It's Boxing Day morning for me now. Yesterday was busy and exhausting and fun. I got the turkey in the oven early then we opened all our presents and relaxed while we could. Then I spent a couple of hours in a whirlwind of cooking then everyone came over for lunch. I think we had 16 in the end, not counting the babies. The only stressful moment was due to one couple (who didn't bring any food contributions - even though they said they would) who are currently only eating seafood. I had two people who offered to bring seafood, one forgot to bring the dish - and the traffic was terrible, they couldn't go back for it - and the other was late - again due to the unusual traffic - so for a while I thought this couple weren't going to get much to eat. I was wondering whether to heat up some fish fingers, but then aunty Vanessa showed up late with a beautiful salmon.
I've just got used to Tim's family, lovely though they are, being rather unreliable in things like this. It's been the same in previous years. People say they will bring a particular dish, or Christmas Crackers or whatever, then don't. This year two people didn't bring desserts when they said they would, one said they left it behind, the other just didn't mention it at all. This is why I over-cater! I'd made a chocolate cheesecake and a fruit salad and bought ice cream, and one person brought the trifle they'd promised. We were fine.
After lunch we opened more presents, ate snacks, and played Trivial Pursuit. We had several editions out and people could chose which box to take their questions from. Jasmine and I won playing purely from her new Christmas present "Harry Potter" trivial pursuit edition. Tim and Aiden were doing well mostly answering from the "World of Warcraft" (computer game) box, everyone else mostly used the normal questions with the occasional Harry Potter.
The babies slept almost the entire time. The two three-year-old girls were getting a bit tired by mid-afternoon. Most people left by late afternoon, I was pretty exhausted by then, but my brother stayed and a couple who had lunch with her family came for dinner. I cooked some fettuccini boscaiola to go with lunch leftovers. Finally everyone was gone around 10pm and we collapsed into bed.
To get up and do it all again today....
It's Tim's father's birthday on Boxing Day so we always all get together again for a BBQ. In the afternoon we usually all go to whatever big fantasy/sci-fi movie has just been released (so this year would have been Rogue One) but with three little babies didn't organise that this year. We set the house to rights, vacuuming and running the dishwasher for the umpteenth time and collecting all the empty glasses from around the house etc. Then it was time for me to start cooking again. Tim mans the BBQ and I do the side dishes and the desserts. We had another lovely family lunch (I think 16 again today, slightly different mix from yesterday) then I sat in the lounge with a couple of other women and a baby or two while others played Mah Jong and then Dungeons and Dragons, I was just too tired. Quiet chat was about as much as I could manage.
The only drama moment today was when one mother left her sleeping baby and happy three-year-old here briefly to drive her parents home a suburb away. Of course almost the moment she left, the baby woke starving. The daddy was trying to distract her when the three-year-old jumped down four stairs heavily and hurt her foot and started screaming louder than the baby. I took the baby and the daddy gave the little girl attention. I spent 15 minutes doing a tour of the house with a two-week-old baby who was very unimpressed at the lack of milk in every room, and not afraid to let me know it!
In the late afternoon it began to look like some people were expecting to stay for dinner. I was very tired and a constant stream of mothers using my quiet bedroom to breastfeed meant no nap for me, but at least we had enough leftovers that I didn't have to worry about cooking. I just threw together a salad to go with the leftover BBQ meat. I love having everyone here but four meals over two days is a lot to cater for a big group of people, and I've barely had a chance to look at my Christmas presents yet. I've had a good couple of days, but I'm rather glad everyone has gone and I can soak my tired legs in the bath and go to bed.