Turns out it's really hard to write a post about Christmas, I've restarted this three times now! I suppose part of that has to be because it involves so many people other than me - my own little family here in Galway, my family back home, and Hubby's family to name but a few. I'm always conscious when I'm writing of who is going to be reading it, and how things may come across. Christmas is so emotive at the best of times that it's always going to be a bit tricky.

For the most part things went really well. The day itself was just lovely. The four of us pulled up the drawbridge, forgot about lists and jobs and bank stuff and housework and all the other myriad things that take up so much headspace on a daily basis. We just focussed on each other.

Hubby went back to bed for a bit, myself and the kids went for a walk with the dogs, we ate too much, we played games - it was pretty much as good as I could have hoped for. Yes, of course there were squabbles, my kids are 6 and 4, but I can live with that. There's just something so lovely about a day that's devoted entirely to us, when everything else is shut down and it's completely ok to forget about the world. There's nowhere else to be, nothing to distract - that's a rare luxury.

The few days since have been fairly full on. Stephen's Day we headed east to spend the day with Hubby's family, yesterday we were with mine. We had planned originally to stick around for today as well but it turned out we both really needed to get back home. Don't get me wrong, I love having the chance to catch up with family, especially as my sister and niece were home from Denmark and it's been months since we've seen them. But, I find all the running around very unsettling, especially at this time of year when everyone is very much on top of each other. Both houses were crowded, and something I'm increasingly coming to recognise is how much I need my space. I realise that I can (technically at least) very easily remove myself from the noise and take a few minutes, but I haven't yet managed to get to the point where I feel ok about doing that. I actually prefer the time after all the official gatherings, when everyone is more relaxed.

There were a couple of times when it was overwhelming, when I could feel myself about to lose it. Thankfully both times I had the wherewithal to do something about it - the first time I called Hubby to help, the second I removed myself entirely and actually went to bed for an hour. Other than that, there was no drama. The kids got spoiled rotten and watched way too much tv. We ate too much. We drank too much. We laughed. And then we made the decision that was best for us - to come home. I felt guilty about it, I know everyone would have liked us to stay longer, but it also felt right. Now that I'm home and the house is (almost) warm again, I know it was right. Maybe next year I'll be able to stay for longer.

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