And what have you done?

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And so that was Christmas.

This year it seemed to come so quickly (even though the shops were full of it since September – in a life full of Tigerish magic, I blank out most things), and be over just as fast. We spent it on a bucolic paradise up in my homeland North-West of my beloved island, with the family I married into and am proud and humbled to now call my own. There were horses, chickens, turbo-chooks, bunnies in the paddocks. There was one crazy dog and a roly-poly sunbeam-chasing cat. No partridge in a pear tree, but Tiger had her own special Christmas tree, decorated lovingly with the childhood ornaments of Tiger’s Daddy and “Uncle Owl”. Tiger knows the word “bauble”, and she was thrilled to have many to admire.

I don’t go much for material things, but I did receive some lovely presents of music, books, lovingly-chosen retro clothes and a little squirrel of my very own to hang on the wall. Tiger was spoiled rotten with many, many books, a brilliant Tiger hat from her poppy and, most overwhelmingly, the gift of music – a ukulele hand-painted with a horse and her name, a xylophone, a tambourine and some maracas. Together with her dad’s shiny new bagpipe chanter, we’ll have a family band in no time.

Poppy and Nana Leigh-Leigh visited and brought their joy with them. Auntie I and Uncle K made a fleeting visit with their adorable Little Ford Man. Today, we visited Tiger’s Grand-Nan and Grand-Keith and Tiger had great fun playing with their reindeer and gazing at the photos of the other “babbies” in our family – so many second cousins who look just like Tiger. She also may or may not have gorged her little self on Christmas cake, fruit mince pies and biscuits. Once a year!

We were sad to come home, even though it’s to our sweet new happy home. The only thing that makes it better is knowing we’ll have more visits from cherished family in the coming days, and that “Gam” (Gran) and “Da” (Granda) will be journeying South very soon, as with Grand-Nan, for her special birthday party down here.

And it’s a long time ’til next Christmas, but it will come so soon, and this year will be full of magic, because there is a Tiger in it. And the last words I’ll write will be grateful ones, because we have so much joy in our world, so much peace, so much love.

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