On Christmas morning we got up in a fairly leisurely manner and Mum and Dad brought down huge boxes of presents - most of which were for smallclanger. :-) He didn't make that much effort to open them, so we helped him and he had a bit of a play with the wrapping paper (and now he has a room full of toys, some of which he hasn't even seen yet - at least, for more than a few seconds). We went to the morning service at my parents' church and came back for a light lunch.
It's been a kind of tradition for the last few years that my Mum cooks Christmas dinner for a small group of people from the church (those who don't have other arrangements with their families) - it was originally for her father's benefit (as he became too infirm to manage in our house, where the only bathroom is upstairs) with a few church people invited to tag along; but though he's no longer with us she didn't feel it was right to stop doing it. So my parents went back to the church to make preparations at about 2.30pm and we were to join them from 4 till 7. bopeepsheep was not having a particularly good day and elected to stay behind, but my brother and I went and had a good traditional Christmas dinner, and brought some back in case J was feeling any better.
On Boxing day we hit the sales, and since Mothercare hadn't been open we went back into town on Saturday morning. In the afternoon we set off back, although the queues to get on the M6 were appalling (it took the best part of an hour to get round Manchester and past the next few junctions). We stopped off at buzzy_bee's and gave her and DH a birthday present: the Lord of the Rings Risk game. We ended up testing it out, which meant we were quite late getting back home. :-)
On Sunday we went to bopeepsheep's grandmother's for lunch with her dad, her brother and his fiancée. (We had been expecting more members of the extended family but apparently we had misunderstood.) An aunt popped in with her husband and son and they were force-fed. Unfortunately, tempers got slightly frayed just before we left.
On December 31st we went to see more of bopeepsheep's family, including her godson, whom we gave a Christmas present (some books). Her grandmother was there again, but there didn't seem to be any lasting effects from the weekend. After we got home, we went out again to Witney, where her parents' neighbours were having a New Year's Eve party - a quiet affair, this year (apart from an over-exuberant boy, who we are determined will not be the model for smallclanger's future!). At midnight we let off some poppers and one of those present (whom J has known since he was about 7) proposed to his girlfriend, so we went outside and let off some rather bigger poppers with shiny confetti in them - the effect was rather pretty, though I expect the cleaning up afterwards was a bit of a bind. We crashed at J's parents' and came home in the evening on New Year's Day.
On the Friday we took smallclanger back to his grandparents' and went
gallavanting off to High Wycombe, where we went to Asda (which may seem quite
strange, but it's the nearest one to Oxford and bopeepsheep rather
likes their baby clothes; it's also the only place we've found where they sell
cans of half-decent root beer and also 2-litre bottles of
CokeCoca Cola Cherry). Our haul included lots of clothes, root
beer and Coke and a few half-price Christmas items including a tree for a fiver
(which buzzy_bee might recognise!). We then had a rather nice pizza
at the restaurant which is next to UCITheFilmWorks before going to the
7pm showing of Return of the King(s). It
was a nice day out.
On Saturday the plan was that I would go shopping and then put up some shelves, and possibly do a bit of general tidying up. However, my Mum phoned asking if we would be in at about 2pm as she and my Dad were planning to drop in on their way back up North from seeing my brother in Kent. So we had to do a quick blitz on the living room and managed to make the place sort of half-decent and gulped down some cheese on toast before they arrived. They brought us a couple of items from the Mothercare sale in Bolton (which annoyingly had not been available in the Oxford branch, nor on the web site) and had some time with us and the baby. Eventually I went shopping for the shelves and general groceries in the evening, and I put the shelves up the next day. Stupidly, I put the top shelf up without realising that it would block the alarm sensor, so that will have to be moved (if nothing else, so that on the next alarm maintenance visit the engineer doesn't call us silly names). Haven't got round to that yet, and there are also a couple more shelves which have wanted putting up since before Christmas. Eventually we will have the whole house shelved from floor to ceiling. :-)
And suddenly the holidays ended and I had to go back to work. :-(