Well, I'm back, I'm alive, I weigh an extra ton, and it's Boxing Day. My kids are at my aunt K's place for a week. And then my mother has the joy of bringing them back here via a five-hour road trip. I'm ever so envious - not! Meanwhile, I get a week to myself. Best Present Ever.
For the family gathering, we had a nice lunch at my sister's. The food was simple but great. Cold meats, salads, bread rolls, trifle for dessert. Everyone had a relaxing day. Everyone was pleased with their gifts. We won't mention the fact that my son J had a "moment" lasting more than an hour. He got upset when a new PlayStation game wouldn't work, because my sister and I dared suggest it was due to the kids not looking after the console (which is filthy dirty). This "moment" involves going off by himself, refusing to talk to anyone, turning away from anyone trying to cheer him up or apologise, and intermittent crying. Really, the person he was upset with was himself. I hate it when he does that. I feel really useless, regardless of whether I caused the upset or not. He's just not good at sharing sad feelings. We're still working on that. Thankfully he did finally manage to believe me that he hadn't spoiled the entire day. By dinner time, when the second gathering (friends) began, he was in a much better mood, and spent the evening laughing and playing with R's kids J & J.
I got books, candles, a Pandora bracelet, bath stuff, perfume, and money. It's nice when people get you things that you like. I spent about half as much as I did last year and I think my gifts were still appreciated, too. That's enough for me. You can keep all your traditions, religions, services and rituals. I don't need any of them. Every year is a little bit different for us and we still have a great day. Doesn't matter if you spend it with friends, or family, or chatting to your besties online. It only matters that you take time to be with people who matter.