simple. It’s about the build up, the excitement, the pleasure of giving as well as receiving. It’s about finishing work, shutting my laptop down and not thinking about it for a few days. As an unbeliever the holiday has no special religious significance for me, but it’s still an excuse to celebrate the people I love. And it’s been a great year for that.
It all really started on Christmas Eve, when I took the kids into my office for the annual kids Christmas party. They were each issued with their own ID badge for the day, and we enjoyed breakfast in the canteen, a visit from Father Christmas and there were even a few activities laid on for the kids. The highlight for my two was the giant Scalextric set up in one of our meeting rooms, and the face painting. And this time the geekson didn’t smudge his for a good few hours!
Once I’d finished my work, which was more challenging than usual with the kids around, we headed home and finished our Christmas preparations. The last few presents were wrapped, the kids were presented with their new pyjamas (a Christmas Eve tradition) and before they went to bed we set out the usual goodies for Father Christmas.
For the first time this year the geekdaughter decided that she was brave enough to leave her stocking in her bedroom rather than the lounge. In previous years she’s been a little freaked out about the idea of Santa coming into her room, but this year the lure of presents was too strong for her! I optimistically set both kids’ Gro Clocks to bring the sun on at 7am, but it was shortly after 6am when we were woken by the sounds of excited present opening coming through the baby monitor. The geekdaughter had woken up, opened all her presents, and then gone in to wake her brother up. It was impossible to be cross though, when they were both having so much fun.
Once we were all up and dressed the geekdaddy went to collect his Mum, and she joined us for our main family present opening. As usual we bought the kids far too many things, but they loved all of them. We’d picked one “main” present for each child – the geekson got a new bike, his first “big boy” bike with stabilisers, and the geekdaughter got Disney Infinity – her first Wii U game.
Presents opened we dropped my Mother-in-Law over at the geekdaddy’s sister’s, whilst we headed over to my Mum’s for lunch. More presents were opened, and then we feasted on a delicious full Christmas lunch. We even set fire to the Christmas pudding, although this photo really doesn’t do it justice:
A family tradition from my childhood is to go out for a walk after Christmas lunch, which we did. This also gave the geekson his first chance to try out his new bike, and I must say I am impressed at how quickly he picked it up. You can see him in action in this video:
Finally we headed over to my Sister-in-Law’s house for more presents and a spot of tea (it didn’t feel that long after lunch so we didn’t eat too much!). Then home to bed as quickly as possible because the kids, particularly the geekson, were very tired after their early wake up.
On Boxing Day we have recently started a new tradition for all the local family to go out for a pub lunch – that’s all of the geekdaddy’s family, plus my Mum and my Sister-in-law’s family including her father-in-law. This year we all met up at The Plough Inn in Congleton, which is a very nice pub close to where my MIL lives. Again we feasted, although this time I opted for the roast beef rather than more turkey. It was lovely to get the whole family sat down at one table. Whilst we were there the geekdaughter showed an interest in learning to play the geekdaddy’s favourite board game – Go – and he leapt at the chance to teach her on his Nexus 7. So I spend most of the time between courses looking at this:
Since Boxing Day we’ve been enjoying mostly quiet family time at home, although we did make a trip to the cinema to watch Frozen (which is just amazing), where we learned that the geekson really doesn’t like to share his popcorn:
The kids have been playing with their new toys. There’s been a lot of getting to grips with Disney Infinity:
After his bike, the geekson’s favourite presents have definitely been his train sets. Santa brought him the one he had asked for, and a very good friend of ours bought him another one, so he’s been doing a lot of this recently:
The geekdaughter actually voluntarily wrote a thank you letter! However, now she’s written the first one she’s less enthusiastic to write the others!
Today is New Year’s Eve, and we have some very good friends coming to stay with us for a few days. They have two daughters close in age to the geekdaughter, and I know all four kids will have a lovely time together. Me, I’ll be welcoming 2014 in with a glass of wine and some good company.
See you next year!