03 January 2013
Christmas and the month of December is a time steeped in tradition. I am still finding my way for Christmas traditions for my family, but our New Year ones are firmly in place and give me comfort each year.
Fifteen years ago ten adults booked a last minute holiday cottage, my husband and I were part of this group, and a tradition was born. At that time we all worked together, none of us were married and one couple were expecting their first child. Fifteen years on, six of those adults still meet up every year along with seven children. We stopped booking holiday cottages once we bought our own homes, although we are such a big number now that we no longer meet in our home but switch between the other two family homes as they are much larger.
Cooking for thirteen is a mammoth exercise and involves immense amount of food. The utility room of the house we stayed at this year had bags of food everywhere, if you wanted something out the fridge you had usually had to dig for it and the washing up never stopped.
The children always have great fun, with seven children ranging in age from three to fifteen there is always someone to play with. There were times when they all disappeared playing in various parts of the house.
We always get together for four nights and three days and plan to spend as much of that time outside, weather permitting. Whatever the weather we always spend the afternoon of New Years Day on the beach. It always amazes me that every year we drive to the beach through driving rain and wind to find a beach basking in sunshine. It is never warm, as you would expect in the middle of winter and is always very windy but the sunshine lifts the spirits.
This year the light was particularly beautiful with the sun low in the sky making the sand look like honey. The men take a dip in the sea, well a run in and out.
Football or rugby get played. Holes get dug, one year so big we all sat in it and had cake and hot chocolate. I love to spend time on the beach near the sea and it is, for me, the perfect place to start the year.