Christmas day was almost perfect. The cooking schedule went like clockwork, and for once the roast potatoes turned out just right.
The family arrived on time, and the exchange of gifts had us all laughing. Nothing too expensive, seeing as though we were all as p0oor as church mice this year, but everyone appreciated the care and thoughtfulness that went into every gift.
2016 has been a pretty dismal year, one way or another, so I was hoping we could end it on a high note.
The Christmas dinner turned out to be one of the best I have cooked over the years, something I was a little worried about, what with my failing eyesight and forgetfulness. There was one sticky moment when I was dishing up, I suddenly couldn’t remember who had what, but luckily I wasn’t alone in the kitchen and together we sorted it out.
We usually stay at the table long after the food has gone, to talk. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, no sign of any trouble, but this was to be short lived. A new party game was brought out, and I could tell by the complicated instructions that it was a mistake. Far too many rules and things to remember, and it didn’t take long for the trouble to start.
Two of the younger members started picking at each other, each insisting we were doing it all wrong and challenging who would lead us to victory, so to speak. I tactfully suggested that it was too hard, that we should return to the old faithful game, one we played every year, but they were far too busy scoring points off each other.
They were sisters, long used to the long battle for supremacy. Something we all dreaded witnessing at any family gathering. That was when I insisted we play the other game and gradually the pot came off the boil.
We normally have another get together on New Year’s Eve, but some of us were busy and wouldn’t be coming.
Maybe this was a good sign too?
I heard a strange sound this morning.
It was nearly dawn and faint feathery fingers of light streaked the sky… and I thought I could hear a blackbird singing.
I opened the back door to hear better, and there he was, singing his little head off, possibly for the first time this year?
Does this mean that he knows something we don’t?
But the mere fact he wanted to sing, was a very good sign, and the sound filled me with joy…