Welcome to a late day four update. If you’re new to this challenge then the idea is I’m attempting to write a short Christmas story posting daily updates up until, and including, Christmas day. If you’ve missed the previous days you can find them here. I hope you enjoy.
Christmas morning soon arrived. The couple awoke excited but nervous about the big day ahead. They foolishly (or not) agreed to be the host house for Christmas dinner. They had the morning as just the three of them before people would start to arrive to start preparing dinner. Thomas reached over to his bedside table and opened the top drawer. He picked out a small, carefully wrapped box and handed it to his wife.
“Merry Christmas babe.” he spoke with a slight huskiness. As Leanne carefully unwrapped the layers of paper, a small box was revealed and as she opened it her eyes began to fill with tears. She carefully removed the silver necklace from the box to take a closer look. The necklace had two charms dangling from the delicate chain; one had a small hand imprint on and the other a small foot imprint. On the back of each charm were Sadie’s initials and date of birth.
“It’s beautiful.” she spoke as a lump formed in her throat. “Thank you.” she choked as she kissed him.
“You’re welcome.” He looked at Leanne with such adoration. “I’ll go and make us some breakfast. You relax.” He spoke as he got out of bed after kissing his wife on the forehead. She smiled as he left the room and looked over at Sadie laying in her cot. Leanne knew she was awake, she was always awake but rarely cried. Instead she’d wait patiently for her parents to go to her. Leanne put the necklace back in its box and walked over to her daughter.
“Merry Christmas little one.” Sadie looked up at her mum with big bright eyes and cooed softly. She picked up her daughter and took her to her bed.
As Thomas came into the room with the breakfasts he saw Leanne and Sadie snuggled up in bed. Everything he loved was right in front of him. Even after being a father for almost 2 months, he was still surprised to see his daughter. It was a constant ‘pinch me’ moment. He lay the tray down on the bed and joined his family snuggling up in bed. Whilst Leanne ate, Thomas entertained Sadie and spent even more time cuddling her whilst occasionally taking a moment of pause to take a quick bite of something.
Once breakfast was complete for everyone the family made their way to the lounge to begin opening presents.
“Shall we see if Santa’s been?” Leanne spoke in a baby voice as she tickled her tummy. “And see if you’ve been a good girl?” she continued as she gently booped her button nose. Sadie smiled. As the family rushed downstairs they were greeted by mountains of neatly wrapped presents.
“Wow!” Thomas exclaimed. “Looks like someone has been a good girl.” He said as he looked at Sadie in Leanne’s arms. “Where are we going to begin?”
Thomas located the mountain of presents for Sadie and began passing them to Leanne who began opening the gifts, with occasional help from Sadie. Thomas made sure to have his camera nearby at all times ready to capture the magic of Sadie’s first Christmas. Most of her presents were toys or various items of clothing, but in all honestly she seemed more fascinated by the wrapping paper than the actual toys.
After all of Sadie’s presents were opened, Leanne put her down for a nap before all of the madness began later on. The couple then proceeded to open their presents off each other. Neither one had asked for much, if anything at all, but both had spoilt the other. Thomas has treated Leanne to a luxury spa weekend getaway, whilst Leanne had bought Thomas an indoor sky diving experience. They didn’t need to receive much, they already had the best Christmas present ever in the form of Sadie. It wasn’t long until family would start arriving. Sadie was still fast asleep so Leanne and Thomas used that time to get ready themselves and tidy away the wrapping paper mountain from the morning.
With both adults now dressed and ready for the day ahead, it was time to wake Sadie and get her ready in her Christmas outfit. The doorbell rang at bang on 12:00, the time family had agreed not to arrive before. Thomas put on a smile and opened the door and welcomed in Leanne’s parents, Dianne and Frank. Both took off in opposite directions, her mother towards the kitchen and her father towards the lounge.
“Do you mind if I get started Thomas dear? I have the whole day planned out in my head.” Thomas took a deep breath and tried to remain calm. He didn’t want to kick up a fuss today. He didn’t want to ruin Sadie’s first Christmas.
“Not at all.” He spoke through gritted teeth. “Is there anything I can do to help?” Thomas offered his services knowing full well she wouldn’t take him up on the offer.
“No I’m quite alright Thomas dear. You just sit down and relax.” She called from the kitchen.
Thomas took a seat on the sofa. “She’s a woman on a mission today.” Frank commented, his gaze still directed at the TV.
“Not just today.” Thomas muttered to himself. “Excuse me for a moment.” Thomas stood and headed upstairs to check on Leanne.
“They’ve been here less than 5 minutes and your mother is already testing me.”
“She means well. Just let her have this.” She spoke softly trying to keep Thomas calm.
“But this isn’t her day. It’s ours. Sadie’s.”
“Sadie won’t remember this day. Or any day for a good few years yet.” Leanne laughed. Thomas sighed running his hand through his hair. “It’ll be fine. We can get through today. Everyone’s just excited because it’s her first Christmas.”
“I know. I suppose it won’t be so bad once more people arrive. Then at least I can drown your mother out.” Thomas put one arm around Leanne and kissed her. “Come on, let’s get our Christmas Princess downstairs. I bet your mum’s dying to see her.”
With all of the family now around at the house, dinner preparations had stepped up. Under Dianne’s watchful eye, various family members helped out with whatever they could. Leanne had tried to help but her mother shooed her away, telling her to relax and spend the time with Sadie. She’d been passed around everyone a few times already and was finally back in Thomas’ arms. The other young family members were desperate to see their new baby cousin and play with her. Thomas had to politely tell them that she was too little to play, much to the older kids disappointment. They saw her as a shiny new play toy so not being able to play with her was disappointing. The young children sulked away but soon resumed their high energy games, running outside and playing in the garden.
It wasn’t long before dinner was finally ready, the children were called inside to wash their hands before being seated at their own special children’s table in the lounge. The two babies of the family were fed and put down for a late afternoon nap whilst everyone else ate. Dianne and Leanne’s sister in law Rose gave them their dinners whilst Thomas set up a Christmas film on the TV for them to watch. The adults all headed into the dining room and sat in their designated seats. Thomas and Leanne were sat at opposite ends of the table, Thomas at the head of the table. All of the food was lay out on the table, except the Christmas turkey which Dianne sat in front of Thomas. She patted him on the shoulder before taking her seat. Thomas looked down at the dish in front of him and then to his family who were waiting expectantly for him to carve the turkey. He stood up and looked at Leanne before stepping to his left. He then looked at his own father, Kevin, and motioned towards the turkey.
“Will you do the honours Dad?” His father looked at him with complete shock on his face. He slowly stood up and joined his son at the head of the table, picked up the carving knife and began carving.
“Merry Christmas everyone.”
“Merry Christmas.” Glasses were raised and clinked. Leanne gave Thomas a look of approval.
“Right everyone, pass your plates down.” Thomas smiled.
After one delicious Christmas dinner, multiple toasts, numerous stories told, many laughs shared the adults were all stuffed. “It sounds awfully quiet out there.” Kevin laughed.
“Suspiciously quiet if you ask me.” Joked Thomas’ sister Anna.
“I’ll go check on the little monkeys.” Kevin stood.
“And I’ll go check on the even smaller monkeys.” Thomas said as he stood.
The two left the dining room and into the lounge. All of the kids were asleep on the sofa, limbs intertwined as the TV played the Christmas film once more. Kevin turned the TV off. “That explains why it was so quiet.” he laughed. “Come on, I’ll give you a hand with the babies.” Thomas led the way upstairs and into the spare bedroom which had been turned into a nap space for the kids for the day. He knew as soon as he opened the door that Sadie would be awake, and she was.
“Hello Princess.” He smiled walked over to her and picked her up. “Hello little man.” He said to his nephew who was laying in his travel cot nearby. “Dad, would you mind getting him?”
“Yeah sure.” Kevin picked him up. “Did you have a nice nap?” He laughed as his grandfather tickled him.
The older children had woken up and had resumed playing outside. The adults had relocated to the lounge where the laughs and games were taking place. The two children who were still asleep had been taken upstairs to the spare bedroom where they slept. The two babies were playing with Auntie Anna. The house was filled with laughter, happiness and Christmas joy. On paper, the idea of having 10 adults, 3 children, 2 toddlers and 2 babies over for Christmas day sounded crazy. However everyone really pulled together and took turns keeping various children entertained and ensuring they were all safe and happy. It was nice to see both sides of the family getting along so well and seeing the children all playing nicely together.
It was soon time for everyone to say goodbye. The younger children were starting to get restless so to avoid any tantrums they decided it was best to say goodbye. Everyone thanked Thomas and Leanne for being such great hosts and welcoming everyone, despite the craziness that could have ensued. When all of the children had left it was just Thomas, Leanne, Sadie Dianne, Frank and Kevin left. “Well, I better start tidying up.” Leanne said as she began to stand from the sofa.
“You will do no such thing.” Kevin stopped her from standing.
“We’ll tidy up. You two put little Sadie to bed. It’s been a big day for her.” Dianne elbowed Frank who was focussed on the TV.
“What?” he whispered. Dianne gave him a look and he knew not to argue. “Yeah, what your mother said.” Dianne elbowed him again. “What?!”
“Thanks Dianne.” Thomas smiled. “Right Sadie, you going to say goodnight to your grandparents?” He stood up with Sadie in his arms and went over to Dianne and Frank, who both gave her a goodnight kiss. He then made his way over to his father.
“Goodnight munchkin.” Kevin whispered as he gave her a kiss.
Thomas and Leanne get Sadie ready for bed, Leanne giving her one final feed before settling her down for the night. “It wasn’t so bad was it. Today I mean.” Leanne laughs.
“No, it was actually really nice.” Thomas replied with a smile on his face.
“I mean I wouldn’t do it every year but I’m glad we hosted today.”
“Me too.” Thomas pulled Leanne in for a hug and gave her a kiss. “Do you think Sadie had a good time?”
“She’s a baby. She won’t remember.” Thomas looked a little sad at the thought. “But you did a great job of documenting things for her to look back on. And there will be more family Christmas’ like this that she will remember.”
“I hope so. I want to make each Christmas magical. Before we know it she’ll be all grown up.” He looked over at his tiny daughter and sighed.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself. Let’s just enjoy each day with her. She won’t be little forever, but she’ll always be our little girl. No matter how old she is.” Leanne ran her fingers through Thomas’ hair. He smiled at her and kissed her.
“How long do you reckon we’ve got before our parents start to get suspicious?” He asked in between kisses.
“Probably not long.”
“Well let’s make the most of it then.” Thomas smiled.
This part features lots of new characters, most of whom weren’t named in this section. Perhaps we’ll get to see/hear more from them in later sections. I hope you’re enjoying the story so far. As I said yesterday I know it’s been a bit slow so far but that will hopefully all change from tomorrow onwards. I’d love to hear your thoughts, don’t be afraid to comment below.