On Christmas morning, the weather was bright and frosty, and everyone in the Taylor household was up nice and early to have breakfast before going to Church for the Christmas Day Service. Mum put their Christmas turkey in the oven to cook slowly while Dad peeled the spuds and other vegetables, and Davina and Stuart set the table with a nice crisp white cloth and gave the cutlery a quick polish with clean dish towels. The soup was heated up to give it another wee cooking, as second day soup always tastes better than first day, don’t you think? Mum’s Christmas pies were brought out from the cupboard, and laid out in rows neatly on a baking tray so that all they would need would be a quick heat.
As with many other families, they didn’t open their Christmas presents until they came home from the Service, so as well as Mum’s Christmas dinner to look forward to, they also had the anticipation of opening presents to as well! They looked at the many parcels tucked under the Christmas tree, trying to avoid actually looking at the labels. It felt great, and after breakfast as the family put on their Sunday clothes (whether it was Sunday or not!), scarves and gloves, and went out the front door, they joined other neighbours and friends making their way to the church at the top of the hill.
The minister that day had chosen lovely hymns, and the choir were singing lustily as the organ played. Everyone was wishing everyone else “Happy Christmas!” and smiling, as were the Taylor family and Grandpa, who had joined them in their pew.
When the Service was over, it was straight home to get on with the day – Mum and Dad to the kitchen, Davina and Stuart checking the table, then playing an old game of cards until dinner was ready, and Grandpa sitting in a chair by the fire, admiring the Christmas tree.
Davina thought it would be a good idea to take down all the Christmas cards, find one of Mum’s dusters, and give the room an extra wee clean just to ensure that the day really was special! Stuart even put all his toys back in his toybox so that the floor too was clear of any clutter – there would undoubtedly be more clutter once Christmas presents were opened!
Then, upstairs to check that the spare bedroom was ready for Aunt Jenny, who was coming for dinner, and to stay for a few days. She lived alone in another part of the little town, and was going to her own church for their Christmas Day Service. The doorbell rang, and Davina went quickly to answer it. Aunt Jenny stood there, her nose almost blue with the cold, stamping her feet to try and get them warm. “Happy Christmas, Aunt Jenny!” said Davina, opening the door wide to let Aunt Jenny in. “Come on through to the fire, and get warm!” she said, while taking Aunt Jenny’s coat to hang up in the cupboard at the front door. Mum and Dad came through from the kitchen. They were nice and warm from being near the cooker, and Aunt Jenny was glad to get these nice warm hugs from the Taylor Family!
Then, at last, Dad shouted “Dinner’s ready!” and everyone went to sit at the table, holding hands while Dad said Grace, thanking God for this day, for family and friends, and for the food that they were about to eat. As soon as he had said “Amen” Stuart excitedly said “I’m starving!” and their dinner was served.
The turkey as ever was cooked to perfection, and Mum had made her special “bread pudding” – a nice spicy concoction made of bread crumbs, butter, herbs and spices, which tasted superb. Stuart even ate a few sprouts! Normally he would have pushed them to the side of his plate until they were cold and really unappetising. Then there were roasted potatoes, one of the things Davina enjoyed about such meals, as well as carrots and peas. Then Mum’s Christmas pies, warm and tasty from the oven, and finally juice for the children, and coffee for the adults. Soon everyone was sitting back in their seats, full after eating such a lovely dinner.
Stuart, of course, was anxious to get on with the next bit of Christmas Day – opening Christmas presents! Mum and Dad, as ever, insisted that the washing up was done first, so he had to curb his impatience while that was done and then finally……………….presents were taken from the bottom of the tree, labels were read, and presents were handed out! Everyone chose one parcel each to open, and everyone admired what was inside that parcel. This all took time, and the children had more parcels to open that the adults. Davina was excited to see how the rest of the Taylor family would like their presents from her, and was thrilled at their reactions. Grandpa was delighted with his cushion, and immediately popped it behind his back and snuggled into it; Stuart, on opening his present, immediately started playing his “moothie” much to the amusement of the rest of the family; Mum’s eyes opened wide at the trolley, and came over to gave Davina a big hug, and tell her what a great gift it was; Dad’s reaction was great too – he kept showing Mum his gift – the subscription to the gardening magazine and how much he appreciated her thoughtfulness!
The day went a wee bit more slowly after that! Both Stuart and Davina received the usual presents from aunts and uncles – new pyjamas (not really thrilling, but they knew that they would remember the givers every time they wore them, so that was good, wasn’t it?), new knitted jumpers from Mum – Davina was particularly delighted this year, as Mum had knitted into the front of her jumper an image of Davina with her long black hair, all smooth and shiny; books from Dad (both Stuart and Davina enjoyed reading) and other little gifts……….chocolate Santas, little puzzles, and things like that.
It seemed that in no time, it was time for Davina and Stuart to go to bed. They were tired by then, and said goodnight to the adults and slowly made their way upstairs. When they were finally asleep, and after Dad had taken Grandpa back home and made sure his hot water bottle was safe in his bed, the other adults too climbed the stairs to bed, agreeing that it was the best Christmas they had had over the years.