Today will be a busy one for me. I'm collecting organic chickens and a grass-fed, local beef roast from the butcher, ice cream cake from the ice creamery, and salad leaves from the green grocer. There will be a quick visit to see Bernadette and Miss Flora and then I'll be off home again. Everything will be packed away safely into cold storage and I'll be free to put up fairy lights in the kitchen and decorate our little bunya pine Christmas tree.
All graphics are Carl Larsson paintings circa 1890-1905.We don't have a formal dining room. We did when we moved into this house but I soon used that space for other more practical activities. We dine in the kitchen - it suits us, we're a plain and practical, all in together family. So the stage for our Christmas lunch on Sunday will be the table in the kitchen, just like it always has been and just like it always will be in our home.
I am drawn to the beauty of simple things - white cotton tablecloths and napkins, fresh flowers in jars, and candles. That, as ever, will be our Christmas table this year. But this year is special, this is the first year my boys will have their special girls here. This is Shane and Sarndra's first Christmas as Mr and Mrs, and Kerry will be here with his beloved Sunny. It's one of those days when I'll slow myself down to remember all that is special about it. I want to see happy faces, listen to interesting conversations, provide enough simple home cooked food to fill their bellies, delight them with a luscious hazelnut and chocolate truffle ice cream cake, hug everyone, and join our little family together so we never come unstuck. It is an important part of my job as a mother to provide the tender hugs and hospitality, as well as a warm and comfortable space where we can all relax and start building this growing group into a strong united family. It's not just Hanno and I getting to know Sarndra and Sunny, it's all of us defining new relationships and understanding how those relationships work within our family. That doesn't always happen automatically. It often needs a friendly shepherd to gently move things along so that everyone is included and they all truly know they're a significant part of this family of US.
So there under the white fairy lights we'll sit around the table and I will silently celebrate this union of our new family. While food is being enjoyed and conversations flow, I want to take it all in to remember later. This year is important in that it is the first of many such family gatherings. I know they won't all take place here at our home, and that over the years they'll be spread far and wide, but I hope this Christmas lunch and the enjoyment we take from it will set the scene for those to follow.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and come up to Monday relaxed and ready for the busy Christmas week. Thank you for your kind and generous comments this week, they mean a lot to me and are really a great encouragement to keep writing. Take care.