It's the night before Christmas, and I'm pleased to report that not a creature is stirring, not even the Dumps. Having spent a glorious sunset down on the beach with all of their friends whilst the husband dj'ed and spun us into the night with some amazing tunes at our favourite beach shack...they were tired little rug rats by the time we wandered back home.
Egg made the journey shoe-less as his beloved flip-flops went missing on the beach, and was only consoled by landing the privilege of being sole torch bearer in order to ensure he didn't squish his bare toes into any gooey cow pats.
Dumps was too busy muttering 'marshmallows...marshmallows' to notice what he was stepping in. Several days ago, knowing that the lack of a Toys R Us or equivalent was going to somewhat hamper the quality (and quantity) of gift-giving this year, I suggested that we have a family campfire on Christmas Eve and roast marshmallows. They went for it big time and the husband valiantly whipped up a campfire a boy scout would have been proud of, in just a matter of minutes. Okay, so he used some petrol from his bike to get things started - but still - if left to my own devices I would have had the children holding marshmallows on forks over our two ring gas hob.
I think we did a fairly good job this year, all things considered. The boys have bulging 'santa sacks' filled to the brim with sweets and little toys (all of which will break within minutes but hey that's not my problem) and a few little presents each. Based on how spoiled they were last year, I reckon it will be just enough to keep their attention before they launch themselves onto a stratospheric sugar high from all of those Indian additives and preservatives.
Our local town has a little shop where we procured a tiny plastic christmas tree for the boys the other day. It's so small it's comical, and perched atop an old plastic chair, it's certainly not going to win any awards in Home & Garden. Their bedroom is bathed in a magical hue thanks to the little blue fairy lights which must go some way towards compensating for what must undoubtedly be a sandy bed ce soir, and our kitchen/living area is festooned with red tube lighting, making our home feel like the inside of a psychedelic hindu temple.
Tomorrow we will be breakfasting on the beach with fresh fruit salad, banana porridge and cheese omelettes. If we were back home it would be homemade blueberry pancakes drenched in maple syrup, fresh whipped cream and strawberries, copious amounts of champagne and orange juice, and toasted cheese croissants.
Instead of warming up to a fire in the hearth after a long walk on the Common, we'll be baking in the hot sun, sipping fresh lime sodas like they're going out of fashion, and diving into the Arabian Sea to cool off.
Later, for Christmas dinner, instead of roast potatoes, homemade mince pies and a cheese board, we're heading to a Reggae Barbeque Feast at a local hotel which boasts the only swimming pool in the area. The husband will once again get to flex his dj muscles there and we'll spend a no doubt lovely day mingling and giggling with loads of our friends - both old and new.
For lo and behold, Christmas wishes do come true. After several abortive attempts it appears that our friend DID get his visa at the last possible moment and is currently squished into a seat in a big Air India jumbo jet hurtling his way east towards us now as we speak. Our other friend sadly won't arrive till Boxing Day, but I'm betting that some major chilling out, a few Kingfishers and his first swim should put paid to any lingering hostility towards the Visa granting officials. Grrrrr...
As for me, I've now got to re-fill the santa sacks, place the six presents around the tree for the monsters and hope neither of them get up for a wee break in the middle of the night and ruin the surprise.
And I've also got to empty the plate of treats Dumpie left out for Santa (two marshmallows, some assorted broken cookie pieces and some dried up raisins and cornflakes), and steal away the sweet letter Eggs wrote to Santa.