This year, with everyone going away for Christmas, we had our family gathering on the Saturday before, the 16th.

We spent the week arranging presents, the Christmas tree went up on the morning of the 16th, the house was tidied and decorated, and all was ready. It did seem strange though, doing our last minute shopping when everyone else was yet to do theirs…

We gathered in our family room – my Mum, Rob and I, Jeanette and Christopher, Tristan, Blaine, toddler Tom and baby Alythea, and of course Elwyn by video chat on Jeanette’s laptop. It was a noisy, happy gathering, first of all for afternoon tea, then giving out the gifts that we had all put much thought into, then some of us “helping” Tom to play with the water table he’d been given (somehow Tom soaked Tristan with the hose…), then an early barbecue Christmas dinner.

When it came time for everyone to go home, there was a great feeling of peace amongst us, peace from sharing time and gifts given with love, peace from connecting with each other with love.

It was a good Christmas, and the family room held that feeling of peace for a few days afterwards.

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