Aunty Babs’ Christmas was going to be a good one this year, well at least she hoped so. Her family were due any minute. Her son, Andrew, had prepared the dining room and it looked the best it ha in years. She’d made sure she had prepared everything in advance so that she could spend time with everyone and not just be slaving in the kitchen.
The first ones to arrive were her favourite niece, Amy and her good for nothing boyfriend, Colin. This year Amy brought Christmas crackers along with the presents. She was so thoughtful. Amy’s boyfriend came empty-handed as usual, but Aunty Babs chose to say nothing. She had planned a peaceful and loving day and so it would be. Although Babs chose not to say anything she had made another mental note in her mental ledger.
Gradually the house filled with relatives, and noise levels gradually rose. “Anyone bring Cava?” Thomas shouted from the kitchen.
“In Aunty’s bloody cupboard,” Dave shouted back. He’d bought half a dozen bottles to liven everyone up and had stashed them in the coolest cupboard in the kitchen the day before because the fridge was so full of food.
Thomas found the it and the special Cava glasses. He popped the corks and poured everyone a good measure to start the morning off in the usual tradition, with a weak bucks fizz for the older kids. He found a tray in the cupboard under the sink and brought Cava into the living room on it for everyone.
“Ahhh, beautiful Cava,” Janice said after knocking back half her glass in one gulp. “And a beautiful Christmas tree, as always Aunty,” she added.
The tree was in its usual place in the corner of the dining room and everyone had deposited their presents under the tree as they had arrived. Not only was the tree beautiful it was also the centre of a big circle of boxes all beautifully wrapped.
“Lunch at one,” Aunty announced. “This year I have been super organised, I’ve got everything ready and because Christmas is at the weekend this year it’s all seemed so much easier, and not a bloody chore,” She laughed. “I’m just going to light the candles in the dining room and we’ll be all ready. We’re a couple of chairs short as always. We’ll have to take some of these in.”
As the Cava flowed and Aunty Babs continued to bustle around everyone got into the Christmas spirit. Just before one o’clock Aunty Babs carried the hot dishes of delicious smelling food through to the dining room. “Andrew bring chairs through for those without,” she called back into the living room as she settled herself at the head of the table.
“Eat drink and be merry.” Aunty Babs clinked her glass against Janice’s who was sitting to her right.
“Let the feasting begin,” Janice replied laughing. “But first A Big Christmas thank you to Aunty for doing us all proud again with such a marvellous spread.”
For the next hour or so the hot plates were passed around, food was distributed and chatter filled the room. It wasn’t long though before curiosity of what presents everyone had got was getting the better of the younger children.
“A break could be nice now, Aunty,” young Samuel suggested as knives and forks began to clatter on the plates as everyone finished the main course.
“I think you’re right,” Aunty agreed laughing. She knew that Samuel was more interested in getting his presents than really just taking a break. “Andrew, Brian clear the plates can you please and we’ll open our presents,”
With help from everyone Andrew and Brian cleared the table in double quick time. One by one the presents were opened.
Finally Andrew took the last present from under the tree and passed it to Christine. Although they had been going out for about two years this was her first Christmas with the whole family. He hoped it hadn’t been too stressful for her.
Aunty waited with baited breath as Christine unwrapped the large box. Andrew bought Christine’s present when he had taken Aunty Babs Christmas shopping in the town centre a few days before. She knew what it was and couldn’t wait to see Christine’s reaction.
Inside the first box was another smaller box that Christine lifted out and unwrapped to find another smaller box still. As she started to unwrap it Andrew moved in closer, and as she took out the final box from inside the last one he got down on one knee. Christine opened the box to find a stunning diamond ring. “Really?” she asked.
Andrew winked at her. “Yes, will you marry me?” he asked.
“No way,” Christine replied suddenly.”This was supposed to be a bit of fun,” she added.
Andrew looked crestfallen. The room was deathly silent. Aunty Babs couldn’t beleive her ears. This wasn’t the way things were supposed to go.
Christine took the ring out of the box and slipped it on her finger. “You idiot, of course I’ll marry you. Sorry was that in bad taste? I was just joking.”
Relief flooded through Andrew’s body as the room seemed to breathe a communal sigh and congratulations began to be shared from around the room.
“Aunty’s best Christmas yet,” Janice said raising her glass.