Hurrah! Whoop whoop! I got through Christmas sober! In fact, I didn't just get through it - I enjoyed it! Who knew?
The day started at about 7am when #1, #2 and #3 came in with their stockings. It appears that Santa chose particularly wisely this year. Well done him!
Then, after breakfast, we gathered round the tree to open a few of the presents. For the first time in many years it was just the five of us for Christmas, so super relaxed.
#1 and I left the others to play and prepare lunch, while we went to church.
I was really keen to go back to the church where Mr SM and I were married, and #1 was baptised. It's the oldest church in London (St Bartholomew the Great), built in 1123 and utterly awe inspiring, but it's in the City - on the other side of London.
So we drove, through deserted streets, along Piccadilly, past Soho, through the old legal district and the new financial district, and into Smithfield.
The church was packed - standing room only, and the service was beautiful, with a full choir, a procession past the crib, and lots of carols.
Then it was time for communion.
Now, given everything that's happened over the last year, I thought I really should take communion.
But what to do about the wine?
I figured that it'd only be one sip, and, if it's blessed, then maybe it doesn't count? After all it's been transubstantiated! It was actually the blood of Christ, right?
So, dear friends, I had a good old gulp of communion wine. And, I have to confess, I enjoyed it. That full, rich flavour, and that slight burning sensation in your throat.
I (almost) considered re-joining the back of the queue and having another go. Which just goes to show: once an addict, always an addict...
We got back in time for a slap up lunch. I had a glass of AF wine (Torres Natureo), which wasn't bad, and at least gave me the illusion of a 'special treat'.
Mr SM had found a mini bottle of champagne and teeny weeny bottle of port from M&S who were doing a special 'Christmas for One' offer. I do hope he didn't feel too hard done by...
More present opening after lunch, except for poor #2. #2 takes after his Mum. He has a problem with moderation and, as such, had opened pretty much all his presents, in a flurry of over-excitement and hastily torn wrapping, in the morning, leaving him almost nothing left.
(Check out my post on Borrowing Tomorrow's Happiness)
Then we played games and watched Christmas TV (along with regular sessions of bailing out water from the cellar - see yesterday's post) until bedtime.
And, you know what? Without the wine, it was so easy. No arguments, no stress, no self hatred. Just fun, joy and gratitude.
And today? A clear head, tidy house, and a huge sense of achievement.
Roll on Christmas 2016! Because, like everything, once you've done it once, it's never so scary again.
Merry Christmas, and huge congratulations to you all!
Love SM x