Waking up in the morning. I never understood the children who were allowed to rip open presents before the sun had peeped over a dreary sky to groan good morning – again. I’ve happily learnt to consign and confine myself to the platoon of people known as night-workers. We slog through the night and catch a sunrise, never sleep through the night and wake to a sunrise. In my house, tardiness has become an accepted part of our genetics. When together we make each other late – we literally seem incapable to be punctual once we are re-assembled as a family unit, any punctuality attained in our private lives flies swiftly out the skylight window of our room. Christmas morning is no different. Every year my mother prepares a beautiful breakfast of oat crunch, yogurt, muffins, brioche, juice and many other niceties. We never make it down in time. Her disappointment follows us to the car as we fly out the front door, still pulling on clothes, saying thank you for our stockings before we bundle into the car, maybe a satsuma in hand, for church. This year, mum just warmed some brioche and left them on the table – she’s learning; we had just enough time to grab 2 each before stumbling to the car.
Yet the morning is one of the best parts. We don’t wake too early, but when you crack your eyes open and recoil from the daylight knocking on your window panes, you’re able, for a few seconds, to really give thanks for the day. You spy your stocking and the long tube of Toblerone sticking out (a family necessity on this particular day of the year), and you smell the turkey roasting, and you smile – food is coming, you’re home safe, life is good.
This year my mother squealed with delight as she received her first stocking since she was a little child, that made her morning.