I've just had a couple of days of doing very little. Christmas season was so busy by Christmas Day I was exhausted.I did manage to get through Christmas - just. I had a few days with my family around, Christmas lunch with one family, everyone else for Christmas dinner at my house. As usual I cooked all day Christmas Eve to be ready. I am not sure I want to do that again. So much work and as you all know it disappears so fast!
Boxing Day ( a public holiday here) ended up being a pool party at my younger son's house, I took all our leftovers from here so we had a lovely lunch. It was a great day for the six grandkids and tiring for Granma as I spent the day being pool supervisor. And that is what I found I was this year, the supervisor of all the kids. My two children (my older son did not join us at all this year) wanted to talk to each other and I found myself feeling a bit left out. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but there was no feeling of us all being in it together this year, very little banter around the meal table and everyone looked as tired as I felt.
My daughter and family stayed for two nights, went home on 27th so I had all the clean-up to do that day and the next. I had my three grandchildren whose mother works shift work stop over on the night of the 26th so beds and bedding to be laundered from them too. I find it is all a bit much, I love having them all but they make so much extra work and I am not sure I want to do that every year from now on. Maybe we need to have a Campout Christmas or a Christmas alternating around the family circle?
I think from next year on I will ask if we can pool our resources and each do a segment of the Christmas Day preparation rather than me doing all the cooking. I have done Christmas for the last 25 years. My parents, my sister and her family and our family used to take it in turns and with an argument between my sister and my mother that suddenly ended. For a while my Mum and I alternated and then in the late 80's that changed as she developed Alzheimer's and since then it has been all down to me. And frankly I am simply tired and need a change.
This year as last I felt as if there was a black hole in the middle of the family group. Again no-one mentioned Ray, so sad as I want the kids and grandkids to preserve the memories we shared with Ray, but it is as if that is still a taboo subject. I don't know why. It seems a little weird to me that a person who shared our lives for 41 years in the case of our daughter is suddenly not mentioned at all, as if he never existed. No-one says:"Remember how Dad used to...?" and if I mention him the family sit silent and them change the subject.
I think what I am feeling is a case of the after Christmas blues. It is not as if I am looking forward to the New Year, it will just be another day I spend alone. I feel as if the year just gone has been a battlefield of emotions and somehow I have survived it, but 2014 will just be something similar.