14. And I’m doing … very well.
“I’ve finished, Mrs Jellywoman.”
I scoot across the ICT room to see Chiyedza’s work. Although she only started using the computers a couple of months ago, she has made a jolly good job of the picture which will end up on the front of her Christmas card. She chose the angel outline; then added colours with the Fill tool. Her cherub has a dashing green dress and is winging its way through a purple sky. Like Chiyedza, it has gorgeous mahogany brown skin.
“That’s beautiful,” I tell her. “Let me show you how to use the Spray tool. You could use it to add tinsel, perhaps, or stars, or snow.”
Job done, I scoot over to help Ezra. His Father Christmas has a yellow face and blue hair, so all good children this year will have their presents delivered by Marge Simpson. That beard is fooling no-one, Marge – don’t flutter your eyelashes at me.
13. The stars in the bright sky
“I’ve made you a present, Mrs Jellywoman. Can I put it under the tree?”
I’ve gone into halo production with a queue of Reception children in enormous white t-shirts, white tights and black plimsolls (the footwear of choice in the angel community) waiting to be beatified, ready for that afternoon’s Nativity play. Owen – already dressed to give the world his Second Innkeeper – has appeared at my elbow holding two toothpaste boxes glued together at right-angles.
“Well, thank you Owen. What is it?” He looks a little disappointed that I’ve had to ask, but patiently answers, “It’s a cross.”
“Of course it is. Silly me.”
“It’s for when you die,” he adds, earnestly. He carefully opens the flap of one of the boxes. “Your body goes in there.”
“How thoughtful,” I laugh. “Yes – of course you can put it under the tree. I promise I won’t use it till Christmas.”
11. Last Christmas, I gave you…
“Right,” says LittleBruv, topping up his port. “Organise the numbers, LegoBoy.”
My nephew starts tearing paper, while the rest of us make space on the table. Remains of Christmas pudding, turkey and nut-loaf are hidden in the kitchen to worry about later. I rescue a small pile of cracker remnants which are bound to come in useful at school for … something.
We top up the coffee and liqueur. Nieces Ezza, Rezza and Hezza haul in the presents from a sack – well, Ikea bag – in the hallway. YoungLochinvar and InfantPhenomenon heap them onto the middle of the table. And then we are ready to start the Annual Ritual of Extravagance and Delight which is the Naff Presents Game.