Lizzy thought that Stephens’ Day might be even better than Christmas Day.
She’d had a full night’s sleep. She wouldn’t have to go to mass. All the chocolates would be open, so she could pick when she liked. And all her family would arrive for dinner.
By the time she was up and dressed Jim was already out on his bike, whizzing past the kitchen window every so often.
The house still in a bit of a state but Lizzy ignored the mess and went straight to the kitchen. Her mam was sitting in her dressing gown, looking a bit worse for wear. But as always she gave a big smile when she saw Lizzy and opened her arms for the hug. Lizzy buried her head in her mam’s fluffy dressing gown.“Do you want a sausage and a fried egg?”
Stephens’ Day breakfast – another reason why Lizzy loved the day!“I’ll need you to help me to day. Can you get rid of all the wrapping paper in the sitting room and bring me in all the dirty glasses.”
As usual, Christmas morning had brought a large number of visitors. Presents were exchanged, neighbours popped in for a Christmas drink and morning turned to afternoon with a stream of people coming and going. Until eventually it was time to go to Granny’s for dinner.
They’d walked out the door and left the mess behind them, returning late to fall into bed.
Housework wasn’t a priority in Lizzy’s house.
So today Lizzy’s mam was cooking dinner for 8. The turkey was already in the oven. All the veg was ready to go on. The glorious smell of breadsauce (Lizzy’s favourite smell in the whole world) filled the house.
Lizzy got a black plastic bag and got to work. She quietly worked around her dad who was simultaneously sleeping and watching The Magnificent Seven. She came across a few presents that had been left behind and put them back under the tree. She went in and out of the kitchen as she worked, bringing glasses and empty bottles. Her mam was singing away each time, with lots of Christmas songs still on the radio.
Eventually family started to arrive. The house was soon filled with hustle, bustle and noise. Lizzy loved nothing more than the house to be crowded. When the house was full of people her mam and dad did not have a row, Lizzy would be free from the harsh orders of her dad and she’d get extra hugs and smiles from aunts and uncles.
After lots of eating and singing, some more eating and more singing it was time for bed. Lizzy caught sight of her bike in the hall as she made her way up the stairs. With all the work and visitors she hadn’t been able to go on her bike all day. As she looked at her amazing present from Santy, she had a great idea. Soon the visitors would be gone and her parents would be fast asleep. Who would notice if she took her bike out for a late night cycle before bed?
Lizzy put her nightdress on over her clothes and waited for the house to go quiet.