Merry Christmas Everyone

Christmas With The Stantons Is Never A Quiet Affair…

Winter, Year 5
William is 31, Emily is 29, Soley is 8, Nina is 7, Caiden is 5, Warwick & Aoife are 4, Sayer is 3

Christmas was fast approaching and the whole Stanton family were getting excited for the holiday. Little Sayer was playing happily in the garden, tossing the snow around and giggling as it fell on him. It felt like something magical this year.

Warwick and Aoife had only started school a few months before but both had settled in well so far. However, they were delighted when the last day of school came and they knew they now had lots of time off for the festive season!

The children had been creating lots of crafts to decorate the house, with the craft corner of the living room looking very festive with their drawings and collages on the wall. Emily was very proud, especially as she watched Soley knuckling down with the holiday homework they’d been given to complete.

The girls had been learning more about appreciation at school and how some families didn’t have very much, so Soley was making a point of showing how much she appreciated her family and especially her siblings.

The children’s end-of-term reports had come out and Warwick’s teacher had been especially complimentary. Emily was proud; the twins had only started school a few months ago and she’d been nervous for them but Warwick in particular seemed to have settled in beautifully.

The first family job of the season was to decorate the tree. It was the first year Aoife and Warwick had been able to help and the children were very excited. It might be slightly chaotic but that summed the Stantons up perfectly. It was the furthest thing from the stuffy Christmases William and Emily had experienced as children.

It was getting close to bedtime and Caiden had been trying to spook his sisters by telling them scary stories he’d heard at school. Nina wasn’t easily scared and gave her brother a look before rolling her eyes.
Soley was fairly sure he was only messing around but she couldn’t be absolutely certain.

Sure enough, poor Soley woke with a start in the night. She wished she didn’t listen to Caiden so much but she couldn’t help it; she was sure she could hear noises and it definitely wasn’t Father Winter yet!

The next day was Christmas Eve and the children were all a little overexcited. Nina was feeling mischievous and tried to convince Aoife she was adopted. Fortunately, Aoife wasn’t as silly as Nina had expected and knew perfectly well she wasn’t adopted, leading to a mild altercation between the sisters.

“No, of course you’re not adopted,” Emily said, comforting her youngest daughter. She sometimes wondered where the children got these ideas from and decided she’d probably rather not know. The household was chaotic enough in the holidays.

As the sky grew darker, Father Winter arrived for his annual visit to the Stanton family. He placed a pile of gifts beneath the tree and handed a gift out to each of the children as they approached him.
William often thought it was a good thing Father Winter made allowances for behaviour on Christmas Eve.

Emily put the triumphant finishing touches to the Winter cake she’d made for the following day. Once it went into the fridge, everything would be ready for what was always the busiest day of the year for their family.

Finally, night fell and the Stanton household was silent. The calm before the storm, some would say.

Christmas morning was as noisy as expected as the family gathered round the table for their breakfast. There was lots of excited chatter as they worked their way through their plates laden with food, eagerly anticipating the opening of their presents after breakfast.

Emily loved this part of the day, busy and noisy though it was. She loved seeing the children’s faces as they opened their gifts. She and William had made a point of buying some Voidcritter cards for the children, since they seemed to still be a big craze in the school. The children, especially Soley, Nina and Caiden, enjoyed battling their friends at the Early Learning Centre and now they’d have even more cards to do it with!

A main tradition for the Stanton family was music and singing. They enjoyed a session of carol singing around the tree, followed by Nina on the keyboard. She’d been practicing a lot in the build up to the holiday and she was excited to show off her skills for her family.

The following day, the family took a trip to Mt. Komorebi for some fun on the slopes. William took little Sayer sledding down the hill and the little tot loved it.

Emily took Aoife to the top of the hill and gave a hefty push off. They went sledding, less than gracefully, down the hill until they hit a bump and went sprawling in the fresh snow. Not the dignified ending Emily had hoped for.

Caiden and Warwick decided to challenge their older sisters to a sled race down the hill. Unfortunately, the boys were a little too cocky as they set off on a bumpy course and ended up in a crumpled heap at the bottom.
The girls, however, set of carefully and made it neatly to the bottom of the hill to gloat.

They had an action-packed day on the slopes and headed to the ski lodge for something to eat and drink before setting off for home. Emily was enjoying the festive season this year; it had been one of the best in recent memory.

William and Emily were still just as loved up with each other now, after six children, as they were the day they got married. There was something to be said for getting the children off the bed early…

Early the following morning, Soley and Nina were up and dressed. The family were going to the Festival of Youth later and they were very excited. Soley sat comfortably on a pile of cushions in the living room, fashioning models out of clay while Nina played with her toy kitchen in the dining room. Daylight couldn’t come quick enough.

They were going on a virtual Voidcritter hunt around Wakaba. Nina got excited when she found Bubalus in the square and quickly swiped him. The children had quickly split up to search the neighbourhood and the race was on.

While Sayer couldn’t join in the hunt for Voidcritters, he did manage to socialise with other festival goers and received the Blessing of Youth. The festival was turning out to be a lot of fun so far!

The children got very excited when their favourite mascot, Yamachan, arrived to celebrate the festival with them. So many memories were being made this Christmas for the Stantons.
Nina managed to find 10 Voidcritters first and Yamachan gave her a special present to commemorate her achievement. It had been a wonderful day.

To round off the holiday season, Emily had finished knitting new jumpers for the children and managed to snag some photos of them before they all went trudging, tired but happy, up to bed. It had been a truly wonderful Christmas for everyone.

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