Wednesday, December 26, 2007

THE Christmas spirit

Originally uploaded by trojen_hoarse
Had my second Christmas day away from 'my' family, which I spent with my 'family', at the Fankhauser Christmas.

Torn between wanting to be with 'my' family and the fun I'd most likely have with my 'family' we headed off from Albury on Monday morning arriving at the resort (near Mansfield) just after lunch. Didn't do much, but tried to concentrate on remembering everyones names, of course everyone remembers mine. To be fair there is almost 40 of them, including 13 kids, two of whom are twins.

After a couple of beers the afternoon seemed to slip away fairly quickly. I did come to the conclusion that being ball girl for a very amateur tennis match was not all it was cracked up to be. I spent evening tormenting children and asking them if they were excited about tomorrow. Some looked confused, some were off their heads and when I asked one of the man's nephews why he was excited he said 'because the world is going to END'!!!

I headed to bed pretty early because I'd decided to get up with the kids. 13 kids, all of them under 12. The start time seemed to be 7am so at 6:50am I stumbled across to the 'barn', which although filled with presents was cold and deserted. But by the time I'd put the kettle on I'd heard some thumps and squeals and then it was on.

There were remote controlled cars, planes and robots. Slot car sets, wooden train sets, slinkies, tonka trucks so big you could ride on them, volcano making kits, water pistols the size of a fully grown labrador, transformers everything, dora everything and chocolate gold coins up the wazoo.

The kids weren't happy about the 10% chocolate tax I imposed on the coins but most of them got over it and coughed up.

It was while I was sitting there I was thinking how when we were kids our Christmases were never like this, I mean there is only my sister and I. Which is great when you're trying to bring up kids, or keep your hearing and/or sanity and its easy to count but not so great when you want to have a game of backyard cricket and you need fielders.

It was as I was sitting there (not getting clucky because the squeals took care of that) that it struck me. I was so stunned that it took me a second to recover. I don't know why I'd never thought about it. About how I'm not some guest here, I'm not someone just observing this. I'm a part of this, and probably one day, our kids will be sitting here on the floor with ants in their pants while Jumpy (the man's uncle) hands out all the presents under the tree, dressed up as Santa.

It blew me away. There's now 'my' family, and 'my family'. And its huge!

Christmas lunch was delicious with turkey, pork and ham and the usual vegies. Oh. and crackling. After I'd finished I wanted to eat it all over again but sadly couldn't fit in another bite. Dishes took about ten minutes (even with dishes for 40 people), but that happens when there are two sinks, five dryers and a putter awayer-er. After that I was tasked with heating plum pudding for 15 people in the microwave. Took awhile!

After Christmas lunch we instigated a cricket match that went on all afternoon with nary a tantrum (although I did jump and down a little bit). I somehow managed to get bitten on my forehead a few times by something so now I look like I've got chicken pox, really bad acne or as the man's dad put it this morning, as if I'm growing a second head.

Christmas night I was reminded about how I really need to learn how to play cards because I still don't know what a bower is. After two games I really didn't care what a bower was anymore and went to bed.

Was an awesome day though and I had so much fun but now, after battling through highpoint and picking up some very exciting presents to myself (like my dustbuster), its time for bed.

- Jen (more pics here)

1 comment:

Michael said...

Sounds like an awesome day Jen.

"The kids weren't happy about the 10% chocolate tax I imposed on the coins but most of them got over it and coughed up." Are you the Grinch? That is GOLD!

A christmas with that many kids is always going to be great. Like you, it was just my brother and I gorwing up. Now I have 4 kids and he is on his way to having his fifth. Although we live in different states we are often together over the Xmas period. So when the cousins all get together it's pretty big.

Even in a single household with 4 or 5 kids it can be quite hectic